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Crooked [Kindle Edition]

Laura Mcneal , Tom Mcneal
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $9.99
Kindle Price: $7.14
You Save: $2.85 (29%)
Sold by: Random House LLC


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Kindle Edition $7.14  
Library Binding $15.99  
Paperback $7.52  
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Book Description

Clara Wilson has a lot on her mind. Her best friend, Gerri, has started moving in circles that will never in a million years include Clara and her crooked nose. Clara's parents are fighting again, and her mom keeps talking about teaching in France. At least Clara still has Hambone, her loyal dog. And her crush on Amos McKenzie, of course.

Amos McKenzie doesn't much like home these days. His dad's corny questions are bugging him more than usual, and his mom's gone religious for no apparent reason. On top of that, he's starting to fall for a major dink, Clara Wilson. And as it turns out, he's not the only one...

The Tripp Brothers are the biggest delinquents in town. They smash mailboxes, shoplift groceries, and cruise around in their Seduck (half sedan, half truck). They've just turned their sights on the school's newest, cutest couple. And that can only mean one thing for Clara and Amos: danger.

Clara and Amos--their lives turned upside down by each other, their families, and the two meanest brothers in town--discover that honesty may be the answer...but it can be awfully hard to find. In this emotionally compelling and suspenseful young adult novel, Laura and Tom McNeal present a searingly accurate look at life in ninth grade--where thrills, heartbreak, and intimidation can take place at a locker, in the lunchroom, or in a bathroom stall.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Alternating the perspective of Clara and Amos, ninth-graders coming of age, Tom McNeal (author of the adult novel, Goodnight, Nebraska) and wife, Laura McNeal, convincingly capture the dynamics of adolescent relationships but muddy the novel with a problematic subplot. Clara Wilson's biggest worry is her crooked nose--until her best friend ditches her, and her parents suddenly separate. Amos MacKenzie's father is dying, his mother is obsessed with religion and his buddy Bruce stalks an intangible girl. Clara and Amos both become targets of town thugs Charles and Eddie Tripp. Readers may question the validity of a few key scenes involving these shady characters: for instance, when Amos attempts to save some snow sculptures from the Tripps' wrath, the brothers beat him unconscious with a baseball bat and Amos is consequently elevated to hero status at school; Clara, an otherwise clear-thinking teen, voluntarily takes a ride with Eddie Tripp when he shows up at her house uninvited--even though she has seen him stealing and knows of his involvement with Amos's injury. Without much buildup to a motivation for such actions by the protagonists, scenes such as these undermine the teens' solid characterizations elsewhere. The book's strength lies in the interactions between Clara and Amos and their relationships with their respective families. Ages 12-up. (Dec.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Grade 6-10-In this fine first novel set in upstate New York, two ordinary teens navigate the complicated, sometimes scary world they inhabit. Clara Wilson, 14, has a crooked nose, a best friend who deserts her, and parents who argue all the time. When her mother accepts a teaching job in Spain, Clara feels abandoned and resentful. Fellow ninth-grader Amos MacKenzie has parents who embarrass him, and keep secrets from him. He enjoys a newfound popularity after being attacked by the town bad boys, Charles and Eddie Tripp, but is lost and confused when his father unexpectedly dies following exploratory surgery. His budding relationship with Clara is his only consolation. When the Tripp brothers vow revenge on Amos for reporting them to the police, he and Clara face intimidation, which draws them even closer together. In a dramatic climax, the Tripps break into her house and corner her in the attic. The McNeals' recognition of the angst of junior high with its fickle friendships, bullies, and first love make their novel one that mirrors real life. The characters' actions and reactions ring true as they try to cope with all of the changes that life has dealt them and still maintain a grasp on who they are. For most of the novel, the story is told from the alternating viewpoints of the two main characters, but in the climactic final chapters, their voices become blended. Readers will come away knowing that even though their paths have taken some unexpected twists and turns, these young people are on a straight and sure course.
Janet Hilbun, formerly at Sam Houston Middle School, Garland, TX
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 948 KB
  • Print Length: 354 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0375841911
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers; Reissue edition (December 18, 2007)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #439,101 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Super Book April 18, 2001
By Dagny
Clara is a 14 year old girl living in the 90's confused by just about every thing the world has to offer. Her family lives in a small town in upstate New York. Clara hits high school and everything goes wrong in her life. She is extremely self conscious about her nose and wants a nose job desperately because it is crooked. Her mom leaves the family for a while to get away from issues, but ends up taking a teaching job in Spain. Meanwhile Clara's `best friend' makes friends with the `popular' group at school and starts ignoring Clara. Then one of her peers father dies and they bond almost instantaneously. The two are pretty much just close friends until one of the two troublemaking brothers takes a liking to Clara and fixes to end Clara and Amos's communication. Clara and Amos won't allow it and the police eventually get involved, leading to an edge of seat ending.
I would recommend this book to readers of age 14-16. It has a slight mature content, but nothing bad, just mature ideas in a 13 year old's world.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing Read.. September 17, 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Clara is a 14 year old girl in the modern world. She's also obsessed with her slightly crooked nose. On top of that, her parents are fighting and about to split up. Her best friend ditches her for the more "popular" crowd. Not to mention, she has a crush on Amos, who she thinks doesn't know she exists.

