Friday, March 18, 2016

Culbertson, Kim. The Possibility of Now.

Culbertson, Kim.  The Possibility of Now.  Scholastic Press  2016  300p  $17.99  ISBN 978-0-545-73146-1  ms/hs  Realistic fiction  E-BN    

Mara has a list-obsessed mother who makes it her job to keep her three children challenged and active, and to instill in Mara a drive to be valedictorian and all around super-achiever. When Mara has a panic attack during an AP calculus test and shreds her test as well as the tests of other students while ranting about how inconsequential a test really is, she becomes a YouTube sensation. Now, she can’t face her classmates and takes a medical break from her elite school. Her mother reluctantly lets Mara go to live in Squaw Valley with her “skier biological dad” whom she hasn’t seen in over ten years. During her three months in an environment radically different from her San Diego home, she confronts her obsessive nature and learns to take life a little slower as she gains objectivity about her life. Family history, the radically different lifestyle of her father’s home, and local teenage drama surround her journey to self-acceptance. This is a book about self-reflection that leads to a deep understanding of how Mara envisions the rest of her life. The novel features authentic characters and dialogue, all set in the breathtaking high mountain air. This will be a book many YA readers can relate to. They will find humor, competing philosophies of life, and most importantly a feeling of warmth about being able to define a lifestyle that fits Mara’s personal needs.                 

Excellent book about how to determine a path beyond high school that takes the reader on a journey of self-reflection through Mara’s eyes. Yet many a reader will stop to ask themselves the same questions that Mara asks herself.

Summary: When Mara becomes a YouTube sensation because of her meltdown in calculus class, she goes on a life-changing journey, meeting her estranged father, determining how she will live her future and learning who she really is. Excellent self-appraisal. Gr. 8-12.    

Stress, Setting Goals, Growing Up   McNicol(3),Lois

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