Undercover

by Beth Kephart

In a family graced by great beauty, Elisa sees herself as the odd one out. A teenager... read more

In a family graced by great beauty, Elisa sees herself as the odd one out. A teenager drawn to reading and writing poetry, she is the odd one out at school, too, or would be were it not for the quirky niche she has carved out, penning love notes for boys to give to the girls they like. Elisa has a keen, observant eye and extraordinary grace as a writer. She thought she was comfortable being invisible, an undercover observer of the world, but now she finds a bitterness to that reality. A boy for whom she has written love notes has become a friend, but he can’t seem to imagine her as anything more. Her father—always traveling—wants her to record what he is missing while he’s away, but all Elisa and her mother and sister really want is for him to come home. Elisa’s parents’ troubled marriage is an undercurrent in the first part of this lyrical, deeply felt novel, and becomes a raging torrent of emotion in the second. It is in acknowledging her pain and unahppiness that Elisa begins to assert her claim on the world, taking a step into the spotlight without apology for who she is, and with the love and support of those who see the beauty that shines from her. (Age 13 and older)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2008

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