Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Touch by Francine Prose

Maisie has told the story about what happened in the back of the bus so many times, she's not even sure what the truth is anymore. She knows that there is going to be a hearing, and she knows that she will have to accuse her former best friends, now known as "the defendants."

All that's clear is that Maisie is now alone, friendless. She hates her step-mother, her real mother had abandoned her and remarried a hostile jerk, and she seems to be living at the therapist's office.

A sad, affecting tale about the awkward passage from childhood to pubescence -- about what happens when budding sexuality complicates everything.

I've read Francine Prose's adult novels about similar topics (she seems particularly interested in the morally murky waters of sexual harassment and molestation). My friend, who writes about YA novels brought this one over to my house and the jacket flap drew me in.

Bibliotherapeutic value: A book about how "the truth" can be slippery when put under a microscope by peers, parents and other authority figures. An interesting look at victimization.

Prose, Francine. Touch. New York: HarperTeen, 2009.

ISBN: 0061375179. $16.99.

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