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by Tamara Ireland Stone | Read by Amy Rubinate

Amy Rubinate invites listeners to enter the inner and outer worlds of 16-year-old Samantha McAllister. Rubinate conveys Sam’s anxiety as she curries favor with a clique-ish set of friends and their mean-girl leader. She dramatizes Sam's inner struggles as she hides her compulsive behaviors, finding her stress relieved only by competitive swimming and comforting discussions with her therapist. Sam’s life begins to change on the first day of her junior year when a mysterious student introduces her to the Poet’s Corner, a secret room where student share poetry and music. There Sam finds artistic freedom, love, friendship—and a problem more frightening than any she’s faced before. Rubinate’s characterizations and a surprising ending enhance this story. S.W. © AudioFile 2015, Portland, Maine