I picked up this novel straight out of the Junior Library Gild delivery box! The book jacket sounded so good. I will tell you that I have not read any of Gary D. Schmidt’s other works. For you Wednesday War fans, just be prepared for the beginning of this book… my friend threw it across the room!
After the loss of her best friend, Meryl Lee’s parents send her to an all girls’ boarding school. There she will be exposed to societal expectations all the while attempting to become accomplished and still holding on to her personal convictions.
Gary D. Schmidt beautifully weaves two storylines together. While Meryl Lee is figuring out life at an all girls’ prep school, Matt is figuring out how to survive on the move. Finding himself on the Maine coast, Matt is welcomed into Dr. Nora Macknockater’s home. As headmistress of St. Elene’s Preparatory Academy for Girls, she encourages Meryl Lee to stay true to who she is all the while attempting to learn just who Matt is. As the common thread between the two, Dr. Macknockater has a front row seat to see just how things really do change- just like that.
-Meryl Lee works through her grief at losing her best friend and finds ways to bring people together despite their differences.
-Matt discovers a true sense of family. The way his story starts out, it reminds me of the Boxcar Children.
-Matt is running from some seriously nasty men. They burn down buildings and hurt people in an attempt to get back what he stole (after they killed his best friend).
-There is a bit of kissing towards the end of the book. And at the end, Meryl Lee and Matt are left alone in a house while the adult supervision leaves on an extended trip.