For the first Friday since they've been going out, Chris has not sent Jessie a love letter. In fact, Chris has disappeared all together, and as one of a very few black kids in a small white town, this is hard to do. Did he run back to the city? Did he run into the guys who beat him up a few weeks before? Did he run away from Jessie, after she asked him for a week apart to think? As Jessie pieces Chris back together in her mind, she comes up with a more complete picture of the boy she loves. Mystery, love story and coming-of-age tale, this is a gripping, satisfying read.
" A] long, beautiful, heart-breaking love letter to potential and possibilities and hope, to the pain we survive in youth and carry with us into adulthood."--NPR Book Reviews One week. That's all Jessie said. A one-week break to get some perspective before graduation, before she and her boyfriend, Chris, would have to make all the big, scary decisions about their future--decisions they had been fighting about for weeks. Then, Chris vanishes. The police think he's run away, but Jessie doesn't believe it. Chris is popular and good-looking, about to head off to college on a full-ride baseball scholarship. And he disappeared while going for a run along the river--the same place where some boys from the rival high school beat him up just three weeks ago. Chris is one of the only black kids in a depressed paper mill town, and Jessie is terrified of what might have happened. As the police are spurred to reluctant action, Jessie and others speak up about the harassment Chris experienced and the danger he could be in. But there are people in Jessie's town who are infuriated by the suggestion that a boy like Chris would be a target of violence. They smear Chris's character and Jessie begins receiving frightening threats. Every Friday since they started dating, Chris has written Jessie a love letter. Now Jessie is writing Chris a letter of her own to tell him everything that's happening while he's gone. As Jessie searches for answers, she must face her fears, her guilt, and a past more complicated than she would like to admit.
About the Author
Kim Purcell grew up in British Columbia, Canada, and now lives in Los Angeles with her husband, two kids, dog, and three cats. She is currently getting her MFA in writing for children and young adults at the Vermont College for Fine Arts.