Sue Ellen Bridgers







My Books

OUT WITH THE BOYS
(work in progress)

Set in the mountains of western North Carolina, OUT WITH THE BOYS is the story of teenage friends, Jeremy and Dusty, who fall for the same girl. The three make a pact that affects the entire community.

HOME BEFORE DARK
Stella Mae Willis has spent most of her 14 years living out of a station wagon as her family moves from one picking station to the next. But when her father takes them back to the tobacco farm where he was raised, she finally feels she has a home. She swears she'll never leave it. Although Stella has had more responsibilities than most girls her age, she finds that holding onto new roots is only part of growing up.

New York Times Book Review - "No summary can convey the tremendous integrity of a book like HOME BEFORE DARK. The author speaks with a voice that is intensely lyrical yet wholly un-selfconscious. Character and theme have been developed with such painstaking attention that each episode seems inevitable and right."


ALL TOGETHER NOW
Casey Flanagan isn't excited about spending the summer with her grandparents in a small Southern town - until she meets Dwayne Pickens. At 33, Dwane is a man with the mind of a 12-year-old who loves baseball, hates girls and assumes that Casey, with her short hair and jeans, is a new boy in town. Before the summer is over, Casey will learn volumes about friendship and community spirit.

THE WASHINGTON POST - "A lovely book - a book for all of us who crave a good story about people we will come to care about deeply."

NOTES FOR ANOTHER LIFE
For Wren, the summer before her fourteenth birthday is one she'll never forget: she feels the first stirrings of love; her father comes home from the mental hospital; her mother decides to get a divorce. For her brother, it's the summer he thinks his life is coming to an end. For both of them, it is the summer of their grandmother who with love and wisdom points them toward a new life.

HORN BOOK - "The affection between Kevin and Wren and their relationship with their friends are particularly well portrayed, as is the grandmother's dilemma over her responsibilities for her son and her grandchildren. An excellent novel which ends realistically with unanswered questions and unresolved situations."

SARA WILL
In her mid-fifties, Sara Will Burney lives on the old homeplace with her widowed sister. Her life is buried in the past until the arrival of Fate Jessop with his teenage niece and her baby. They are followed by Eva's would-be boyfriend who claims he's the baby's father. Together this ragtag group turns Sara's world upside down and melts her heart.

BOOKLIST - "[SARA WILL] is a beautifully written, ultimately heartwarming gem of a novel with vital, memorable characterizations."

PERMANENT CONNECTIONS
At home in New Jersey, Rob Dickson tries to mask his insecurities with drugs and alcohol but when he's sent to rural North Carolina to live with his mountain relatives he doesn't even try to hide his hostility. When things go wrong with his new girlfriend, his self-destructive behavior affects the entire family and he learns that rebellion can have far-reaching consequences.

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY - "This marvelous book movingly evokes the tortured feelings of young people, and the viewpoints of their elders, who are coping as best they can. Bridgers' work transcends the YA genre; readers of all ages will be moved by its rich characterizations and universal themes."

KEEPING CHRISTINA
Annie makes friends with the new girl at school but Annie's friends don't think much of Christina. Are they jealous or is Christina hiding something? Eventually, Annie begins to feel suspicious, too, but what can she do about it? Christina's already become one of the family.

ENGLISH JOURNAL - "As in other Bridgers' novels, KEEPING CHRISTINA has strong adult characters, a fluent style that makes for comfortable reading, and a relevant theme."

ALL WE KNOW OF HEAVEN
In Depression-era North Carolina, 15 year old Bethany longs for a love uniquely her own. When she meets Joel, she ignores her family's warnings and marries him. For a time, the lovers triumph. Then life bears down on them and Joel's darkness begins to surface. He is as horrified as she and Bethany is determined to banish his long held grief with her love. Their darkness is brightened by moments of aching tenderness, but it is not enough.

NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW - "Shattering."
SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL - "In this tragedy of young love, mature YA's will find characters that ring true and themes that are enduring. A moving and unforgettable book."
THE NEWS AND OBSERVER - "[A] splendid book for mothers and daughers to share. . .ALL WE KNOW OF HEAVEN should be required reading in sex education classes."



BOOKS

HOME BEFORE DARK
New York Times Outstanding Book of the Year, ALA Best Books for Young Adults, ALA Notable Book.
ALL TOGETHER NOW
The Christopher Award, Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book, National Book Award Finalist, ALA Best Books for Young Adults, ALA Notable Book.
NOTES FOR ANOTHER LIFE
ALA Best Books for Young Adults, National Book Award Finalist
SARA WILL
ALA Best Books for Young Adults
PERMANENT CONNECTIONS
Gold Award by Parents' Choice, NC AAUW Literature Award, ALA Best Books for Young Adults
ALL WE KNOW OF HEAVEN
Paterson Prize finalist.



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