But, he does. Amos MacKenzie falls madly for this unpopular dork, Clara Wilson. After his mother becomes extremely religious at the drop of a hat, Amos starts being suspicious. After a run-in with the Tripp brothers, Amos becomes the school's new hero. Just coping with this new found popularity, out of the blue, his father dies in a surgery gone wrong. This situation actually brings Clara and Amos closer together. Until the Clara catches Eddie Tripp's eye and the couple becomes a new target for the infamous Tripp brothers.

Personally, I loved this book. I just couldn't put it down. Amos becomes such a lovable character, and in to the book you even learn to like Eddie. Of course, any girl could relate with sweet Clara at times, as well. It's excellent how the book switches from Amos's and Clara's points of views. It adds a little twist to the book. Overall, I think "Crooked" is an excellent read for teens.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Memorable Adolescent Fare March 27, 2000
As a teacher at the middle school level, I can well understand the insecurities and emotional changes inherent in adolescents. While I was reading Crooked, I was struck by the absolute reality of the intense feelings that Clara and Amos had about absolutely everything. This, added to the parallel happenings both in their home lives (his father's death and her mother's disappearance) and in their outside worlds, (his being stalked and her misplaced attraction to the stalker) kept me turning the pages. I have wholeheartedly recommended Crooked to the school librarian and to students of both my drama and English classes. I have also recommended Crooked to friends who would like to better interpret and appreciate the ups and downs of the young adult. We anxiously await the next McNeal book!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Crooked January 10, 2005
By CoCo
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The setting of this book takes place in Upper State New York where we find the alternating narrators of our book. Clara and Amos, both going though there 9th grade year, have many ups and downs some same and others different. They both face problems with their families as Clara's mom leaves her father and her for a teaching job in Spain. Where as Amos is suffering from the sudden death of his father due to a common surgery. Amos is faced with sudden popularity after being beat with a baseball bat by the town bullies Charles and Eddie Tripp, unlike Clara who is feeling more and more alone as she is ditched by her best friend early in the book. As Clara and Amos because better friends their problem with the Tripp brothers increase until they are faced with them and their independent problems with each at the climax of the book. This book shows the more unusual problems of these preteens but also a lot of universal themes on growing up like social status and self-confidence issues. This is a great book for both young adults who can relate and also adults who would want to look at the life of preteens again.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mallory McDonald June 13, 2006
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Good books, in my opinion are usually exciting, suspenseful, humorous, etc. This book has all of those traits, and more. It is about a girl named Clara Wilson, who is 14 years old and lives with her mom and dad. Her parents are always arguing, and Clara fears that they are on the verge of divorce. To make matters worse, her best friend Gerri is starting to hang out with Sands Mandeville, and the rest of the popular girls at their school. Meanwhile, Clara has discovered her crush on Amos Mackenzie, another student attending Melville Junior High, and doesn't know what to do about it. Unfortunately, these were not the worst that things would get, because that's when Eddie and Charles Tripp came into the picture. Their idea of fun is by frightening people, and their newest plans involve Amos and Clara.

There are so many good things to say about this book, that I don't even know where to begin. First of all, I liked the authors' style of writing because it was unique, and really made the book more interesting. My favorite part of the book was near the end, because that's where everything began to fall into place, and it made me want to keep reading until I finished it. After reading this book I learned that trust is a big part of friendship, and that what's appealing for you might not always be fun for someone else. I really enjoyed reading this book, and I hope that you will read it too because I can almost guarantee that you will feel the same way as I do.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A story that sticks with you
I read this book over 7 years ago and yet the story has stuck with me. Even when you forget the title or the author, you'll never forget the story of these two teenagers. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Happy Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Now that I read it again
I have always searched for this book ever since I read it back in middle school, but now that I got back to it I understand it so much better than when I had before cause I really... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Sunanna39
5.0 out of 5 stars great book!
Love this book. Fun and a great story. Love this author, stories are relatable and full of suspense. Would definately reccomend!
Published 16 months ago by eugene
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this back in High School
I read this book way back in high school and I've still thought about how good this book was eight years on. I would really recommend it.
Published 23 months ago by Bookworm89
5.0 out of 5 stars My review of Crooked
I love this book! I read it in seventh grade, I'm in ninth grade now, but I still read it at least twice or three times a year. I give it 5-stars. I love Clara. Read more
Published on October 19, 2011 by Brandy's daughter
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't be fooled
The reviews for this book are fantastic and the back of the book makes you want to dive into the book head first. Read more
Published on May 17, 2008 by Bianca
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't judge a book by its cover...
...which I did, and imprudently based my initial thoughts upon it, instead of the back or jacket cover or anything of logic. Read more
Published on December 29, 2006 by Pontoffel Pock
5.0 out of 5 stars Crookedly Amusing with Straight Up Suspense
I thought this book was remarkably well written. It's told through two different people, Amos and Clara. Read more
Published on January 6, 2006 by Matilda
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read
My daughter gave me this book to read and I enjoyed it very much. I would recommend it to anyone that enjoys YA books.
Published on July 20, 2005 by S. Pitts
5.0 out of 5 stars A suspensful, funny, mature, novel of love, loss & heroism,
CROOKED is the story that revolves around two plot lines and four main chracters: Clara, Amos, and Eddie & Charles Tripp, and one terrifyingly real climax. Read more
Published on September 28, 2004
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