From School Library Journal
Grade 7-9–Two girls thrown together by chance forge an exceptionally close friendship, and one has the courage to admit that for her it is more than platonic. Phoebe has grown up on a farm in Maine. During the summer before eighth grade, Melita, slightly older and worlds more sophisticated, comes to stay. Melita, child of a single, psychologically troubled mother, and Phoebe, child of a widower, are both lonely, although they express it differently. Glamorous Melita entrances shy, literary Phoebe, who likes being behind a camera. Together, they feed one another's imaginations and plan a feminist fashion show. After Melita returns to New York, Phoebe visits her. When she sees that her friend has a crush on a boy, she is forced to come to terms with her own feelings. Her range of emotions and the degree to which they drive her behavior are the most successful elements of the book. While the adolescent dialogue doesn't always ring true and the ending is a bit rushed, the confusion, self-doubt, and self-discovery that Phoebe experiences will be familiar to readers. The lesbian issue is unresolved and relatively low-key, allowing it to be as important or unimportant as readers make it. A shy, unpolished girl in the throes of growing up having something to offer to a fashion maven will be a welcome idea to the many girls for whom glamour and popularity seem as distant as the moon.–Faith Brautigam, Gail Borden Public Library, Elgin, IL
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Gr. 7-10. Phoebe lives in Maine with her brother and her father and only hints of her mom, who died when Phoebe was 2. At 13, Phoebe is interested in photography and caring for her goats and sheep and chickens but not much else. When Melita, a cosmopolitan teen who is the child of Phoebe's mother's best friend, comes to stay for the summer, Phoebe is overwhelmed by the girl's sophistication and charm--and by the conflicting feelings she inspires. The girls share a kiss, which awakens many questions in Phoebe but seems less tumultuous for Melita. After Melita returns to New York, Phoebe goes to spend a week with her. The view of the city is a bit off and unreal, and Phoebe sounds too self-aware for a seventh-grader, but readers who need something a bit younger and less intense than Julie Peters' Keeping You a Secret
(2003), about a burgeoning lesbian relationship, will find this an absorbing, quirky read. GraceAnne DeCandidoCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved