Orca Book Publishers

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Fiction Ages 12+
Pages: 208
Themes: friendship, teen pregnancy, motherhood
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: 01/Oct/2008
Lexile Level: 860
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Julia and Ruth have been unlikely best friends since they first met in Sunday school—Ruth was standing on the Bible-crafts table belting out "Jesus Loves Me." Now that they're a year away from graduation, they're putting the finishing touches on their getaway plans. But their dream of a funky big-city loft and rich, interesting older men is threatened when preacher's daughter Ruth goes to a wild party without studious Julia, and all hell breaks loose.

Ruth gets pregnant; Julia gets creative. Determined to support her friend and stay on track for life after high school, Julia comes up with a plan that will require all her intelligence, compassion, ingenuity and patience. Drawing on some great (and some not-so-great) works of literature, Julia proves that you can learn a lot just by opening up a book.

CM Magazine
“A terrific story about a strong girl friendship...readers will be drawn into her story and will be satisfied with the conclusion. Highly recommended.”
CD Syndicated
"[A] hot-button book that mixes the platitudes of literature with the realities of daily teenage life."
Quill & Quire
"Harvey does a good job of capturing the voice of Julia, and Ruth is often a riot to read. The use of language actually spoken by teens...gives the book a realistic feel."
The Globe and Mail
"Harvey depict[s] authentic relationships. She also reveals, quite wonderfully, the fluid line between family and friends. She opens us up to the joyous unpredictability of life. And through the example of Julia's mother, she demonstrates the transformative power of a gentle, adaptable faith."
Deakin Newsletter
"This is a funny, moving and realistic picture of the love the friends feel for each other - like sisters - and the faithful support and care the one shows for the other. There is a lot going on in this richly realized novel, and it is even more to the author's credit that there is as much laughter as tears and that the cast is so well considered and portrayed, human beings all."
"Edgy, earthy - and filled with literary references...Julia is a wonderful character with her mixture of practical wisdom and intelligence and her naivete."
Pudgy Penguin Perusals
"This is a wonderful story of two friends who find themselves on the cusp of adulthood when they are forced into growing up in a big hurry."
A Patchwork of Books blog
"A great friendship, good writing, and a unique story... definitely has teen appeal."
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Julia's eventful year is both insightful and funny... [a] thoughtful take on teen pregnancy made bearable by best-friend support."
Resource Links
"Laugh-out-loud portrait of a raucous and intelligent friendship being tested and forced to grow all at once. [Rated Excellent]."
Tucson Unified School District
"An interesting view of teen (hidden) pregnancy, parental reaction and the misguided intentions of friendship...Highly recommended."
Tri State Young Adult Book Review Committee
"Readers will enjoy the story...[and] librarians will love the literary references."
What If? Magazine
"An original novel of triumph and friendship. It is the kind of book that makes you read long into the night."
"The story is compelling and will likely appeal to readers. A little bit of drama, a little bit of romance, and a little bit of pop culture makes this book timely and entertaining."
The Bookmark (BCTLA)
"A bitingly funny, page turning read. Harvey's characters are witty, graphic and well-rounded, throwing stereotypes out the window...High school age students will enjoy this lively story and its excellent dialogue."
Canadian Children's Book News
"A refreshingly original alternative to many of the more angst-ridden teen problem novels."


Resource Links "The Year's Best"  | 2008 | Commended
OLA Best Bets  | 2008 | Commended
CLA Young Adult Book Award nominee  | 2009 | Short-listed
BC Book Prize - Sheila A. Egoff Children's Literature Prize nominee  | 2009 | Short-listed
Bolen Books Children’s Book Prize nominee  | 2009 | Short-listed
CCBC Best Books starred selection  | 2010 | Commended
Stellar Award nominee  | 2011 | Short-listed

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