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THE LIST

Page history last edited by RichiesPicks 8 years, 2 months ago

21 March 2012 THE LIST by Siobhan Vivian, Scholastic/PUSH, April 2012, 336p., 978-0-545-16917-2

 

“She’s suddenly beautiful

We all want something beautiful

Man I wish I was beautiful”

-- Duritz/Bryson, “Mr. Jones”

 

THE LIST

 

FRESHMEN

Ugliest:

DANIELLE DEMARCO --

Also known as Dan the Man.

Prettiest:

ABBY WARNER –

Bonus points awarded for overcoming family genetics!

SOPHOMORES:

Ugliest:

CANDACE KINCAID –

Beauty isn’t just skin-deep, btw.

Prettiest:

LAUREN FINN –

Everyone’s hot for the new girl.

JUNIORS:

Ugliest:

SARAH SINGER –

It’s like she’s trying to be as ugly as possible.

Prettiest:

BRIDGET HONEYCUTT –

What a difference a summer can make.

SENIORS:

Ugliest:

JENNIFER BRIGGS –

(Drumroll, please.)

The only four-peat in Mount Washington history!

Congrats, Jennifer!

Prettiest:

Margo Gable –

All hail this year’s homecoming queen!”

 

The hundreds of copies of The List that are found posted all around Mount Washington High School, when students arrive on the late-September Monday morning preceding Homecoming weekend, each bear the embossed design from the stamp that was once used for certifying graduation diplomas before it was stolen – decades ago – from the then-principal’s desk drawer.  Distribution of the (certified) List is a tradition at Mount Washington, changing the lives of the eight girls who are cited in the latest year’s edition.

 

“Principal Colby shakes her head.  ‘I meant exactly what I said, Candace.  Something terrible happened to all of you girls.  Someone took it upon himself or herself to single you out, give you a label, and present you as nothing more than the most superficial, subjective version of yourselves.  And there are emotional consequences to that, regardless of which side of the coin you are on.’”

 

It is true, that this year there is a new, young, female principal who is shocked by The List, rightly viewing the tradition as hazing, and being determined to get to the bottom of who is responsible.  But beyond bringing the eight girls in for an afterschool meeting on the day The List is posted, we don’t really hear much more from the administration as this week leading up to the Homecoming Dance plays out with just the emotional consequences for the list-ees that Principal Colby bemoans in that Monday meeting. 

 

THE LIST follows each of these eight girls from that Monday morning through to the Homecoming Dance on Saturday night.  Through our shadowing each of them, we get to know them intimately and we get an eyeful of how females in our twenty-first century world can be deeply affected (and even come unglued) through being objectified.

 

“She is nearly at the door when Candace calls after her, ‘You know that the only reason people are suddenly being nice to you is because of the list, right?’

“This time, it’s Lauren who doesn’t answer.  Because she does know that.  And because she doesn’t care.  The point is that they are being nice to her.  And she plans to enjoy every minute.” 

 

THE LIST is quick-paced, surprising, and rich in social commentary.  It is going to make one hell of a discussion group selection.  Its combination of accessibility and depth should make it a lock for gaining Patrick Jones’s “Serving Both Masters” distinction – one of the rare books that is selected by the respective ALA committees for inclusion on both the Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers list and the Best Fiction for Young Adults list.

 

Bullying and labeling in school forever affects lives, making THE LIST a potential game-changer of a read. 

 

Richie Partington, MLIS
Richie's Picks
http://richiespicks.com
BudNotBuddy@aol.com
Moderator
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/middle_school_lit/

http://slisweb.sjsu.edu/people/faculty/partingtonr/partingtonr.php

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