The 14-year-old narrator of In Zanesville is a late bloomer; a sidekick, a marching band dropout, a disastrous babysitter, the kind of girl whose Eureka moment is the discovery that "fudge" can't be said with an English accent. Luckily, she has a best friend with whom she shares the everyday adventures of a 1970s American girlhood. In time, their friendship is tested - by their families' claims on them, by a clique of popular girls who stumble upon them, and by the first, startling, subversive intimations of womanhood.
With dry wit and piercing observation, Jo Ann Beard shows us that in the seemingly quiet streets of America's innumerable Zanesvilles is a world of wonders, and that within the souls of the overlooked often burns something radiant.
"Beard is a faultless chronicler of the young and hopeful; readers couldn't ask for a better guide for a trip through the wilds of adolescence." (Publishers Weekly)
"[M]oving.... Beard travels the well-worn road of budding young womanhood with a surprising freshness." (Booklist)
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Best book in a long time
- Lisa Eaton