Saturday, April 18, 2020

"The Prettiest"

Brigit Young, born and raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan, has published poetry and short fiction in numerous literary journals. She is a proud graduate of the City College of New York, and has taught creative writing to kids of all ages in settings ranging from workshops at Writopia Lab to bedsides at a pediatric hospital. Young is the author of the middle grade novels Worth a Thousand Words and The Prettiest. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and daughters.

Young applied the Page 69 Test to The Prettiest and reported the following:
The Page 69 test works perfectly for The Prettiest, the story of how an anonymously written list of “the prettiest” girls in the eighth grade affects three girls.

In this section of the text, Eve, a shy girl shocked and disturbed by her ranking as number one on the list, slips out of a parent/student meeting in which the grown-ups’ discussion devolves into arguing. As she runs off through the halls, looking for a spot to hide, she hears a boy calling out to her, but is “done hearing from boys right then.” Eve makes an escape into the choir room, but– unbeknownst to her – the popular and vindictive Sophie Kane has also hidden there after a day of bullying due to her unexpected ranking at number two. Sophie believes she should be number one and that Eve wrote the list herself.

“Who do you think you are?” Sophie calls out to Eve.

This moment embodies many of the emotional themes of the book. These girls are terrified, bewildered, and constantly questioning who they are as they navigate the expectations and summations of others. Further, they feel they must separate from the adults who purport to help them and the boys who gaze at them and figure out the answer to that question for themselves.
Visit Brigit Young's website.

--Marshal Zeringue