How much do I love my ALAN friends David (aka Thunderchikn) and C. J? Enough to fit in a book so can participate in a new venture for ALAN (www.alan-ya.org), an online book chat. So, someone decided we would read SANDPIPER. I am ashamed to admit that I had not read the book yet, so I ordered it from an online bookstore (of course my local bookstore chain did not have it in stock) and read it this afternoon as I flew from Houston to Cincinnati (bad cold here). What took me so long to get to this amazing book? You would think that since I spent some time reading RAINBOW PARTY last year, I would have sought this book out. However, it was one of those never sent to me. Not that I do not buy books, I do (ask my accountant). but somehow it got past me.
Thanks, CJ and David for seeing that I read this incredible story of a girl (and it would tie in nicely to Sara Zarr's STORY OF A GIRL for that matter) named Sandpiper. Her mother is remarrying. Her father will even be in the wedding party. However, even though the parents remain friends with one another, Sandpiper sure could use a parent who could see her for who she is and the problem she is facing. You see, Sandpiper has a reputation with the guys. To be fair, she earned the reputation, but still, she is tired of Derek's new aggression and smarmy behavior toward her and her younger sister, Daisy. To escape from Derek one afternoon, Sandpiper gloms onto a kid known only as the Walker since every time you see him, he is on foot walking somewhere. Walker, as she calls him when he refuses to giveup his name, becomes something of a lifesaver for Sandpiper. She needs all the protection she can get as it turns out.
Wittlinger has provided readers much to consider in this novel without ever falling prey to being preachy about teens and sex. What a refreshing stance. I spent all day Saturday teaching my YA lit class and talking to wanna be librarians about allowing teens access to books that make them think about the consequences of their actions, that allow teens the chance to see their life in all of its sometimes grim reality reflected in books, that allow teens to enjoy quality literature that speaks to them at a visceral level.
Thanks, CJ and David, and especially Ellen Wittlinger for caring about teens.