Prom

Paperback | February 2, 2006

byLaurie Halse Anderson

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Philadelphia high school who doesn’t care about the prom. It’s pretty much the only good thing that happens there, and everyone plans to make the most of it—especially Ash’s best friend, Natalia, who’s the head of the committee and has prom stars in her eyes. Then the faculty advisor is busted for taking the prom money and Ash finds herself roped into putting together a gala dance. But she has plenty of help—from her large and loving (if exasperating!) family, from Nat’s eccentric grandmother, from the principal, from her fellow classmates. And in making the prom happen, Ash learns some surprising things about making her life happen, too.

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From the Publisher

Philadelphia high school who doesn’t care about the prom. It’s pretty much the only good thing that happens there, and everyone plans to make the most of it—especially Ash’s best friend, Natalia, who’s the head of the committee and has prom stars in her eyes. Then the faculty advisor is busted for taking the prom money and Ash finds he...

Laurie Halse Anderson has received both the Margaret Edwards Award and the ALAN Award for her contributions to young adult literature. She has also been honored by the National Coalition Against Censorship in recognition of her fight to combat the censoring of literature. She is the author of the groundbreaking National Book Award fina...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:240 pages, 8.3 × 5.5 × 0.6 inPublished:February 2, 2006Publisher:Penguin Young Readers GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0142405701

ISBN - 13:9780142405703

Appropriate for ages: 13 - 17

Customer Reviews of Prom

Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from PROM: real and imperfect Once again, Laurie Halse Anderson creates a believable, relatable character who you can’t help but root for. Prom combines coming of age struggles with an underdog story and and clever humour. I read it around the time of my own prom, so I was in the mood for a prom story (I might have been a little biased about how exciting the book really was). The plot is realistic, and at the same time it isn’t -- a frequent phenomenon in slice-of-life fiction that sets the genre apart from real life in a subtle way, and makes it all the more engaging. The story centers around the life of high school senior Ashley, and her mission to create a prom from scratch when a teacher -- who is the head of the prom committee -- gambles the school’s prom budget away. Realistic? Not really. Within the realm of possibility? Yes. And what makes it most real is the way the story actually plays out from that situation. Ashley is met with a plethora of difficulties in pulling together a prom -- some resulting from her own actions prior to her mission, some resulting from people who want to hinder her, and some resulting from the elephant-in-the-room problem: pulling together a caterer, decorations, a location, and security for one night without any money to do so. Ashley herself is a likable character. She’s a little rough around the edges, but she has a big heart. She is actually cynical about prom and thinks it’s a pointless event because, after all, no one’s lives are going to change after all that night and in spite of all the hype. However, she sees outside of herself and realizes why it would be important to some people: the girl who is really poor, whose whole family pitched in to buy her dress; the girl whose boyfriend is joining the army and is rumoured to be proposing to her at prom; the girl whose mother died recently and who needs something to look forward to; and her best friend, who is prom-obsessed. It is for these people that she takes on a challenge that most teens would scoff at and say “screw it.” But Ash also has things to worry about in her own life, like what will happen when high school is over. She doesn’t have the best grades, she works a minimum wage job that she hates, her family drives her crazy, and her boyfriend is sort of a jerk -- the life of an ordinary teenage girl. But her future looks bleak -- her parents don’t believe she’ll go to college and she’s contemplating moving in with aforementioned jerk boyfriend. She’s not satisfied, but she has already mentally resigned herself to this future because she doesn’t think she’ll be able to reach anything better. But in the two-week madness before her prom deadline, she realizes that she deserves more than what she seems to be settling for. Her confidence boost results in a prom season more life-changing than Ashley would have ever anticipated. The story had some shortcomings and irrelevancies. It’s not as humourous as you’d expect it to be from reading the teaser on the book cover (or on various websites), and the story wraps up a bit too quickly and easily, but it is nonetheless a poignant, original, and true story that will bring hope to anyone who has ever had trouble believing in themselves, and anyone who has ever doubted that they deserve everything they truly want.
Date published: 2016-01-06

Extra Content

Read from the Book

1.Once upon a time there was an eighteen-year-old girl who dragged her butt out of bed and hauled it all the way to school on a sunny day in May.2. That was me.3.Normal kids (like me) thought high school was cool for the first three days in ninth grade. Then it became a big yawn, the kind of yawn that showed the fillings in your teeth and the white stuff on your tongue you didn’t scrape off with your toothbrush.Sometimes I wondered why I bothered. Normal kids (me again), we weren’t going to college, no matter what anybody said. I could read and write and add and do nails and fix hair and cook a chicken. I could defend myself and knew which streets were cool at night and which neighborhoods a white girl like me should never, ever wander in.So why keep showing up for class?Blame my fifth-grade teacher.Ms. Valencia knew she was teaching a group of normal kids. She knew our parents and our neighborhood. Couple times a week she’d go off on how we absolutely, positively had to graduate from high school, diploma and all (like the GED didn’t count, which was cold), or else we were going straight to hell, with a short detour by Atlantic City to lose all our money in the slot machines. She made an impression, know what I mean?Every kid who was in that fifth-grade class with me was graduating, except for the three who were in jail, the two who kept having babies, the one who ran away, and the two crack whores.The rest of us, we were getting by.I was getting by.4.It had been a decent morning, for a Tuesday. No meltdowns at home. The perverts outside the shelter left me alone, and the Rottweiler on Seventh was chained up. A bus splashed through the puddle at the corner of Bonventura and Elk, but only my sneakers got soaked. It could have been worse. At least the sun was shining and some of my homework was done.So I got to admit, I was in a half-decent mood that morning, dragging myself and my butt to school. I had no clue what was coming

Editorial Reviews

"Modern teen life just outside Philadelphia is vividly drawn in Ashley’s first person tale, and it’s both screamingly funny and surprisingly tender. Expect teen readers to be quoting aloud to each other, and giggling." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review