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The Princesses of Iowa
ISBN: 9780763653125
Author: Backes, M. Molly
Publisher: Candlewick Pr
Published: May 2012
Retail: $16.99    OUR PRICE: $2.99
     You Save 83%
Binding Type: Hardcover
Annotation: After being involved in a drunk driving accident in the spring, Paige Sheridan spends the summer in Paris as an au pair and then returns to her suburban Iowa town for her senior year of high school, where she begins to wonder if she wants more out life than being a popular member of the social elite, having a handsome boyfriend and all the latest clothes.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Conduct of life; Fiction.
Popularity; Fiction.
High schools; Fiction.
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: 2011018622
Lexile Measure: 800
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 10-12, Age 15-18
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Target Grade: 10-12
Grade level: 10-12
Physical Information: 8.50" H x 6.00" L x 1.50" W
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Contributor Bio(s): Molly Backes is an exciting new talent in the world of young adult novels. After graduating from Grinnell College in Iowa, she moved to New Mexico, where she taught middle school and got 150 of her students to write novels for National Novel Writing Month. She now lives in Chicago, where she works at StoryStudio, Chicago's center for writing and the related arts.
Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2012 Fall)
Paige returns to Iowa for her senior year after having been sent away for the summer following her drunk-driving accident. Many things have changed, including Paige herself and her fractured friendships, stressed by the arrival of a new creative writing teacher. The talkative prose covers too many conflicts peer pressure, class, homophobia, etc. but both the protagonist and her small town are believably portrayed.
Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2012 April #2)

Weightier than its title suggests, this well-executed first novel introduces three A-list high school seniors whose perfect lives are in disarray after a drunk-driving accident the previous spring, "After the first cracks that split into canyons between us, sending me spinning across the ocean, Nikki down the Crazy Diet Rabbit Hole, and Lacey into the Land of Crippled Martyrdom." Narrator Paige is "exiled" to Paris to work as an au pair while her image-conscious mother does damage control. Upon Paige's return, her friends are cold, distant, and resentful that she was able to escape for the summer. Although the girls put on a front of normalcy once school begins, underlying tensions threaten to undermine their relationship. With the help of a new writing teacher, Paige embarks on a painful but enlightening journey of self-awareness. The conflicts Paige faces and the changes she undergoes are powerfully evoked. Backes addresses guilt, deceit, homophobia, loyalty, and the burden of keeping up appearances in a brutally believable high school setting as Paige recognizes the weaknesses of loved ones and her own imperfections. Ages 14–up. Agent: Becca Stumpf, Prospect Agency. (May)

[Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC
Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2012 April)

Gr 8 Up—"Everyone knows you're not supposed to drink and drive," begins Paige Sheridan. Before the accident, she had been leading the life of a popular, privileged teen. Then one night of partying brings her perfect world to a halt. She and her two best friends were extremely lucky, and only Lacey had any lasting injury, but they were separated for the summer as their parents' exercised damage control. Paige was sent off to Paris as an unpaid babysitter, a job that sounded more exciting than it really was. When she returns, her friends and boyfriend become distant and unfriendly, while her mother expects her to carry on being the homecoming queen she was meant to be. Paige takes refuge in her creative writing class, where Mr. Tremont, an inspiring teacher, and some outsider classmates encourage her to be herself. But who is Paige Sheridan? Is she just a princess? Or is she something more? In this debut novel, Backes takes Dead Poets Society and brings it into the age of Mean Girls. Her writing style is witty while still being relatable, and the themes of acceptance and identity will ring true to teens. One aspect of the narrative deals with Mr. Tremont's possible homosexuality in an extremely close-minded town. Though this issue becomes one of the larger plot points, it is never fully addressed or resolved. While this may be less satisfying to readers, it is a realistic outcome. Backes re-creates a world that most teens already live in, with the overarching message that anyone can become more than what others perceive them to be.—Kimberly Castle-Alberts, Stark County District Library, Canton, OH

[Page 154]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.