Thirteen-year-old Laura Dyson wants two things in life: to be accepted by her classmates and to be noticed by ultra-cute baseball star Troy Bailey. But everyone at school—especially the popular Pink Chips—makes fun of her for being overweight, and Troy won't give her a second glance. Until their history teacher puts Laura front and center by announcing a field trip to the old rundown slave shack on her grandmother's property. Heck to the power of no way!
Her grandmother insists that it's more than just a shack; it's a monument to the strong women in their family—the Laura Line. Something to be proud of. But Laura knows better: If her classmates can't accept her for who she is now, they never will once they see the shack. So she comes up with the perfect plan to get the field trip canceled. But when a careless mistake puts the shack—and the Laura Line—in jeopardy, Laura must decide what's truly important to her. Can Laura figure out how to get what she wants at school, while also honoring her family's past?
From author Crystal Allen comes a touching and funny story of one girl's path to figuring out where she came from, and the unlimited possibilities of who she can become.
Balzer + Bray (Harper Collins), hardcover, April 2013, ISBN-13: 9780061992742
"...the protagonist's emotional transformation will resonate with readers. Generational bonds, notably the growth of the relationship between Laura and her grandmother, are beautifully depicted. With its humor and deep reverence for history, Allen's novel is an engaging treatment of the oft-told tale of looking within for beauty and strength."
—School Library Journal
"Laura's sassy voice and her willingness to bend instead of break will appeal to readers, and perhaps show them a different way of dealing."
"Laura Dyson's sweet, sassy voice draws you into this delightful story of self-discovery and acceptance, unwavering friendship and the deep roots of one amazing family."
—Donna Gephart, author of OLIVIA BEAN, TRIVIA QUEEN