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Keeping the Moon


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About the Author

Sarah Dessen is the author of thirteen novels, which include the New York Times bestsellers The Moon and More, What Happened to Goodbye, Along for the Ride, Lock and Key, Just Listen, The Truth About Forever, and This Lullaby. Her first two books, That Summer and Someone Like You, were made into the movie How to Deal.

Dessen's books are frequently chosen for the Teens' Top Ten list and the list of Best Fiction for Young Adults. They have been translated into twenty-five languages. Sarah Dessen is the recipient of the 2017 Margaret A. Edwards Award from the Young Adult division of the American Library Association. Sarah Dessen graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with highest honors in creative writing. She lives in Chapel Hill with her husband, Jay, and their daughter, Sasha Clementine. Visit Sarah at


A plot description of this contemporary problem novel may make it sound like a kind of Cinderella story, but Dessen's (Someone Like You) ironic sense of humor and her knack for creating characters with both quirky personalities and universal emotions set her book apart. Colie's fitness-celebrity mom (a female version of Richard Simmons) long ago motivated her to lose 45.5 pounds, but Colie feels just as insecure as she did when she was overweight, and she is a pariah at school. During Colie's 15th summer, her mother goes on an extended tour of Europe, and Colie is sent to outlandish Aunt Mira in Colby, N.C. There Colie is influenced by a singular group of mentors: the young women next door, Isabel and Morgan, who give Colie a makeover as well as a waitressing job; Mira's young boarder, Norman, who has moved out of his bullying auto-dealer dad's house so he can pursue a career in art; and Mira herself, a greeting-card illustrator who is as enormous and eccentric as she is immune to the ostracism of the locals. As readers will anticipate, Colie begins a happy metamorphosis; unexpectedly, her transformation is interrupted by the arrival of a mean-mouthed schoolmate who is all too eager to cut Colie down. Readers will lap up the snappy dialogue, colorful episodes and unexpected pearls of wisdom. The lessons Colie learns about beauty, none of them new, come across with freshness and vitality. Ages 12-up. (Sept.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

Gr 7 Up-Formerly fat Colie cannot shed her poor self image until she spends the summer with her eccentric aunt and develops a friendship with two worldly waitresses. A story heaped with crackling dialogue and sharp humor. (Sept.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

Gr 7 Up-Life is not easy for 15-year-old Colie Sparks in this charming story (Viking, 1999) by Sarah Dessen. Colie's mother is a world famous fitness guru who is touring Europe, and Colie is being shipped off to the beach to live with her Aunt Mira for the summer. The teenager arrives in Colby, North Carolina, with multi-colored hair, a lip ring, and a 45-pound chip on her shoulder (the amount of weight she lost working out beside her mother). Her expectations are abysmally low, but the quirky characters she works with at the Last Chance Cafe and her overweight Aunt Mira gently guide her into rediscovering her self-esteem. Dessen's coming-of-age story and lively dialogue combined with Stina Nielsen's youthful narration make this a great choice for summer listening.-Tricia Melgaard, Centennial Middle School, Broken Arrow, OK Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

"Teens will want to cheer."(SLJ, starred review)

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