About this book
In 1970 Vancouver, thirteen-year-old Charlotte and her best friend, Dawn, are keen to avoid the pitfalls of adolescence. Couldn’t they just skip teenhood altogether, along with its annoying behaviors – showing off just because you have a boyfriend, obsessing about marriage and a ring and matching dining-room furniture? Couldn’t one just learn about life from Jane Austen and spend the days eating breakfast at noon, watching “People in Conflict,” and thrift-store shopping for cool castoffs to tie-dye for the upcoming outdoor hippie music festival?
But life becomes more complicated when the girls meet a Texan draft dodger who comes to live with Charlotte’s Quaker family. Tom Ed expands Charlotte’s horizons as they discuss everything from war to civil disobedience to women’s liberation. Grappling with exhilarating and disturbing new ideas, faced with a censorship challenge to her beloved English teacher and trying to decode the charismatic draft dodger himself, Charlotte finds it harder and harder to stick to her unteen philosophy, and to see eye to eye with Dawn.
At that moment Dawn came back. She was with a boy who was just about as opposite from the be-in as you could imagine, a kind of anti-matter of hippie. He had very short, tidy hair shaved up the sides of his head, and he was dressed in crisp jeans and a white T-shirt. He was so clean that he seemed to have a little halo around him. How was he staying so clean?
The second he arrived at the blanket, the sun peeped out.
“This is Tom Ed,” said Dawn. “He’s from Texas. He’s a draft dodger.”
Later, when Charlotte saw those T-shirts that declared, Today is the first day of the rest of your life, she thought of that moment.
The damp blanket, her muddy toes, the music in her pores, the hippie-sweet air, and the tall, bright-faced Texan.
About the Author
SARAH ELLIS is a celebrated author, teacher and children’s literature expert. She has written more than twenty books across the genres, and her books have been translated into French, Spanish, Danish, Chinese and Japanese. She has won the Governor General’s Literary Award (Pick-Up Sticks), the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award (Odd Man Out) and the Sheila Egoff Award. Her first novel, The Baby Project, remains a children’s classic, still in print more than thirty years after publication.Sarah is a masthead reviewer for the Horn Book Magazine, and she is a former faculty member at Vermont College of Fine Arts.