Blundell, Judy. 2011. STRINGS ATTACHED. New York: Scholastic. ISBN 978054221269 [Suggested Grade Levels 9-12]
Set in the early 1950s, Blundell's newest young adult novel is a gritty page-turner fraught with mystery, intrigue, romance, and danger. Kit, one of a set of triplets raised by her widowed father and her aunt, has dated the unpredictable Billy for several years and known him even longer. Billy's father is alleged to have "mob" connections and when Kit leaves Rhode Island and flees to NYC to find work as a showgirl, he helps her. Billy’s gangster father also helps her when the musical closes and she needs work. The novel reads like a film noir with gangsters, murder, and cover-ups. Kit is a strong character, although not always likeable, and the twists and turns of her involvement with Billy's father make the book a page-turner. The story goes back and forth from the "present" to the flashbacks to Kit's life and her involvement with Billy. While this can make the story a little disjointed, it mostly works. The book will especially appeal to the older young adult reader who is not quite ready for adult books but wants something a little edgy with mature characters.
Not only is this a great selection for a teen book club, but it can also be used to explore post-WWII US history or organized crime.
Use in an English classroom to introduce the device of the flashback, role of setting, and character development.
Blundell, Judy. WHAT I SAW AND HOW I LIED. 9780439903467
Cushman, Karen. THE LOUD SILENCE OF FRANCINE GREEN. ISBN 9780618504559
Korman, Gordon. SON OF THE MOB. ISBN 9780786815937
By Janet Hilbun