Winner of the 2014 Gold Moonbeam Award!
Series: Gravel Road: Award-Winning Realistic Teen Fiction
Like watching a movie frame by frame, we watch Lexi come unglued in this novel in verse. She’s alienated from school and family. Her father is in the county jail. She cannot connect with her chain-smoking stepmom. Her brother, Blaine, is trapped in his own autistic world. And her infant sister’s death has sent her into a spiral of grief and rebellion. Bright, witty, and irreverent, Lexi tries to navigate the rocky transition from adolescent to young woman.
Just like prose, a novel in verse tells a story. But verse is unique because readers access the text through short “chapters,” or poems. The varying lengths of the chapters are ideal for a struggling reader, giving them breaks to collect their thoughts, to imagine the characters in their mind’s eye, and to set the scene—like a frame in a movie. The structure of poetry makes the books appear less intimidating, with plenty of airy white space. Moreover, the depth and substance conveyed in verse is every bit as deep and real as in a Gravel Road prose novel.
Grade Level: 9 to 12
Reading Level: 3.0
Lexile Level: 620L