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Crooked by Laura McNeal
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Crooked

by Laura McNeal

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Showing 5 of 5
I liked it, but not as much as Crushed. The McNeals seem to have a formula: sweet-but-not-hip-main character, misunderstood boy, thugs, betrayal, missing parents. ( )
  periwinklejane | Mar 31, 2013 |
It continues to amaze me that books by these incredibly talented authors are so hard to find in bookstores and libraries. Crooked, an ALA Top Ten Best Book for Young Adults, captures with startling verisimilitude the voices of the young people who populate this story set in a small town in upstate New York.

Clara and Amos, the fourteen-year-old protagonists, are sweet and shy, full of hormones and angst, and achingly believable. Similarly, the cruel girls in their class are as convincingly frightening and dangerous with their verbal and psychological abuse as are the malicious town misfits, Charles and Eddie Tripp, with their physical abuse.

This story of two nice kids who are targeted basically for being two nice kids is told so well you can actually feel the fear and bewilderment of Clara and Amos, and you can’t help but hurt for them as school becomes a place to dread, rather than a place to learn. And as if this weren’t enough, both Clara and Amos suffer significant upheavals in their family lives. Apprehension over what will happen to them and how they will cope with it increases as the story progresses.

Discussion: Clara and Amos are confused; they’re not always “cool”; and they don’t always do the right thing. But they are both decent and good-hearted kids, and manage to make the best out of some pretty badly drawn cards. In different ways, they slowly transcend the hurts, and ascend the awkward coming-of-age ladder. By virtue of their grace and goodness, they discover inner strength, courage, the ability to forgive others and themselves, and a recognition that value is sometimes lying just beneath the surface.

Evaluation: Crooked brought me back to the awful cruelty of junior high with flashback-like realism. There are some very tense moments in the book, but there is also a pervasive sweetness, which thankfully remains the dominant emotional strain of this close-up look at life in a small-town junior high. Parents will find this book provides an excellent opportunity to discuss a variety of issues that unfortunately come into play at the junior high stage.

Spoilery Note (for Parents): There is a scene of almost-sexual-abuse, and while the fact that it didn’t get carried out was probably the least realistic part of the story, I was very happy and relieved nevertheless! ( )
  nbmars | Jan 15, 2013 |
Croocked was a wonderful book. Laura McNeal did an outstanding job on putting this book together. I could picture every part of the book in my mind.
I choose to read this book because it look good and someone recomended it to me and said it was fabulous.
I was very shocked with how Amos reacted to the tripp brothers when the wouldn't leave Clara alone i thought he really stood up for her.And also the time she found out he called her a dink and then went and sat at the table with Clara and called himself a dink.
This book met my exspectations. I loved it. I would recomend it to anyone who likes a good book. ( )
  kierstenisthebest | Oct 7, 2009 |
Crooked was a fabulous book. I love, love, loved it. Laura McNeal did a great job with organizing the characters and making feel like I was actually in the story watching every moment of what was going on between Clara and Amos. I chose to read this book because of the catchy front cover and interesting back cover. I was hooked on Crooked from the moment I started reading it.

Clara was not a very self-reliant person in the beginning. She wasn't very confident either. I was very sastisfied when she stood up for herself with Amos and I was shocked with how Amos reacted to her like with the secret locker notes during school.

This book definetly met my expectations. I enjoyed it so much. There was some drama and a bit of a love mystery, but I loved it. I would recommend this book to anyone. ( )
  meganisabeast | Sep 10, 2009 |
Crooked is a great teen story linking a girl, the boy she likes, and 2 juvenile delinquint boys together. Clara and Amos like each other but just don't know how to say it.....teen love is hard enough as it is without having two scary guys from your school harrassing you! The end was awesome, and I actually had to hold my breath for a while not knowing what was going to happen next! ( )
  DixieDarlin | Mar 31, 2009 |
Showing 5 of 5
Crooked was a fabulous book. I love, love, loved it. Laura McNeal did a great job with organizing the characters and making feel like I was actually in the story watching every moment of what was going on between Clara and Amos. I chose to read this book because of the catchy front cover and interesting back cover. I was hooked on Crooked from the moment I started reading it.

Clara was not a very self-reliant person in the beginning. She wasn't very confident either. I was very sastisfied when she stood up for herself with Amos and I was shocked with how Amos reacted to her like with the secret locker notes during school.

This book definetly met my expectations. I enjoyed it so much. There was some drama and a bit of a love mystery, but I loved it. I would recommend this book to anyone.
added by meganisabeast | editGeorgetown Jr./Sr. High School Library, Megan Hatfield (Oct 9, 2009)
 
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Before everything stopped being normal, the thing Clara Wilson worried most about was her nose.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375841911, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:02:15 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Two ninth graders, Clara and Amos, suddenly find their lives turned upside down by their families, by each other, and by the two meanest brothers in town.

» see all 2 descriptions

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