About this book
Laurel Croza • Kelsey Garrity-Riley
Charity takes small steps to escape her controlling father. Jasmine endures the rumors about her at school, even though no one really knows what happened last summer. The Oh! So Perfect Hair Dolly wishes for just the right child to take her home from the store. Nicola has a run-in with a classmate on her first day at a new school in the big city — or is the classmate a wolf in disguise? A squirrel ruminates on the nature of life and death. Dani fights for her dream, in spite of her father’s insistence that her older brother should be the one to play hockey. Mike finds the kind of family he has longed for in his coworkers at the restaurant where he works.
In these seven stories by Laurel Croza (author of the award-winning picture books I Know Here and From There to Here), five teenagers, a doll and a squirrel break out of the expectations placed upon them. Featuring beautiful black-and-white illustrations by Kelsey Garrity-Riley.
There’s no need for Snapchat or text messages in a high school cafeteria at lunchtime. All you have to do is sit at one of the tables. Guaranteed, after a minute or two, you’ll know everything there is to know. It’s all here. Carried just above our heads. Words surging and swelling and rolling across the cafeteria like bodysurfers at a concert. Talk washing over us, flooding us with the ohmygods, the names, the details. Everyone, even the quiet ones, caught up in the rumors. The gossip. The whirlpool.
Sometimes the whirlpool slows. A sudden waiting, watching, listening silence. A signal that fresh drama is about to unfold. Not on the stage at the back of the room, the curtain drawn shut. This theater plays out right in front of us, down on the floor, in the depths of the cafeteria.
I’m not surprised when the current pauses in front of me. It’s the end of September but it’s still my name that swirls around and around and around. My name trapped in the whirlpool since school started, the day after Labor Day.
About the Author
Laurel Croza lived near four dam sites when she was a child, moving nine times and attending six schools before she was fourteen. Her experiences inspired her stunningly successful first picture book, I Know Here, illustrated by Matt James. Laurel lives with her family in Toronto. Visit Laurel Croza's website: http://www.laurelcroza.com/