Title: She's So Dead to Us
Author: Kieran Scott
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Concepts: Class, jobs, wealth, financial risk.
Review: Ally Ryan and her mother lost their luxurious home and lifestyle in Orchard Hill following the collapse of the funds that Ally’s father managed. Then he disappeared as well, leaving Ally and her mother to get by at a relative’s house until they could pick the pieces of their lives back up. Ally’s mom did just that by finding a teaching job, but to Ally’s dismay, the position was back at Orchard Hill High School. Ally would have to face her former friends, most of them from households that had lost large sums of money to her father’s poor investment choices.
Little did Ally realize that she would face not only their anger about what had happened, but also their attitudes toward people not wealthy enough to live up on the Crest. Her former “Crestie” friends kept their distance from the “norms,” the less privileged kids from the normal side of town where Ally and her mom now lived in a small condo. Adding to these difficulties, Ally fell for a hot guy who happened to have moved into her old house up on the Crest and seemed to like her as well. Would their attraction be strong enough to withstand Ally’s banishment from the Crestie inner circle?
A juicy romance and interesting characters keep the pages turning in this young adult novel about class differences and social cliques. Motivating the story line is an important economics lesson about financial risk and the fragility of some types of wealth. An unpredictable story line will challenge readers to think about how financial hardship can place a strain on even the strongest of friendships and family ties.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children