A Certain October

By . 3 CDs. 2:52 hrs. Prod. by Listening Library. Dist. by Listening Library/Books on Tape. 2013. ISBN 9780804123242. $30.
Gr 9 Up—Scotty's entire life changes in a single instant one October afternoon. When the train she, her autistic brother, and a boy from school are riding crashes, only one of them walks away relatively unharmed. Scotty has to heal not only from her own minor injuries, but also from the guilt that weighs her down. The accident left her brother, Keone, in a coma and killed Kris, who had stayed on the train past his stop to help her get Keone home. Though Scotty's friends and family stand by her, she can't forgive herself enough to move on. As she faces a future where her brother may not recover, Scotty seeks out small moments that might bring joy to her life. She decides that even if she can't be happy, she can help her friends find happiness and sets out to help Misha buy the perfect dress and a date for homecoming, and to reunite her friend Falcone with his ex-boyfriend. Along the way, Scotty starts to find some peace and realizes that the accident doesn't have to be the defining point of who she becomes in the future. Young actress Harlie Vaughn narrates Johnson's coming-of-age story (S & S, 2012), giving it an authentic teen voice and emotional depth. This captivating audiobook will elicit a strong response from even the most reluctant listeners. A solid choice for high school and public libraries where emotionally heavy, realistic tales are in demand. School libraries should be cautioned that there are some sexual references and teen drinking scenes.—Jessica Miller, West Springfield Public Library, MA

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