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parsed(2023-04-04) - pubdate: 04/23
pub date: 1680584400
today: 1713762000, pubdate > today = false

nyp: 0;

Cleaning Up

April 4, 2023 | Young adult softcover
ISBN: 9781773068060
Reader Reward Price: $17.99 info
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Jess finds a secret diary and imagines what it would be like to be a girl who has everything. Will she become so wrapped up in someone else's life that she misses a chance to create her own?

Jess cleans houses to save money for college, because her dad - unemployed and off the wagon yet again - has moved the two of them out of the city into a decrepit borrowed tent and trailer. Jess wavers between anger at her father and fear that poverty and addiction may be her fate, too, and she decides she will do whatever it takes to avoid it.

She gets a gig cleaning a gorgeous country home and discovers the trashed bedroom of the teenaged daughter, Quinn. Jess wonders how a girl with a perfect life - private school, horseback riding - could have wrecked such a beautiful room. As she cleans, she finds troubling clues - including, tucked behind the bed, a diary.

Gradually Jess learns that Quinn's life is not what it's supposed to be. Jess begins to imagine becoming friends with Quinn, and when she begins to write down a new story for Quinn, she risks turning her back on the opportunities that are right in front of her - new friends, new interests, a fresh beginning.

Key Text Features

biographical note



journal entries

About this Author

ISBN: 9781773068060
Format: Young adult softcover
Pages: 208
Publisher: Groundwood Books Ltd
Published: 2023-04-04


Jess's situation and the decisions she must make will be familiar to many teens.

Cleaning Up is an engaging read, keeping the central mystery as a thread connecting Jess to new people and places over the summer while also allowing readers to see Jess grow over the course of the book.

Teen readers (especially diary writers) will enjoy the tension as Jess fights for a better life.

Cleaning Up introduces teens to the fact that we need to practice empathy towards others, as we don't know what they might be experiencing privately.

Strongly recommended for YA collections.

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