Twelfth Grade Hopes and Fears

About The Book

Four friends enter their fourth and final year of high school. They have survived abusive partners, drinking parties, eating disorders, social ostracism, ethnic slurs, star-crossed romances, and even the deaths and divorces of parents – all the challenges that can make the teen years turbulent and painful.

But they have also learned to cope. They have passed the dreaded standardized tests, gotten in a few AP courses, gone to prom, fallen in and out of love, worked summers, learned to drive. They have visited college campuses and begun to apply for—and receive—scholarship decisions.

Their last year is flying past, and their feelings are in a whirl. They can’t wait to leave—but they dread the thought of losing each other.

•Elly sorts out her feelings for a boy she’s had a crush on forever. But that secret romance makes her relationships with everyone else more complicated – especially with her status-conscious mom and dad. Can she even keep all her lies straight?

•Marcus deepens his study of American history. He no longer sees himself as a future NBA star. But surprise – his basketball skills blossom and he turns into a triple-double threat on an unexpected run to the state’s Final Four.

•Luke is stunned when Elly agrees to join him on a canoe run down the river, fishing. But her ineptitude with a paddle causes disaster in the Class II rapids. His woodsmanship and survival skills are put to the test when they are stranded in the middle of nowhere, and forced to spend a freezing night in the wilderness.

•Mia still misses Luke, but she is on track to graduate as the class valedictorian and realize her dream of becoming a pediatrician. Her studies occupy almost all her time. But her last semester of high school is unexpectedly brightened by two positive relationships – one for her mother, and one for herself.

And there are more: a rich kid who sneaks liquor from his parents and maintains a buzz throughout the day. A bright, ambitious girl who dates a boy from time to time so her parents will not discover her true love is a junior girl – whom they would never accept. An overburdened guidance counselor. A dedicated school resource officer. A basketball coach who is a shrewd psychologist.

This is the “American High School” in 2020.

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Don’t take our word for it. Read the first few pages and see if you want to go ahead.

Bruce Ingram

About the Author

Gr 9 Up—After three eventful years, four friends enter their final year of high school. Elly, Luke, Marcus, and Mia have seen their share of highs and lows. Beyond the expected standardized tests, AP classes, prom and homecoming dances, and endless college applications, they have also survived abusive relationships, eating disorders, racism, divorce, death, and star-crossed romances. In the final installment of the “American High School” series, senior year brings even more twists and turns as the friends and their peers finalize plans for the future while navigating their feelings about leaving it all behind. Luke is finally overcoming the “white trash” label that was placed upon him and is becoming more confident in his talents, while embracing a new yet unexpected relationship. Elly, who is from a white, upper-class family, is grappling with her feelings for a longtime crush while dealing with how her status-conscious parents will react to this new relationship. Star athlete Marcus, who is Black, focuses more on history class and less on basketball, and thrives in all areas of his life. Mia, the daughter of first-generation Mexican American parents, is on track to graduate at the top of her class and enter college to become a pediatrician. The four friends can’t wait to graduate but they are frightened at the thought of losing each other. This is a portrait of high school in America today. VERDICT A relatable read for high school students, especially those who are fans of the first three books in the series.—Elizabeth Blake, Fields Corner Lib., Dorchester, MA –This text refers to the paperback edition.

Twelfth Grade Hopes and Fears

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