Bookmark days by Scot Gardner
Allen and Unwin, 2009. ISBN 978174175
(Age 12+) Another book in the series, Girlfriend Fiction published by Allen and Unwin, will be eagerly snapped up by the adolescent girls in your school. Scot Gardner is a tried and true author whose books never fail to please and this is another.
Set in a small rural community, the tale turns around two girl cousins, Avril and Katie, who see each other most holidays when Katie and her family come to the country from Melbourne to stay. This year, however, things are different. Katie's parents have split, although no one is supposed to know, and Avril, home schooled, has spied the boy next door, Nathaniel, and has developed quite a crush.
But Nathaniel's family and that of Avril do not speak. Something happened many years ago which has caused a rift between the two families, and so Avril and Nathaniel must be most careful about when they are seen together. Katie brags about her sexual experience to Avril and when both girls go to the local show, things become heated. Avril forces the now drunk Katie into the car and they drive back to the farm, finding along the way that the next door neighbour's car has overturned. Stopping to help, Avril saves the day, ensuring Nathaniel's father gets help.
But things escalate again when the girls go to camp overnight with Nathaniel; and his friend. Found out by the warring grandfathers, Nathaniel's grandfather seeks them out, ordering the girls home, and the boys back to their home., Finally Avril takes control of things and forces a compromise between the families. It is a neatly resolved story of long held misbeliefs and bad relationships between families, and will be eagerly read by early secondary girls.