By: Karen Romano Young
Length: 241 pages
Release date: Apr 19, 2011
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Chérie Witkowski is twelve, and she doesn't want to turn thirteen this year. This is the year, 1968, that everything -- absolutely everything-seems to be changing. At home her parents are expecting a new baby, her mother is fixing up the house so they can sell it and move who-knows-where, and everyone is starting to tease her about the boy next door. Meanwhile her newspaper route brings the changes of the outside world crashing in on her: the Vietnam War, the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Senator Robert F. Kennedy, and the disappearance of a girl from a few towns away -- a girl who more braids like Chérie, who was about the same age as Chérie, who could have been Chérie.
Suddenly Chérie is scared; nothing seems safe and simple anymore. She longs for easier fears-for playing hide-and-seek in the dark, skipping school, daredevil bike tricks..She builds her own inside world: an elaborate elf house under a bush, complete with staircases, elevators, and carefully designed furniture.
But you can't keep the outside world away forever, especially when you're delivering the daily paper. And maybe Chérie has the strength to deal with it after all, and even to change some of the bad to good...