The Key to the Golden Firebird

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9780060541408: The Key to the Golden Firebird

The funny thing about stop signs is that they're also start signs.

Mayzie is the brainy middle sister, Brooks is the beautiful but conflicted oldest, and Palmer's the quirky baby of the family. In spite of their differences, the Gold sisters have always been close.

When their father dies, everything begins to fall apart. Level–headed May is left to fend for herself (and somehow learn to drive), while her two sisters struggle with their own demons. But the girls learn that while there are a lot of rules for the road, there are no rules when it comes to the heart. Together, they discover the key to moving on – and it's the key to their father's Pontiac Firebird.

This critically acclaimed, totally compelling book is perfect for readers looking for both a fun ride and a life–changing journey from one of today's best new YA writers. And it fits perfectly in the glove compartment.

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Review:

When Mike Gold has a heart attack and dies in his 1967 Firebird, the car sits in the family garage untouched for a year. May, Brooks, and Palmer Gold--all teenage girls in what May calls the "Tall, Blond, and Wonderful Family"--suffer from neglect as well when their mother goes to work overtime at the hospital to pay the bills. The three girls deal with their father's death in different ways: Brooks quits softball and starts drinking, Palmer ferociously focuses on pitching and TV, hiding her panic attacks from everyone, and May tries to keep the family together. As the family unravels, the Firebird endures. Palmer uses the back seat as a place to escape, Brooks takes it out for a spin when she's drunk (and gets arrested), and for the grand finale, the three girls take the battleship-sized car to Camden Yards to throw their father's ashes on the pitcher's mound. Fortunately, this is the act that allows the girls to start anew, like the phoenix rising.

Readers will appreciate the character of the only really steady force in this novel--the frizzy-haired, wonderfully goofy Pete Camp, May's one-time nemesis who ends up helping out the family and ultimately winning her heart. As engaging, wryly funny, and issue-rich as Ann Brashares's The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Maureen Johnson's The Key to the Golden Firebird will no doubt appeal to a similar audience of teens dealing with their budding sexuality, peer pressure, and much, much more. (Ages 12 and older) --Karin Snelson

About the Author:

Maureen Johnson is the bestselling author of several novels, including 13 Little Blue Envelopes, the Suite Scarlett series, and the Shades of London series. She has also written collaborative works such as Let It Snow with John Green and Lauren Myracle, and the Bane Chronicles with Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan. Maureen lives in New York. You can visit her online at www.maureenjohnsonbooks.com.

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