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Brett, Cathy. Scarlett Dedd.

3Q * 3P * J * S * (G)

Brett, Cathy. Scarlett Dedd. Delacorte/ Random House, 2012. 256p. PLB $17.99. 978-0-375-99022-9. $14.99. 978-0-385-74175-0.

Scarlett Dedd has many concerns in her young life. Along with having a name that conjures up dead people, she is mortified by how "dead" her whole family actually appears. Their sallow features, odd behaviors, and phobia of sunshine are a constant annoyance for Scarlett. She seeks refuge in the company of her friends, who enjoy making gruesome films and have names like Psycho and Taz. With the week-long school trip approaching, Scarlett tries desperately to concoct a plan to get sick so that she does not have to go, as she dreads prolonged scrutiny from her peers for her sickly appearance and propensity to get nauseous on bus trips. When she makes a risotto from wild mushrooms, she not only gets sick, but ends up accidentally poisoning her entire family, resulting in everyone dying. The subsequent scenes play out with a ghost Scarlett haunting her classmates from beyond the grave.

Scarlett is a self-described miserable teenager who thinks life is not fair, is embarrassed of her family, and worries about what her classmates think of her. This is not your typical teenage angst story, however. This graphic novel is full-on quirky from the gross imagery to the layout of the text and pictures. There is something downright disgusting on nearly every page, from vomiting to moldy bread to eating worms. Though there is likely to be plenty of cringing and nose-wrinkling, readers will get a kick out of this humorous, wacky ghost story.--Lindsay Grattan.

(G) Graphic Novel Format

3Q Readable, without serious defects.

3P Will appeal with pushing.

J Junior High (defined as grades 7-9).

S Senior High (defined as grades 10-12).

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Article Details
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Author:Grattan, Lindsay
Publication:Voice of Youth Advocates
Article Type:Book review
Date:Jun 1, 2012
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