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Girls Like Us
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Girls Like Us
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A 2015 Schneider Family Book Award WinnerWith gentle humor and unflinching realism, Gail Giles tells the gritty, ultimately hopeful story of two special ed teenagers entering the adult world. We...
A 2015 Schneider Family Book Award WinnerWith gentle humor and unflinching realism, Gail Giles tells the gritty, ultimately hopeful story of two special ed teenagers entering the adult world. We...
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  • A 2015 Schneider Family Book Award Winner

    With gentle humor and unflinching realism, Gail Giles tells the gritty, ultimately hopeful story of two special ed teenagers entering the adult world.

    We understand stuff. We just learn it slow. And most of what we understand is that people what ain't Speddies think we too stupid to get out our own way. And that makes me mad.

    Quincy and Biddy are both graduates of their high school's special ed program, but they couldn't be more different: suspicious Quincy faces the world with her fists up, while gentle Biddy is frightened to step outside her front door. When they're thrown together as roommates in their first "real world" apartment, it initially seems to be an uneasy fit. But as Biddy's past resurfaces and Quincy faces a harrowing experience that no one should have to go through alone, the two of them realize that they might have more in common than they thought — and more important, that they might be able to help each other move forward.

    Hard-hitting and compassionate, Girls Like Us is a story about growing up in a world that can be cruel, and finding the strength — and the support — to carry on.

 

Awards-

About the Author-

  • Gail Giles is the author of several books for young adults, including Shattering Glass, What Happened to Cass McBride?, and Right Behind You. She lives near Houston, Texas.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from March 10, 2014
    Following graduation from their high school’s special education track, two girls become wards of the state and are placed in an apartment where they live independently and cook and clean for their neighbor/employer, an older woman named Elizabeth. Sharp-tongued and aggressive, Quincy is defensive about her learning difficulties and the physical scars left by the source of her brain damage, “when my mama’s boyfriend hit my head with a brick.” Sensitive Biddy, who describes herself as having “moderate retardation,” overeats to mask past traumas, which include having given up her baby. Giles’s (Dark Song) background teaching special education students informs this blunt, honest, and absorbing story about two young women overcoming challenges that have less to do with their abilities to read or write than with how society views and treats them. In short, alternating chapters, the girls narrate in raw and distinct voices that capture their day-to-day hurdles, agony, and triumphs. The “found family” that builds slowly for Quincy, Biddy, and Elizabeth—with no shortage of misunderstandings, mistrust, or tears—is rewarding and powerful. Ages 14–up. Agent: Scott Treimel, Scott Treimel NY.

  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from June 1, 2014

    Gr 8 Up-Quincy and Biddie are "speddies" (special education students). They have just graduated high school and must live out in the world on their own. After being matched together by their teacher, they are given adult responsibilities: Quincy works at a supermarket while Biddie cooks and cleans for the older woman who is boarding them. The teens must learn how to fend for themselves in a world that is unfamiliar. They have both experienced physical, mental, and sexual violence, and must rely on each other to come out stronger than they were before. Girls Like Us is filled with genuine relationships that develop over time and feel authentic. There is humor and heart throughout, making the severity of the protagonists' situations more accessible to readers. A story line about Biddie's obsession with a family of ducks in their backyard is particularly poignant. The one- or two-page chapters alternate between Quincy and Biddie and are told in voices that are genuine to their experiences but never sensationalized. The frank discussions and depictions of the violence committed against them are shocking but never vulgar. Giles has constructed a unique, hard-hitting yet refreshing story with well-developed characters free from expected cliches or caricatures. A powerful novel that teens will enjoy wholeheartedly.-Christopher Lassen, Brooklyn Public Library

    Copyright 2014 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    April 15, 2014
    Two "Speddies"--special ed students--graduate high school and move in with a kind but sometimes misguided older woman. At first, prickly Quincy, who is mixed-race, and fearful but kind Biddy, who is white, seem to have little in common besides their special ed designation. After they finish high school, the two girls are placed in a living situation together. Biddy has a job cooking and cleaning for the elderly woman in whose home they are staying, and Quincy will work at a grocery store. The girls narrate alternate chapters, a page or two long each and related in readable but distinct dialect. The story is told with both gentleness and a humor that laughs with, not at, the two girls. (Quincy's recurring joke about Biddy catching "the duck rabies" from a family of ducks she's started feeding is particularly charming.) Sexual, institutional and family violence against both Quincy and Biddy are treated frankly, with realistic but not sensational detail. One plot point involving the daughter who was taken from Biddy years earlier feels contrived, but otherwise, the warmth, conflict and mutual caring that develop among Quincy, Biddy and elderly Miss Lizzy are authentic and genuinely moving. A respectful and winningly told story about people too often relegated to the role of plot device--bravo. (Fiction. 12-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2014) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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    Candlewick Press
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