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Jenny Pollack grew up in New York City and graduated from the High School of Performing Arts and Barnard College. Back in the 80's she got from Fiorucci, Macy's, Sak's, Bloomingdale's, Betsey Johnson, Patricia Fields, Reminiscence, Aca Joe, Parachute and who knows where else. She hasn't gotten anything since then. She is still best friends with her best friend. Jenny lives in Brooklyn with her husband Rob and son Charlie and their two cats, Mike and Harry. Klepto is her first novel.


Readers may not always be attuned to the references to '80s fashion, music, TV shows and hairstyles in this first novel set in 1981, but they will certainly find it easy to relate to the narrator, who introduces herself as "Julie Also." Julie Prodsky feels undeservedly lucky for her friendship with her new "too cool and exotic" friend-Julie Braverman-whom she meets right as she is starting at New York's High School of Performing Arts. Soon, the 14-year-old is stealing clothes and jewelry all the time, first at Julie's prodding and then even alone-and she's not sure she can stop. But when the narrator tells Julie she is not going to do it anymore, her friend angrily tells her, "Enjoy your new life." The author realistically captures the tension between teens and parents: when narrator Julie asks her mother if she can see a therapist, her mother agrees without asking questions, leaving the girl feeling "kind of bummed out." Pollack includes other full-bodied characters, from the heroine's first boyfriend, who can be romantic but pushes her sexually, to her best friend's own liberal mother, whose blas? attitude when her daughter is finally arrested comes off as more cold than casual. All in all, this is a well-constructed book, one that ultimately provides a good model of girl friendship. Ages 12-up. (Mar.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Gr 8-10-Julie Prodsky, a freshman at the High School of the Performing Arts in New York City, makes fast friends with Julie Braverman, a popular girl with an impressive designer wardrobe. Soon Julie B. teaches her the essentials of shoplifting and the pals begin "getting" at stores throughout the city. Julie P. is delighted with her new friend, although her conscience begins troubling her. Caught by a security officer at Bloomingdale's and let go with a slap on the wrist, she seeks the help of a therapist. The girls part ways when Julie P. refuses to go on a "shopping" trip with Julie B. When they reconcile, Julie P. learns that her friend was apprehended at another store and is now trying to reform. Set in the '80s, the book is mainly about shoplifting to fit in with peers but also deals with first love and family dynamics. Sadly, parents in the book are mostly oblivious to their daughters' acquisitions. The sprinkling of swear words does not add to the story and some characters are less memorable than the lists of designer clothing mentioned each time the Julies go shopping. There are plenty of "how-to" ideas about shoplifting, but one hopes that readers would not act on them.-Linda L. Plevak, Saint Mary's Hall, San Antonio, TX Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

The plot is nearly irresistible. Kirkus Reviews

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