New from the author of The Beetle and Me comes this fascinating portrait of coming of age in the Sixties. Young introduces an unforgettably spirited heroine–almost-13-year-old Cherie Witkowski–and her equally memorable family.
I really liked ‘Outside In’ by Karen Romano Young. I wasn’t so sure about that in the beginning as it took a bit to get into the main character’s head. But once I found ‘that space’ it was an amazing read from there. Set in the 60’s, ‘Outside In’ shows the world through the eyes of almost 13 year old Cherie Witkowski. Cherie learns more about the world, good and bad, than she ever intended when she takes over a friend’s paper route. Vietnam, Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, Robert Kennedy’s assassination, the disappearance of a 13 year old girl from a local community, Apollo 10. As she tries to figure out how the news affects her world she is also facing changes at home and in her community. Losing her best friend, Dave, to the other boys and gaining a new baby in her own home. I think Young did an amazing job of taking ‘preteen angst’ to a different level than most young adult fiction I’ve read. Set during a rich time of historical significance that changed so much about the way American’s saw themselves and the world, Cherie also faces her own changes from child to teenager. Everything she encountered in her home, her neighborhood, and the headlines she delivered changed her perspective of how she saw herself and those around her. I truly enjoyed the depth of this story that I believe any adult reader can take something away from it. It’s refreshing to see a young adult novel that does not pander to the younger reader but instead brings the reader to a new appreciation of society (and themselves) in terms anyone can understand.
About Karen Romano Young
Karen Romano Young is a science expert and speaks to schools all over the country. She has written numerous books for children, including the National Geographic Kids Science Fair Winners series and Try This!: 50 Fun Experiments for the Mad Scientist in You. Before beginning to write her own science books she worked at Scholastic News, the classroom magazine. Karen has also written about science for magazines and books like Cricket, National Geographic World, and the Guinness Book of World Records.
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