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  • The Implosion of Aggie Winchester
  • Karen Coats
Zielin, Lara. The Implosion of Aggie Winchester. Putnam, 2011. 278p. ISBN 978-0-399-25411-6 $16.99 R Gr. 7–10.

A devastating run-in with the mean, popular girls in ninth grade sparks a fashion and attitude change in Aggie, the principal’s daughter, who goes Goth and starts hanging out with angry, outspoken Sylvia. When Sylvia gets pregnant, she’s determined to convince everyone that she’s just as good as the town elite, a move that Aggie knows is doomed. Aggie’s reality checks are not appreciated, however, and when Sylvia gets nominated for prom queen, she ditches Aggie so that Aggie won’t know about her plan to stuff the ballot box so that she can share the stage with her Prom King baby-daddy. Scandal rocks the school, implicating Aggie’s principal mother and leading to her resignation, and all of Aggie’s attempts to help turn into cringeworthy disasters. As the huge chunks of reputation debris fall all around her and her mom, they finally begin to understand each other as mother and daughter rather than as professional educator and teenage demographic, a shift that is as seismic as it is welcome for Aggie. The level of drama here warrants the in-text references to Jerry Springer and his ilk, as people commit big mistakes and then make even bigger ones as they try to do damage control, making this compulsively readable. The resolution is a tad hokey but ultimately welcome as it emphasizes that the most important relationship a girl has in high school is with her mom, no matter what the romance novels say. [End Page 122]



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