No cover to show you until I am home and near a scanner. However, the forthcoming book by Francine Prose (AFTER, BULLYVILLE) examines the nature of truth. TOUCH (HarperTeen, June 2009) is the story of a group of friends: Chris, Kevin, Shakes, and Maisie. Maisie has grown up with this trio, hanging out, playing, having tons of fun without ever being conscious or concerned about the fact that she was the sole girl in this group. However, after Maisie spends a year living with her mother and stepfather, she finds that it is not as easy as it was before to simply be one of the guys. For one thing, Maisie's body has changed. Now Chris and Kevin and Shakes look at her chest before they meet her eyes. Things start to settle down, but once school gets underway again, there seems to be another change in the friendship. Maisie and Shakes spend mornings on the bus alone because they live farther from the school than other riders. They slump toward one another and fall asleep. At first, it is simply two friends leaning together for support while they are sleeping. Somehow, subtly, there is a change. Maisie and Shakes begin to think of one another as more than friends. And then one morning on the bus, Maisie discovers that becoming more of a woman in appearance means unwarranted attention sometimes. Events spiral out of control. What is the truth of the situation? Everyone seems to have a different take on what happened on the bus that day.
As she has done in previous novels, Prose gives readers lots to consider here. No easy answers. No pat situation. No sharp lines between right and wrong, truth and untruth. I found myself sitting up past bedtime (even in Denver's tome zone) to finish the book in one sitting.