When Taylor Markham was 11 years old, her drug-addicted mother abandoned her at a gas station. Now 17, Taylor has spent the last 6 years of her life at a boarding school on the Jellicoe Road, not far from where her mother left her. Voted as leader of her dorm, Taylor must strategize with her schoolmates in order to keep and win territory in the annual “war” fought against the Townies and the Cadets. But Taylor’s heart just isn’t in it. Hannah, the only responsible adult she has ever known, left without saying goodbye and the boy who betrayed her is back. Woven in with Taylor’s story is a tragic story of five friends who must survive without anyone but each other. The reader must peel away several layers in order to get to the core of the story.
Recommendation: There is only one thing to say about this book: READ IT! However, it would be irresponsible of me not to say most readers will be confused at first. The separate stories are being told simultaneously and some of the vocabulary and lingo may be unfamiliar to readers. Sticking with it is absolutely worth while because the reader will be engrossed in Taylor’s story and be absorbed by the beauty of Marchetta’s prose. Jellicoe Road won the Printz Award in 2009.
Recommended by: Abby Moore, Education Librarian, South Dakota, USA