This Girl Is Different by J J Johnson
Evie (born Evensong Sparkling Morningdew) lives with her”hippie” mom in a geodesic dome in the woods near their small town. After being homeschooled since forever, she’s finally convinced her mom to let her finish high school at the local public school, claiming she would be like a gonzo journalist studying the ethnography of the public school system. The question isn’t the obvious one of Evie being ready for public school after so many years with just her mom, but is the school ready for Evie. She is strong-minded, confident,not afraid to share her opinion on anything and everything, and a budding activist. Whenever Evie is about to do something unexpected, she tells herself, “This girl is different,” and she certainly is. When she is faced with the inherent lack of student rights at her new school, she feels compelled to take on the system, getting herself into all kinds of trouble.
I found this book to be absolutely delightful. It’s awesome to see a teenager so empowered such that she follows her own conscious, even when she knows it will lead to trouble. The book has some interesting minor characters: Evie’s mom Martha, a love interest named Raj, and a smarter than average administrator named Dr. Folger. I would recommend this title to students looking for humorous books, titles about challenging authority, and “green” lifestyles.