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Peters, Julie Anne.
Boston : Little, Brown, 2000.
IL 5-8, RL 5.3
ISBN 0316706310

(2 booktalks)

When straight A student Antonia Dillon agreed to become a peer counselor at her middle school, she expected to assist fellow students with their usual problems—boy trouble, school, parents.  She certainly didn’t expect to be stuck counseling Jasmine “Jazz” Luther, a punker who uses black lipstick and is into body piercing and tattoos.  As the two girls reluctantly meet for their ½ hr. sessions each girl gradually reveals more and more about her troubled life.  Antonia admits her divorced mother is deeply depressed and unable to work or care for her family and the job of running the house and caring for her little brothers has fallen on Antonia’s shoulders.  Antonia is amazed to learn that Jazz lives in a mansion and has a passion for playing classical piano.  But Jazz’s mother is a control freak and is constantly criticizing Jazz, telling her how she should dress and act and think.  Then Antonia’s mother is hospitalized for her depression and Jazz gives u!
p playing the piano to spite her mother.  As secret after secret is exchanged a friendship develops between these two girls and they learn they can rely on each other as they work through their problems and bring their lives back to “normal”. (Lois Feldman,, Morris Area Public Library)

Booktalk #2

Antonia, a straight A model middle school student, has reluctantly agreed to peer counsel Jazz, a dark rebellious student.  Both girls figure they have nothing in common.  However, after a rocky start, they realize they just might need each other.  Antonia finds out Jazz is an accomplished classical pianist with a controlling mother. And Jazz discovers Antonia is forced into taking care of her younger brother and mother, who suffers from severe depression after her father deserted them.   When tragedy strikes, both girls realize that they have a bond and friendship that help them see people in a different way, including themselves.  (Mary Balog,, librarian)

SUBJECTS:     Family problems -- Fiction.
                        Friendship -- Fiction.
                        Peer counseling -- Fiction.
                        Parent and child -- Fiction.
                        Schools -- Fiction.


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