Francine lives down the street from a Hollywood film studio, adores screen dreamboat Montgomery Clift, and sometimes sees her home life as a scene from a movie: Dinner at the Greens. She wishes she were a movie star, brave and glamorous and always ready to say the right thing. In reality, she's a "pink and freckled" thirteen-year-old, and she doesn't speak up because she's afraid she'll get in trouble. She's comfortable following her father's advice: "Don't get involved." That is, until Sophie Bowman transfers into her class at All Saints School for Girls. Fearless, articulate, and passionate, Sophie questions authority and protests injustice. She not only doesn't care about getting in trouble, she actually seems to be looking for it. And she's happy to be Francine's best friend. The nuns think Sophie is a bad influence on Francine. Francine thinks just the opposite. Because of Sophie, Francine finds herself worrying about things that never bothered her before-the atom bomb, free speech, Communists, the blacklist...?nd deciding, for the first time, that she wants to be heard.
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by Karen Cushman
by Karen Armstrong
by Karen Quinn
by Karen Kingsbury
by Karen Young
by Karen Witemeyer
by Karen Rivers
by Karen English
by Karen J. Greenberg
"Francine is in eighth grade at a rigid Catholic school from August 1949 through June 1950. Sophia, a transfer student from public school, becomes her best friend. Sophia is full of opinions, and not afraid to voice them. Good historical fiction breathes life into an era by peopling it with realistic characters living on history's stage. Cushman is a master at creating introspective female characters that middle school girls can admire. In Anaka Shockley's portrayal of Francine, the listener hears her voice grow and strengthen as the shadow of McCarthyism grows darker. Shockley uses cadence and slang to place us firmly in a specific historical period while depicting young people whom today's youth can recognize. N.E.M. (c) AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine"
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