What happens when a girl, homeschooled by her counterculture mother, decides to spend her senior year in public school? First friendship, first love—and first encounters with the complexities of authority and responsibility.
Evie is different. Not just her upbringing—though that’s certainly been unusual—but also her mindset. She’s smart, independent, confident, opinionated, and ready to take on a new challenge: The Institution of School.
It doesn’t take this homeschooled kid long to discover that high school is a whole new world, and not in the way she expected. It’s also a social minefield, and Evie finds herself confronting new problems at every turn. Not one to sit idly by, Evie sets out to make changes. Big changes. The movement she starts takes off, but when her plan begins spiraling out of control, Evie is forced to come to terms with a world she is only just beginning to comprehend.
J.J. Johnson’s powerful debut novel will enthrall readers as it challenges assumptions about friendship, rules, boundaries, and power.
“Readers will never look at high school―or life―the same.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“Smart first novel…Johnson reveals a broad spectrum of perspectives through her characters’ differing sentiments, motivations, and opinions.” ―Publishers Weekly
“Johnson’s fun, activist-minded debut has a close cousin in Jamila Stevenson’s The Latte Rebellion (2010). Evie is a strong yet vulnerable heroine whose intellectual bent and sense of self will remind readers that, as historian Laurel Thatcher Urlich said, ‘Well-behaved women rarely make history.’” ―Booklist
“The objections Evie raises and the relationship hits she takes because of them will resonate with the target audience; these are the age-old problems with schools and other institutions in a democratic society, and this exploration of the means of redress, while pat and purposive, will surely inspire discussion.” ―Children’s Book Council
“Books about high school tend either to be about peer politics and romance or about the injustice of oppressive adult systems. This book combines both plot types, intelligently and humorously…” ―Parents’ Choice
Parents’ Choice Silver Honor ―Parents’ Choice Foundation, 2011
Best Children’s Books of the Year ―Bank Street College of Education, 2012
Amelia Bloomer Project ―Feminist Task Force of the Social Responsibilities Round Table of the American Library Association, 2012
Keystone to Reading Book Award (High School Nominee) ―Keystone State Reading Association, 2012
Georgia Peach Book Award for Teen Readers (Nominee) ―Georgia Library Media Association, Georgia Library Association, and the Georgia Public Library Service, 2012-2013
Kansas State Reading Circle Recommended Reading List (Starred, Senior High) ―Kansas National Education Association, 2012
North Carolina Author Awards (Nominee, AAUW Award for Juvenile Literature) ―North Carolina Literary and Historical Association, 2011
UMW Reading Program ―United Methodist Women, 2015
AR Level: 3.8
F&P: GRL Z+, Gr 9th & up, Genre RF
Themes: Bullies, Free Speech, Injustice, Responsibility
BISAC 1: YAF054000 YOUNG ADULT FICTION / School & Education / General
BISAC 2: YAF011000 YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Coming of Age
BISAC 3: YAF022000 YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Girls & Women