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From the Bookjacket: Ages 11-14 So much had changed in one year One year ago, I believed my mother knew everything and that I would never have cause to disobey her. I knew my father could heal anyone And I thought Uncle Paul had died in glory. Thirteen-year-old Annie waits at the train station for her father, a doctor. It is 1919, the Great War is over, and the wounded are returning to a small town near Kansas City from the battlefields of France. When her father decides to continue his work at the veterans' hospital, Annie finds she is drawn to the place for reasons she doesn't understand. There she meets Andrew, a horribly burned young veteran who is bitterly withdrawn from all around him. Acting against the express wishes of her strong-willed mother, Annie continues to visit the hospital, helping Andrew come out of his shell. Together they discover the devastating truth about Uncle Paul's death. Then Annie must confront her mother's anger and the ironies of heroism. AFTER THE DANCING DAYS is a timeless first novel about a young girl's first steps into the complex world of adulthood.
Soon moonlight washed over everything. The houses and rocks around us and the cliff above sprang into detail in the bone white light. I hugged my knees and watched, leaning against Max, and without making a big deal about it, he put his arm around me. Then he stood up and pulled me up, too, then climbed down from the rock, signaling for me to follow. Once on the ground, he put both arms around my waist and waited until I reached up to put my arms on his shoulders. Then we began to dance, there in the moonlight, there with each other. We didn't say another word, just danced, held hands, and finally, slowly, carefully, kissed . . . then kissed again. I felt shot with silver, from the moon, from the dance, from Max.