Twelfth Grade Hopes and Fears

Secant. Oct. 2020. 252p. pap. $13.95. ISBN 9781944962654.
Gr 9 Up–After three eventful years, four friends enter their final year of high school. Elly, Luke, Marcus, and Mia have seen their share of highs and lows. Beyond the expected standardized tests, AP classes, prom and homecoming dances, and endless college applications, they have also survived abusive relationships, eating disorders, racism, divorce, death, and star-crossed romances. In the final installment of the “American High School” series, senior year brings even more twists and turns as the friends and their peers finalize plans for the future while navigating their feelings about leaving it all behind. Luke is finally overcoming the “white trash” label that was placed upon him and is becoming more confident in his talents, while embracing a new yet unexpected relationship. Elly, who is from a white, upper-class family, is grappling with her feelings for a longtime crush while dealing with how her status-conscious parents will react to this new relationship. Star athlete Marcus, who is Black, focuses more on history class and less on basketball, and thrives in all areas of his life. Mia, the daughter of first-generation Mexican American parents, is on track to graduate at the top of her class and enter college to become a pediatrician. The four friends can’t wait to graduate but they are frightened at the thought of losing each other. This is a portrait of high school in America today.
VERDICT A relatable read for high school students, especially those who are fans of the first three books in the series.

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