My reviewrating: 4 of 5 stars
I'm usually not one to be pro-constructivist education (I'm firmly in the "you need a good solid background before you Follow Your Bliss" camp) but this book captures what's right about homeschooling.
Katya's back from summer camp, feeling very much as though she's changed from the Kaity who'd gotten into trouble the year before, the Kaity who'd not cared about school, and the Kaity who'd gone out with Tyler. After walking out before the first day of school even starts, she engages in a campaign to get her parents to allow her to home- (or un-) school. The rush of passion she feels for all things science-related is very much how I experience 8th graders: the desire might be there, but the focus and discipline aren't.
Things get off to a rocky start, resolve, get rocky again, and ultimately work out... but here again the conflict feels real. Also real to me was Francesca's trying to change, but feeling locked into her "perky/candy-colored" role. What didn't feel so real was the Milo/Preston relationship (and believe me, I know about prodigal violinists and their parents!). Still, a minor quibble in an otherwise well-written book.
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