Pretty Like Us

Category: Themes:
For Beauty McElwrath, the first day of sixth grade in small-town Green River, Florida, proves to be exactly the catastrophe she expected.
Price: $15.95
  • ISBN: 9781561454440
  • Publication date: 10/02/2008
  • Page Count: 224
  • Size: 6" x 8-1/2"
  • Age Range: 8-12


For Beauty McElwrath, the first day of sixth grade in small-town Green River, Florida, proves to be exactly the catastrophe she expected.

Acutely shy and raised in a non-traditional family of strong-minded single women, Beauty is sure she’s doomed to be a social outcast for yet another school year. It doesn’t help that her mother is dating her teacher! But then she meets Alane Shriver, a spunky new student who suffers from progeria, a rare, rapid aging disorder.

At first Beauty is frightened by her fellow outsider’s tiny, frail body. But fear gives way to curiosity, and Beauty discovers that Alane is just like any other twelve-year-old girl. When a life-threatening event puts the two of them in harm’s way, Beauty unexpectedly finds the confidence and inner strength to save Alane.

Author Carol Lynch Williams offers a realistic, sensitive look at the trials and challenges of adolescence while expertly weaving in themes of isolation, illness, and even death. The result is an honest, humorous, unsparing, and ultimately uplifting book that celebrates the power and courage that come from accepting differences and meeting life’s uncertainties head on.


Carol Lynch Williams


Carol Lynch Williams is the author of numerous books for young readers, including Pretty Like Us and the acclaimed The True Colors of Caitlynne Jackson. She lives with her family in Utah.


“Williams demonstrates strong insight into the sixth-grade mind… The narrative rises above the usual preteen fare… A delightful twist at the end makes the book even more memorable, resulting in a lovely story that will reach many middle-school girls.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“Readers will relate to [the protagonist’s] struggles to fit in while being true to herself.… The story moves at a gentle pace with some intense situations…” ―School Library Journal

“The author paints a believable story about the peeking order in middle school, being different, and the bond of friendship.…a worthy choice for library collections.” ―Library Media Connection


Society of School Librarians International Book Awards (Honor Book, Language Arts 7-12 Novels) ―Society of School Librarians International, 2009

More Details

AR Level: 3.8
F&P: W, Gr 6, Genre RF
Lexile: HL590L
Themes: Beauty, Friendship, Illness, Progeria, School
BISAC 1: JUV039060 JUVENILE FICTION / Social Issues / Friendship
BISAC 2: JUVO15020 JUVENILE FICTION / Health & Daily Living/Diseases
BISAC 3: JUVO13030 JUVENILE FICTION / Family/Multigenerational

Books By Carol Lynch Williams