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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

Debbie is wishing something would happen. Something good. To her. Soon. In the meantime, Debbie loses a necklace and finds a necklace (and boy does the necklace have a story to tell), she goes jeans shopping with her mother (an accomplishment in diplomacy), she learns to drive shift in a truck (illegally), she saves a life (directly connected to being able to drive, thus proving something), she takes a bus ride to another town (in order to understand what it feels like to be from "elsewhere"), she meets a boy (who truly is from "elsewhere"), but mostly she hangs out with her friends: Patty, Hector, Lenny, and Phil. Their paths cross. Their stories crisscross. And in Lynne Rae Perkins's remarkable book, a girl and her wish grow up. Illustrated throughout with black–and–white pictures, comics, and photographs by the author.…

Criss Cross

by Lynn Rae Perkins

Overall Book Review:

Criss Cross tells the story of a group of young teenagers, each of them trying to discover their own voice. The story unfolds slowly, comprised of little things—a guitar lesson, a bus ride, a firefly-dotted midsummer night—all told in dreamy, sometimes funny, sometimes poetic language. Perkins does a terrific job of capturing the emotions of the early teenage years—awkwardness, confusion, anticipation, and the hope that something exciting is just around the corner. I found myself remembering what it was like to be fourteen, and enjoyed losing myself for awhile in the minds of the characters. Although this isn’t a book where much “happens,” it’s definitely recommended for teens and adults who enjoy thoughtful, lyrical writing.

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language: 2 religious exclamations; 2 mild profanities; 1 scatalogical term; 1 anatomical term.



Sex/Nudity: Characters flirt. Teenagers have crushes on other teens.

Mature Subject Matter:

Growing up.

Alcohol / Drug Use:

A mention is made of empty alcohol bottles and used cigarettes. A reference is made to “controlled substances.” A girl thinks in passing about the fact that her father smokes. A teenager uses chewing tobacoo.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

As a kid, I used to tell people that I wanted to be a “professional book reviewer” when I grew up (along with writer/ballerina/figure skater/mom). I thought that any profession that involved the full-time reading of books was my idea of heaven. Getting the chance to review books is a little dream come true!