by Pat Murphy
When Joan’s family moves from Connecticut to California, it seems certain that her life is over. Then she meets Sarah playing in the woods near her home. Sarah is an imaginative spirit unlike anyone she has met before, more comfortable in the trees than in school. Her father is a biker and writer, and Sarah is free in a way Joan can hardly fathom. During the summer, the two become close friends, but when school starts, finding their place is difficult to say the least. They share a lvoe of writing, however, and together, they win a writing contest and set out to conquer the world… or at least summer writing camp.
The book is set in the seventies. For the classes I spoke with, this was a big downpoint so I just didn’t mention it.
Joan and Sarah go by nicknames throughout the book. For Sarah especially, this name (Fox) is more appropriate than her given name.
While the girls have trouble making friends in school, the writing camp gives them a chance to see a world were they actually can fit in. This is a great “finding your voice or way” novel in that sense. Joan is better at faking it at school than Sarah, but both struggle to be accepted as they are.
Both characters are likable and believable. I also mentioned that I love to write so this novel appealed to me on that level as well.