Tuesday, June 19, 2018

DEAR RACHEL MADDOW by Adrienne Kisner

Dear Rachel Maddow
Things haven't been going well for Brynn Harper. Her brother died of an overdose and her mother remarried to a real jerk. Brynn was an honor student with her sights set on college, but her grades have recently plummeted sending her to one of the remedial classrooms in the school's basement.

Her teacher knows she has potential and so do the two honor student tutors who volunteer their time helping the students in Brynn's classroom. One of the tutors, a new student, has the potential of being more than just a friend for Brynn.

A longtime fan of Rachel Maddow, Brynn writes an email to the MSNBC news star. It is supposed to simply check off a writing assignment for Mr. Grimm, but when Brynn actually receives an answer, she continues writing and storing each email in her drafts folder.

When an opportunity to become involved in student government catches Brynn's interest, she begins to question What Would Rachel Do? The emails become a place for Brynn to seek advice, express ideas, and unload about the abusive treatment she is experiencing at home. Even when things don't go the way she hopes, Brynn's imaginary communication with her hero fills a void and allows her to focus enough to begin raising her grades.

Debut author Adrienne Kisner has created a unique style that should appeal to YA readers. The email format and the contemporary comments about current politics offer great discussion starters.

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