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Sepetys, Ruta.
New York : Philomel Books, 2013

( 2 booktalks)

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Bootalk #1

Josie has grown up with a prostitute as a mother, but she’s always longed for more than the life she’s been dealt. Growing up in 1950s New Orleans, Josie has seen more than most seventeen-year-olds.  Most of her life has been spent in and around the women of Willie’s brothel, so she understands how limited the options for women are. But she also knows about finding strength in the strangest of places and that if you have hope, almost anything is possible. Josie has always dreamed of leaving New Orleans’s behind. Despite the circumstances with her mom, she has taken what control she can of her life.  She’s smart, well-read, and knows how to protect herself. She’s been slowly saving up money so that  someday she’ll be able to leave New Orleans. One day a stranger visiting from Memphis talks with Josie, and the kind and respectful way he treats Josie ignites her imagination. But then, the man dies mysteriously while in New Orleans, which leads Josie to ask questions about his death as well as his life before. Read Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys to meet the wonderful collection of characters in Josie’s life and to follow Josie on her journey to figure out what direction her life will take.
  (South Carolina Young Adult Book Award, 2015,  Prepared by: Susan Aplin, Dutch Fork High School,

Booktalk #2

It’s 1950. World War II has ended.  The Cold War is just beginning. McCarthyism is on the rise, and life in New Orleans is one big party.  At least it seems that way for everyone except Josie Moraine, who’s living a life less than perfect.  Josie dreams of escaping the stigma of being the daughter of a French Quarter prostitute whose mothering has left Josie caring for herself since the age of twelve.  Josie dreams of a life outside of the Quarter, a life at Smith College, in New England, that will allow Josie to become Josephine and put the past behind her. But first she must get into Smith and figure out a way to pay for it.  With support from Patrick, her employer’s son; Jesse, her biker friend; Willie, the brothel madam, and Cokie, Willie’s right-hand- man, Josie’s dreams might come true.  But then the murder of a wealthy, Memphis contractor on New Year’s Eve threatens to end everything and send her down a path less than respectable because they “call this place ‘The Big Easy’, [but] shoot, ain’t nothin’ easy about it” (328).     (Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Award, 2015)


SUBJECTS:     Conduct of life -- Fiction.
                        Prostitution -- Fiction.
                        Murder -- Fiction.
                        Mothers and daughters -- Fiction.
                        New Orleans (La.) -- History -- 20th century -- Fiction.
                        Mystery and detective stories.
                        Mystery fiction.

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