Saturday, September 25, 2010

SUBWAY GIRL by P.J. Converse

SUBWAY GIRL by P.J. Converse

School is frustrating for Simon.  If all he had to do was learn math and science, it might be passable, but in order to graduate, Chinese-speaking Simon must pass the English exam.  So far his practice scores have been miserable causing him to slip farther and farther behind.  Despite encouragement from his long-time friend Katie, Simon decides he has suffered enough and ditches school to take a job working in a restaurant. 

Riding the subway to and from school and then back and forth to his job, Simon notices a pretty girl.  She seems to get lots of attention from all the boys and men riding the subway.  Simon isn't surprised when she shows up at a party he attends, but he is annoyed with how she is treated by the other guys at the party.  When the two meet, they share a mysterious connection and a true friendship quickly forms.

Amy is Chinese but was born and raised in the United States.  In Hong Kong with her mother and brother for the first time, she finds it difficult to communicate since her parents never pressed the issue of learning Chinese.  As her friendship with Simon grows, she finds herself sharing her problems with him, and at the same time, Simon discovers his English is improving as he shares his concerns with her. 

Will Amy be able to help Simon improve his English enough to pass his exam?  Can Simon be any help to Amy as she struggles with the knowledge that she is pregnant with her former boyfriend's child?

SUBWAY GIRL written by P.J. Converse, whose experience teaching English in Hong Kong, bridges the gap between two totally diverse cultures.  Readers will immediately become attached emotionally to Simon and Amy.  Lacking any understanding adult role-models, the two come together to create their own support system.  Converse communicates a true understanding of teen issues and the emotions they generate.

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