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"Extraordinarily artful." - Booklist The sixth-grade girls of Barlow and Bear Creek Ridge have been waiting to play in the annual softball game -- the Bat 6 -- for as long as they can remember. But something is different this year. There's a new girl on both teams, each with a secret in her past that puts them on a collision course set to explode on game day. No one knows how to stop it. All they can do is watch...
The Bat 6 is the big annual softball game. But this year, there's a new girl on both teams, each with a secret past which sets them on a collision course set to explode on game day. No one knows how to stop it. All they can do is watch...
LaVaughn needed a part-time job. Something she could do after school to help earn money for college. Jolly needed a babysitter. Someone she could trust with two kids while she worked the evening shift. It didn't matter that LaVaughn was fourteen-years-old-only three years younger than Jolly. It didn't matter that Jolly didn't have a husband-or a mom and dad. Because LaVaughn gives Jolly and her two babies more love and understanding than should be possible for a fourteen-year-old. Because if she doesn't, no one else will. LeVaughn describes the difficulties and triumphs of a teen mom raising two babies with insufficient money and support, and what it takes to survive and attempt to break the cycle of poverty.
Allegra Shapiro decides to enter a prestigious competition for young musicians, but ends up spending the summer doing more than practicing the violin. She comes to terms with difficult issues and learns important lessons about her family and herself.
Sixteen-year-old learning-disabled Nick struggles to endure a life in which the other kids make fun of him, he has to take special classes, his date for the prom makes an excuse not to go with him, and he is haunted by the memory of his older sister, who drowned while he was watching.
High-school-senior LaVaughn's perceptions and expectations of her life begin to change as she learns about the many unexpected connections between the people she loves best.
Living in the inner city amidst guns and poverty, fifteen-year-old LaVaughn learns from old and new friends, and inspiring mentors, that life is what you make it - an occasion to rise to.