The Alison Rules by Catherine Clark
Current Mood: awake
Current Song: I Believe from Spring Awakening
When readergirlz asked me to select three titles "for the girl who has read every book in the library" (aka overlooked treasures) for my readergirlz bookmark, (1) I immediately knew I would include The Alison Rules by Catherine Clark. I read the book when it was first released in 2004 and have praised it ever since. I've spoken about it during booktalks in stores and schools and at conferences. I've included it in many booklists and blog posts. (See the end of this post for links.) This poignant story gets my highest recommendation.
After her mother passes away, Alison is reluctant to confide in anyone other than Laurie, her long-time best friend. She pulls away from pretty much everyone else and decides to quietly lives by the rules she's made for herself.
Enter Patrick Kirk, the new guy in school. The three students bond when they work together on the school newspaper. The outspoken Laurie starts calling her new buddy "Patrick Kirkpatrick" and jokes around with him very easily. Though Alison starts to like Patrick, she doesn't want to say or do anything because Laurie has a crush on him, and she puts Laurie's happiness before her own. Alison and Laurie's friendship isn't put into jeopardy by Patrick's arrival. If anything, his presence further defines Alison's character.
Meanwhile, Alison continues keeps her feelings to herself. She also keeps all of her stuff in her backpack rather than ever using her locker. Kuz why? (2) You'll have to read the book to find out.
Read it, then share it - but don't spoil it. Those are the rules. Truly, do not let anyone spoil the book's major events for you. Just get the book and read it, then come back to this post and discuss it with me.
One of My Favorite Passages
"You're begging her?" [Laurie] asked. "You'll have to work up to that. That's one of the Alison rules."
"Alison rules?" Patrick repeated.
"Yeah. Don't worry - you'll find out," Laurie said.
- Page 27
(1) Wondering which other titles I selected for my readergirlz bookmark? The Pursuit of Happiness by Tara Altebrando and Swollen by Melissa Lion. It was only after I confirmed my choices that I realized all three books dealt with loss, grief, and acceptance. (If you do get those three books - and I hope you do - make sure to also pick up The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen while you're at it.) Download the readergirlz bookmarks!
(2) Kuz Why? Ask Laurie. She'll tell you.
Related Posts and Links
Booklist: More to Life, or, Bigger Than a Breadbox
Booklist: Coming-of-Age Novels aka Bildungsromans
Booklist: Tough Issues for Teens
Author Spotlight: Catherine Clark
Book Review: Wish You Were Here by Catherine Clark
SparkLife: The Alison Rules by Catherine Clark
Tag: Wicked Cool Overlooked Books
January 2008 WCOB roundup at Chasing Ray