Eleven Things I Promised will be published in April. This just in… from School Library Journal! I’m over the moon happy about it.
CLARK, Catherine. Eleven Things I Promised. 304p. ebook available. HarperCollins/HarperTeen. Apr. 2016. pap. $9.99. ISBN 9780062264534.
Gr 7-10–Frances is in over her head. Months ago she signed up for a 350-mile charity bike ride with her best friend Stella. Now Stella is home recuperating from serious injuries sustained while training, and Frances is on her own, having pledged to complete the ride for Stella. She even vows to fulfill Stella’s Bike Trip F(ix)-It List—10 things Stella had wanted to do on the ride to shake up her life. But Frances isn’t Stella. She’s not a bike rider, and she’s not outgoing; the other riders on her high school team are people with whom Frances would never normally associate. But Frances is carrying a heavier burden yet—the secret of just how badly Stella was injured, knowledge she does not want made public. Adding to Frances’s turmoil is a developing relationship with Stella’s older brother, Mason. Clark presents a heartwarming portrayal of friendship, romance, and growth. Frances is an extremely likable character. As she struggles with the physical demands of the bike ride, she also grows emotionally, learning to get along with a diverse group of classmates, conquering a fear of heights, and discovering the value of trusting people. While Stella’s introduction into the story and her eventual acceptance of her new physical limitations seem a bit rushed, they do not detract from the book. Frances is a heroine who doesn’t just rise to the challenge; she soars. VERDICT Extremely entertaining—give to fans of Maureen Johnson’s 13 Little Blue Envelopes (HarperCollins, 2015).–Nancy Nadig, Penn Manor School District, Lancaster, PA