The Geography of Girlhood by Kirsten Smith



 Penny hates her life.  While it seems that everyone else is enjoying their high school years, all Penny dreams of is an escape.  Why not leave forever and never look back – just as her mother did after Penny’s 4th birthday?  She would never be as pretty as her sister Tara.  Or as popular as her friend Elaine.  In The Geography of Girlhood,  Penny chronicles her life in verse: including the death of  an ex-boyfriend,  the remarriage of her father, trouble with the law and the birth of new, exciting friendships.  Penny spares no details about how truly difficult her journey is to young adulthood– the pain, the happiness, the joy, the fear, the hate.  In the end, the reader realizes that Penny has triumphed after all just by accepting her life for what it is – and all the imperfections that includes.