Thursday, March 3, 2016

YA Thursday

The Possibility of Now by Kim Culbertson (Scholastic hardcover, 26 January 2016).

Mara James has been a perfectionist and over-achiever as long as she can remember. She's on track to be class valedictorian at her private school in San Diego, until she has a meltdown in calculus class.  

Not just any meltdown, a tear-up-the-test-paper-and-walk-out-of-class meltdown.  When asked to explain it, she really can't.  She just knows that she can't go back to school because someone recorded the whole thing on their phone and uploaded it to YouTube. The video has a gazillion views, and she needs to get away.

Mara's solution is to suggest to her mother and stepfather that she spend the next term in Lake Tahoe with her father, whom she hasn't seen since she was around seven.  She's hoping to kill two birds with one stone:  to escape from Ranfield Academy, and to get to know her father.

The school's condition is that she continue to do her schoolwork through their home study program; her mother's is that she see a counselor.  Mara doesn't think either of those will be a problem, since she doesn't seem to have much in common with the kids her age that she meets in Lake Tahoe.

As a high school teacher for over 18 years, Kim Culbertson is well-qualified to write about the pressures that today's teens (and even younger kids) are subjected to in their day-to-day lives:  to excel in school subjects, but still have enough extra-curricular activities that they appear "well-rounded" on their university applications. The Possibility of Now would be helpful for high school students and their parents, as well as their teachers.

FTC Full Disclosure:  I borrowed this book from my local library.

No comments:

Post a Comment