Nancy Keane's Booktalks -- Quick and Simple

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Anderson, Laurie Halse.
New York : Viking, 2005.
ISBN 0670059749

(2 booktalks)

Click on the book to read Amazon reviews
Booktalk #1

The prom is no big deal to Ashley.  She considers herself one of the normal kids in her school.  She has no plans for college and doesn't take school too seriously.  After graduation, she and her boyfriend TJ will get jobs and then move into an apartment together  Ashley's best friend  Nat has other ideas.  Nat is looking forward to college and expects to get enough scholarships that she can actually afford a good school.  And she is the chair of the prom committee.  When the math teacher embezzles the prom committee funds, it looks like the end of Nat's dream of a magical night.  Who would have ever thought that Ashley could come up with an idea to save the prom?  And who would believe she would actually work to help save the night?  With the help support of her interesting family and Nat's eccetric grandmother, things may just work out after all.

Booktalk #2

“I had been saying prom was stupid for years, and it still was, but it was different for them. They had been waiting forever for this. Dichelle, she lived with a foster family who had nothing, but everybody, even the second cousins, had pitched in to buy her a dress and shoes and a sparkly headband that looked like a beauty-pageant crown, only not as tacky. Junie had been dating the same stand-up man, Charles, since freshman year, and they were the cutest couple on the planet, and he was going into the army right after graduation, and we were all sure he was going to ask her to marry him at prom. Aisha had been working for free at a braiding shop so she could get her hair done. Monica, her mom died of cancer last year—if anyone deserved a dance, it was that girl.” I’m Ashley Hannigan, and all I want is to graduate from high school—in spite of an assistant principal who wants to put me in permanent detention. And I want to move out of my parents’ wild and crazy house full of kids and never-finished home fix-up projects and live in an apartment with my hot boyfriend, TJ. I have no desire to dress up and pretend to be a princess for one night and then go back to the EZ-CHEEZ-E and put on my rat costume and deliver pizza to a bunch of screaming kids. But back to prom—my best friend, Natalia, is the prom committee chairman and she has a pink notebook full of details that will make our prom a magical night. When we find out our math teacher, who is also the prom advisor, has stolen all the money from the prom fund, I have a moment of temporary insanity and volunteer to help Nat make the prom happen…in spite of the fact that we have no food, no location, no decorations, no music, and no money. I don’t even want to go to prom and now I’m responsible for making it happen. Can I do it?…..And why do I even care?  (Prepared by: Sheri Carpenter for SCASL Young Adult Awards, 2008)

SUBJECTS:     Proms -- Fiction.
                        High schools -- Fiction.
                        Schools -- Fiction.
                        Self-realization -- Fiction.
                        Family life -- Pennsylvania -- Fiction.
                        Pennsylvania -- Fiction.


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