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A Short History of the Girl Next Door
Contributor(s): Reck, Jared
ISBN: 1524716073     ISBN-13: 9781524716073
Publisher: Alfred a Knopf Inc
    OUR PRICE: $16.19  
Product Type: Hardcover
Published: September 2017
Annotation: Secretly falling in love with his longtime best friend, Matt struggles with a series of mishaps and debates with his English teacher while watching the girl he adores date a popular school athlete, until a tragic accident places everything he cares about at risk. Simultaneous eBook.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Best friends; Fiction.
Friendship; FIction.
Dating (Social customs); Fiction.
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: 2016038358
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 7-9, Age 12-14
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 8.50" H x 6.00" W x 1.25" (0.85 lbs) 266 pages
Accelerated Reader Info
Quiz #: 193116
Reading Level: 5.8   Interest Level: Upper Grades   Point Value: 11.0
Scholastic Reading Counts Info
Quiz #: Q72120
Reading Level: 6.2   Interest Level: Grades 9-12   Point Value: 17.0
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Contributor Bio(s): Jared Reck is a debut author. He received a BA in English from Clemson University, a Master’s in Educational Leadership, and recently completed graduate coursework in McDaniel College’s Writing for Children & Young Adults program. He lives in Hanover, Pennsylvania, where he’s an eighth-grade Language Arts teacher. Learn more about Jared on Twitter at @ReckJ.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2017 July #1)

Reck debuts with a moving story about a sensitive and talented basketball player. High school freshman Matt Wainwright has been in love with his neighbor and longtime friend Tabby for years, but he can't work up the guts to tell her, especially now that she has caught the eye of the most popular senior on his basketball team. Through Matt's funny and reflective narration, the story builds to become a powerful novel about first love, the intimacy of childhood friendships, and moving forward from loss, after unexpected tragedy strikes. In the same way that Matt tamps down his feelings for Tabby, Reck writes subtly about Matt's surging emotions, keeping them just below the surface but strongly felt (during a car ride together, "We don't talk. A few times I see her typing in her phone, and I wonder how she can share two different experiences at the same time with such ease"). Reck's novel is sure to provoke reflection about finding meaning amid life's unforeseeable tragedies. Ages 12–up. Agent: Laura Crocket, Triada U.S. Literary. (Sept.)

Copyright 2017 Publisher Weekly.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2017 July)

Gr 9 Up—Awkward high school freshman Matt Wainwright has two goals in life. He wants to join the varsity basketball team as a sophomore (he's already on JV) and get the girl: his longtime next-door neighbor and best friend Tabby. Unfortunately, Matt's life refuses to follow the script, with his inner monologue personified as an incompetent movie director who causes him to choke under pressure. This results in error after error during Matt's JV games and prevents him from telling Tabby how he really feels. It's not just here that his life-as-a-movie veers away from a picture-perfect script: a school tragedy leaves Matt reeling as he risks losing everything important to him. While this title doesn't pack the same emotional punch as a John Green novel, or contain Green's artistic turn of phrase, it is heartrending in its emotional authenticity, and its portrayal of loss and heartbreak in the second half is particularly poignant. In exploring Matt's grief-induced selfishness, self-pity, and occasional outright cruelty, Reck takes the story to sarcastic and bitingly dark places without plunging into the abyss. Matt's warm relationship with his grandfather and the surprisingly in-depth descriptions of basketball further enhance the book. Although the ending hits an anticlimactic note, it offers readers reason to believe that Matt will rebound. VERDICT The informal writing style, short chapters, and connections to basketball will help this tragi-romance find appeal with reluctant readers. A strong purchase for YA collections.—Alea Perez, Westmont Public Library, IL

Copyright 2017 School Library Journal.