Last week I cut my hair, bought some boys' clothes and shoes, wrapped a large ACE bandage around my chest to flatten my fortunately-not-large breasts, and began looking for a new name. Angela Katz-McNair has never felt quite right as a girl. Her whole life is leading up to the day she decides to become Grady, a guy. While coming out as transgendered feels right to Grady, he isn't prepared for the reaction he gets from everyone else.
"Just what the doctor ordered"
Bess Cunningham has never been popular, and she plans to do something about it. She's got a fresh style, with plenty of unique clothes, and she's the new stage manager for the musical at her middle school. She couldn't care less about the volunteer work her parents do at a soup kitchen until she meets Grace Jarvis Battle. The kind, elderly woman reminds Bess of her grandmothers except for one significant difference - Grace lives on the street and finds food in dumpsters.
Marisol Guzman has deferred college for a year to accomplish two things: She will write a novel and she will fall in love. How hard could that be? She gets her very own apartment (with her high school best friend as roommate) and a waitressing job at a classic Harvard Square coffeehouse. When she enrolls in an adult education class - "How to Write Your First Novel" - there are two big surprises waiting for her.
"Love or Coming of Age"
Nathan and his adorable little sister just moved in across the street from Liz Scattergood, and both of them could use a friend. Liz just isn't sure she's the right person. What do you say to someone whose mother is dying? Liz has been coping with tough questions like this all summer. Ever since Liz's grandmother Bunny died, Liz's mother hasn't been the same; she's even started attending a spiritualist church that claims it can contact Bunny on the Other Side.
Lorna had been the dynamic leader of a tight-knit group of four friends - Jackie, Lucas, and Finn, and herself - and her disappearance changed the dynamics between the surviving three. Jackie is still hiding her feelings for Finn, who had been Lorna's boyfriend, and Lucas has withdrawn to the point where Jackie wonders if he is keeping a secret even larger than her own. Meanwhile the future looms, and Jackie fears leaving the only life she has known.
Kenyon Baker is not happy about moving to Cape Cod halfway through high school, but his parents have decided to retire there to run a summer cottage colony. At least they'll let him have his own darkroom, provided he helps prepare the colony for guests. The early hours and hard work compound Ken's unhappiness, but just when he thinks he'll never make it through the summer, he meets Razzle Penney.