Author: Jenny Hubbard
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: June 14, 2011
Reading copy via local library
If you're in the mood for a thoughtful, lovely little novel, then pick up a copy of Jenny Hubbard's Paper Covers Rock.
Alex is a 16 year old student at a boarding school circa 1982. After his best friend Thomas dies in an accident, there are secrets to be kept and lies to be told. There is also English teacher Miss Dovecott, who tries to help Alex with his grief by encouraging him to write poetry. The fact that Alex falls in love with Miss Dovecott just complicates things more.
The novel is written as Alex's journal, an almost stream of consciousness confession of Alex's fears and dreams. There are many literary allusions, primarily Melville's Moby Dick, but Alex's self-mocking at his own pretentiousness makes them accessible to readers not familiar with these works.
The pretty boy cover would appeal to girls, but I think that it requires some hand-selling and good booktalks to convince boys that they'll enjoy this novel.
I would recommend this book to readers who enjoyed Tangerine by Edward Bloor or I Am the Cheese by Robert Cormier.