Synopses & Reviews
Sigrid Sugden is a Shrike, a member of one of the toughest group of girls in school. They are experts at blackmail, extortion and bullying their terrorized classmates.
But one day, the Shrikes go too far. Sigrid realizes that their favourite victim, Prinny Murphy, is in real danger. She makes a decision that will save Prinny from danger but will turn the Shrikes anger and bullying against the former friend who betrayed them to the authorities.
For Sigrid, this is a transformative moment. She wants to be a better person and begins to reflect on the events that led to her being a Shrike. Participating in their mean pranks made her feel powerful and safe. But now, she realizes she needs and wants to turn over a new leaf - make new friends and be kinder to others. But overcoming her bad-girl image is a whole lot harder to do than she originally thought. No one likes her, no one trusts her - no one is willing to give her a second chance. But then an unlikely ally comes forward to help her convince the rest of the students at school that she really does want to be a better person - her former victim, Prinny Murphy.
Praise for The Present Tense of Prinny Murphy by Jill Maclean:
“In this beautifully engaging book, Prinny, about 12, has much to deal with. Her emotionally distant, alcoholic mother is usually drunk, her father—though he loves her—wont offer affection, a new girl in her northern Newfoundland village has drawn her only friend, Travis, away from her, she barely stumbles through remedial reading and “the Shrikes,” three relentless female bullies, are blackmailing her. Things improve a bit when a teacher introduces her to Virginia Euwer Wolffs Make Lemonade, and Prinny learns her own power from that books strong protagonist, LaVaughn. Each fully realized character furthers Prinnys coming of age, and just as LaVaughn “jumps off the page” for Prinny, MacLeans characters will inhabit the readers world. The exotic northern setting is carefully depicted and plays a major role in both mood and plot. As Prinny learns effective ways to deal with the truly evil, completely believable Shrikes with too little adult support, readers may pick up a point or two. Although this is a sequel (The Nine Lives of Travis Keating, 2009) it out-stands alone perfectly.” (starred review, Kirkus Reviews)
About the Author
Jill MacLean is the author of a collection of poetry, The Brevity of Red, which was shortlisted for the Atlantic Poetry Prize and the Acorn-Plantos Award. She has also published a history of Prince Edward Island, Jean Pierre Roma: of the Company of the East of Isle St. Jean. Jill lives in New Bedford, Nova Scotia.