Peace, Love, and Baby Ducks is narrated by high schoolsophomore Carly, who lives with her parents and her sister Anna in a wealthysuburb of Atlanta. Carly comes home from a summer of roughing it in themountains of Tennessee, and little sister Anna, who will be a freshman at theirChristian private school, has blossomed into a beautiful, buxom younglady. Carly knows that all the boys will be drooling over Anna at theirschool, while the only one who likes Carly is Roger, her cute but decidedly not hot friend.
Theschool year begins, and as the months go by, Carly's ultra-close relationshipwith Anna is put to the test by everything from supermean PE teachers to mutualfriends with questionable motives to high-pressure parents. Carly yearnsto be different from the pretty, rich, and shallow crowd, and she begins toquestion her exclusive circle's core values. At the same time, she ishaving a hard time accepting the new and maybe not-so-improved version of herlittle sister, and she's not sure she really wants to continue to be Anna'srescuer. Mix in a hot new boy named Cole, a party that was never supposedto happen, and three baby ducks, and you've got one very confused teenagerdoing emotional flip-flops through sophomore year.
Ms. Myracle has created a vibrantly real vision of young teenage life at the beginning of the 21st century. This is both good and bad, as it makes for timely reading, but the cultural references may make the book seem outdated in just a few years. Carly is a very likeable, thoughtful narrator, and the reader is privy to her every thought, both positive and negative.
Carly is far from immune to all the trappings that the good life has given her, but she's smarter and more reflective than typical teen lit heroines. Teen girl readers will relate to Carly's desire to break out of the mold she's been poured into, even if they can't understand what's so awful about having to go easy on Mom's Platinum Visa in Urban Outfitters. 192 pages Grades 8-12
Review by Stacy Nockowitz, Librarian
PEACE, LOVE AND BABY DUCKS by Lauren Myracle, Trailer by Teresa Schauer of Pettus, Texas