Accidental Adventures of India McAllister

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The Accidental Adventures of India McAllister
by Charlotte Agell

India McAllister hopes that fourth grade brings her plenty of fun and adventures in her small town in Maine. She camps out and looks for UFOs with her friend Colby, tries to catch her father’s new bird that gets loose in the house, and takes walks into the woods with her dog. India is also navigating a number of personal issues, including her parents’ divorce, confusing feelings for her father’s implied boyfriend, embarrassment over a plaster breast that hangs in the living room as a reminder that her mother survived breast cancer, and the fact that she was adopted from China.

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690 Middle School 160 Adventure 2010 0805089020

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Last Exit to Normal

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Last Exit to Normal
by Michael Harmon

Life was going along just fine for Ben Campbell until he hit fourteen. That was the year his father announced that he was gay and his mother left. His dad’s boyfriend moved in, and Ben started counseling — and also misbehaving.

Now, after three years of run-ins with the law, Ben’s dad has decided the only way to save Ben is to leave Spokane. At age seventeen, city boy Ben finds himself living in Rough Butte, Montana. Edward, who Ben calls “Momdad”, has agreed to take them back to the hometown he left when he was Ben’s age. In Rough Butte, Ben is surrounded by homophobic cowboys, Edward’s acid-tongued mother, Miss Mae, and an abusive neighbor with a strange young son.
[spoiler title=”Click for More”]
Used to doing whatever he wants, whenever he wants, quickly ends for Ben as Miss Mae schools him in acceptable country behavior. She expects respect and hard work, and she doesn’t hesitate to use her wooden spoon as a weapon to encourage it. Ben reluctantly falls in line and even finds it rewarding at times. His father and Edward seem pleased for the most part, and his improved attitude and behavior are useful in his quest to attract the attention of the beautiful girl living just four doors down the street.

There are still frustrations for Ben. Completely forgiving his father for trashing his life back in Spokane is proving harder than he expected. Rough patches between father and son keep tensions high, and to complicate matters, Ben becomes convinced that the young neighbor boy is the victim of dangerous abuse. Ben’s efforts to seek justice for the boy create a whole new set of problems.[/spoiler]

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620L Middle School 288 Drama 2009 0440239949

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Alt Ed

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Alt Ed
by Catherine Atkins

Susan Calloway, bullied and overweight, faces daily humiliation at the hands of her classmates and she’s had enough. With her anger about to reach the boiling point, Susan lands in an alternative education class, a sort of group therapy for the nearly expelled. School is bad enough, but facing off with five peers, including her cruelest tormentor, is worse.

Now Susan is being forced to do something she’s always avoided: talking about herself and listening to what other people have to say about her. She has two choices: find her voice, or be prepared to take the insults in silence.

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Number
490 Middle School 208 Realistic Fiction 2004 00142402354

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