The Whole Stupid Way We Are

The Whole Stupid Way We Are

For Ages: 14 and up
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What happens when everything you’ve got to give isn’t enough to save someone you love? This transformative portrayal of “injustice, frustration, and rage is wrenching and difficult to forget” (Publishers Weekly, starred review).

It’s Maine. It’s winter. And it’s FREEZING STINKIN’ COLD! Dinah is wildly worried about her best friend, Skint. He won’t wear a coat. Refuses to wear a coat. It’s twelve degrees out, and he won’t wear a coat. So Dinah’s going to figure out how to help. That’s what Dinah does—she helps. But she’s too busy trying to help to notice that sometimes, she’s doing more harm than good. Seeing the trees instead of the forest? That’s Dinah.

And Skint isn’t going to be the one to tell her. He’s a helper guy too. He’s worried about a little boy whose dad won’t let him visit his mom. He’s worried about an elderly couple in a too-cold house down the road.

But the wedge between what drives Dinah and what concerns Skint is wide enough for a big old slab of ice. Because Skint’s own father is in trouble. Because Skint’s mother refuses to ask for help even though she’s at her breaking point. And because Dinah might just decide to…help. She thinks she’s cracking through a sheet of ice, but what’s actually there is an entire iceberg.
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  • Atheneum Books for Young Readers | 
  • 368 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781442431560 | 
  • February 2014 | 
  • Grades 9 and up
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Read an Excerpt

Skint’s in the Pit because of Dinah. So she figures she better get cracking and effect his speedy release.

She’s lurking in the janitor’s closet, waiting for everybody else to leave. From here she has a clear view of the Pit—otherwise known as the Aile Quarry High School detention room—located diagonally across the hallway. The Main Office is just a bit farther along past the lockers. So from here Dinah can keep an eye on things. She can plot. Strategize.

She opens the door a crack and peeks out, even though it’s a risk with the hallway full of screaming, just-released kids. She needs the air. Between... see more

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