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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

It's not the end of the world, but for Rooney Harris it's starting to feel that way. It's the beginning of senior year, and her mom just lost her job. Even worse, she isn't planning to get another one. Instead, she's spending every waking moment with a group called the Next World Society, whose members are convinced they'll be leaving Earth behind on November 17. It sounds crazy to Rooney, but to her mother and younger brother it sounds like salvation. As her mom's obsession threatens to tear their lives apart, Rooney is scrambling to hold it all together. But will saving her family mean sacrificing her dreams -- or theirs?…

Come November

by Katrin van Dam

Overall Book Review:

The story begins the summer before the main character, Rooney’s, senior year of high school. She should be enjoying her last little bit of life before becoming an adult and beginning college, unfortunately, it’s not meant to be. Her childhood ended long ago when she had to become the responsible one. One positive result of having to step in as the parent is that she and her little brother, Daniel, have a better relationship than most teenagers have with their younger siblings. However, she fits the bill of a typical teenager who has a rough time getting along with her mother. It’s difficult to find fault in that given the situation though. Despite it all, Daniel and Rooney are kind, strong individuals who just have to deal with some heavy stuff. Luckily, they have each other. Until that bond becomes strained too.

Katrin van Dam is a talented writer with the ability to engross you in Come November. She draws a difficult picture in Rooney and Daniel’s situation and you become a part of their world. Rooney seems to have complicated relationships everywhere she turns: with her mom, dad, best friend, even her teacher. You’ll love the way van Dam builds the characters and their interactions with each other. Along with interesting characters, there are a few points of suspense and some surprises that will pique your interest. Expect some deep subjects to be addressed along the way. Even with the heavier stuff that is brought up, van Dam manages to prevent it from feeling like you’re trudging through it. Appealing to both teens and adults, especially those who are environmentally conscious, Come November is a fantastic story that you’ll love from beginning to end. 

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Scholastic

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  14 religious exclamations; 12 mild obscenities; 5 scatological words; 2 anatomical terms.

Violence/Gore:  Few (9) brief incidents including character has a few urges to hurt another (but doesn’t); references to people dying; book that mentions cannibals; character has heart attack and dies; references to earth dying.

Sex/Nudity:  Several (14) brief incidents all involving teenagers including reference to talking about cute boys; arm around; holding hands; kissing; hugging; dancing; reference to girl’s breasts; female character touches male’s chest over shirt; teenagers making out; character sees girls in G-strings.

Mature Subject Matter:

Divorce; underage drinking.

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Teens planning to drink; teens drinking at party; reference to teens smoking; reference to an adult being a junkie.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

I love being able to help busy parents who just don’t have the time to pre-screen all their children’s books and know how much I appreciate it as my sons have gotten older. I feel very blessed that my amazing husband makes it possible for me to be a stay-at-home mother to four amazing boys. When not reading or enjoying time with my family, I like baking, especially trying new recipes, and the occasional sewing project.