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Story of a Girl

Author: Sara Zarr

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company, 2007
Pages: 192

For Ages: 13 and up

Rating: ****

 
     16-year-old Deanna Lambert can’t seem to get away from the night her dad caught her having sex with her brother’s seventeen-year-old friend, though it was three years ago. Deanna wants people to realize she’s not that thirteen year old anymore, she wants her dad to treat her like a person, and she wants more out of life. She feels trapped living with her well-intentioned but dysfunctional family but doesn’t know how to fix things.

 

     In Zarr’s deft hands this story rings true with poignant three-dimensional portraits of a struggling small town family. Where it could have easily have been slight and stereotypical, Zarr adds depth, understanding, and tense storytelling to explain the feelings of a girl who’s made a mistake in a way that rarely gets taken seriously.