Synopses & Reviews
Newbery Honor author Ann M. Martin's gripping, widely acclaimed novel of a girl confronting the perils of friendship and the conflicts of community.
Belle Teal's life isn't easy, but she gets by. She lives with her mother and grandmother far out in the country. They don't have much money, but Belle Teal feels rich with their love. As school begins, Belle Teal faces unexpected challenges. Her best friends are up against some big problems. And there are two new students in Belle Teal's class: a shy boy caught in the town's furor over desegregation, and a snob who has problems of her own. As her world falls apart, Belle Teal discovers the importance of sticking together.
A genuinely moving tale about the necessity to reach out to others, even when it's difficult” Kirkus Reviews
* Honest and moving . . . Preteens will relate to Belle Teal, whose observations provide an eye-popping introduction to social and personal injustice.” Publishers Weekly, starred review
You will love Belle, her mom, and Gran. This family of women knows how to raise a young one to stand up for what's right.” Book Sense Children's 76 Picks
Considerable child appeal and heart . . . a solid piece of work with an absorbing plot.” SLJ
With the same sincere and empathetic handling of grade-school life that made her Baby-sitters Club books so popular, Martin here deftly draws a more complicated portrait of a racially integrating fifth-grade class . . . The writing is graceful and easy, with Belle Teal's narration distinctly and convincingly evoked.” The Horn Book
Belle Teal Harper is used to going without. She lives with her mother and grandmother far out in the country. Her fifth-grade back-to-school outfit is her fourth-grade dress. Still, Belle Teal feels rich with the love of her family and her best friends, Clarice and Little Boss. But as school begins, Belle Teal faces challenges. Gran's memory is slipping away. Mama works longer hours to support the family. Little Boss's secret troubled relationship with his father, Big Boss, is pushing him to extremes. And there are two new students in Belle Teal's class: a shy African-American boy caught in the town's furor over desegregation, and a girl whose outward confidence belies the secret she holds close.
Now in paperback from the Newbery Honor-winning author of "A Corner of the Universe"--a moving tale that tackles issues of prejudice and community with a child-friendly eye.
About the Author
Ann M. Martin's The Baby-Sitters Club series sold over 176 million copies and inspired a generation of young readers. Her novels include the Main Street series, BELLE TEAL, the Newbery Honor book A CORNER OF THE UNIVERSE, HERE TODAY, A DOG'S LIFE, and ON CHRISTMAS EVE, as well as the much-loved collaborations P.S, LONGER LETTER LATER and SNAIL MAIL NO MORE with Paula Danziger, and THE DOLL PEOPLE and THE MEANEST DOLL IN THE WORLD, written with Laura Godwin and illustrated by Brian Selznick. She lives in upstate New York.