26 June 2012

Teen Tuesday

A Girl Named Digit by Annabel Monaghan.

Farrah Higgins hates her first name:  she's no blonde bimbo.   But it's better than "Digit", the nickname she was given when she

started middle school in a building where the classrooms had the kind of 1960s ceilings that had those big acoustic square tiles with tons of tiny holes in them.   If they'd been uniform, I would have been  fine.  But the rows were uneven, and I was desperate to find order. ...it was broadcast to everyone in my class when my teacher suggested that I wear a visor to keep from looking up during class. 

Farrah's gift earned her fantastic grades, the nickname "Digit" and absolutely no social life at all.
As a result, when she started high school she got her hair highlighted and learned how to apply makeup and resolved to blend into the crowd.  She decided to mirror the personalities of those around her, not say anything too smart or stupid, never initiate a conversation, and always like whatever song/movie/television show was popular.  Her only concession to individuality were the hand-me-down cowboy boots she wore for comfort.

She eventually met a group of girls called the "Fab Four", the cool girls of Santa Monica High (or Samohi).  The were all confident, pretty and played on the varsity tennis team.  They thought it was cool that Farrah liked the same band as they did, and that her boots gave her an "earthy sense of style".

One evening in early April when the five girls were watching a popular teen soap, Farrah noticed some numbers in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen, which appeared for almost a whole minute of the opening credits.  Nobody else seemed to notice, so she ignored it, but then it happened again the following two weeks in a row.  She wrote down all the numbers and realized that it was a reverse Fibonacci sequence, followed by 911. 

The next day, a private plane is suicide-bombed at JFK airport, and Farrah is certain that the numbers had something to do with it.  When she reports them to the FBI, they at first treat her like a nut, but then realize she may be onto something, and stage a fake kidnapping in order to keep her safe.

Farrah is every girl who was ever disliked something about herself, whether intellect, talent or some "flaw" in appearance.  Some of us feel this way all our lives, and some realize that perhaps this trait isn't really a flaw after all.

Annabel Monaghan is the author of A Girl Named Digit and co-author of Click! The Girls Guide to Knowing What You Want and Making it Happen. She grew up in Los Angeles, pondering big questions like where does traffic come from? And what motivates people to put bumper stickers on their cars?  She bought her first winter coat when she left for Duke University and has lived on the east coast ever since.

FTC Full Disclosure :  I borrowed this book from my local library.

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