Anderson is a talented writer who makes girls-on-the-fringe characters relatable. In her newest book, she writes about being on the outside at a school where no one has money, much less a good reputation.
Ashley doesn't dream about going to the prom. She thinks about hanging out with her boyfriend, T.J., saving for the apartment they're going to get after she graduates and worrying about her future later. Her best friend, Nat, does dream of the prom, so when it looks like it might be canceled, Ashley winds up spearheading itand doing a darn good job. But will Ashley make it to the prom herself? With detentions piling up, her boyfriend complaining about wearing a tux and her mother about to give birth, she's
got a lot standing in her way.
Anderson writes about these teen-agers' adversities with precision and knowledge about how to make her char-acters' down-and-out state believable. Her work is always worth reading. (Mar., 224 pp., $16.99)