CM . . .
. Volume IX Number 6. . . . November 15, 2002
I knew the others were laughing at us, and it bothered me. When we were alone, just the two of us, I could ignore the way she dressed, but not when the others were around. So I tried to keep my distance from her at school. In class and out, I found all kinds of excuses to stay out of Do's way. I didn't think she saw what I was up to. I just didn't know her well enough.
Dolores Desnoyers isn't like anyone else in Vero's school. Her clothes are atrocious and just as flashy as her personality, a combination lethal enough to scare off all of the other students who unite against her in true teenage fashion. Vero never expects to become Do's best friend, but she is won over and becomes part of a twosome that is as satisfying to her as it is puzzling to the other students - until the day that Do and her father disappear. Months later, Vero thinks she sees Do pass on the street and decides she is going to find her.
This slim volume is an absorbing tale of friendship and personal journeys. The translation is poetic and effortless. The background is obviously French, but the issues discussed will appeal to any girl who has ever found a friend in a surprising place. In the Key of Do would be a terrific choice for readers intimidated by long books.
Betsy Fraser, a Youth Services Librarian with Calgary Public Library, is a member of the committees for the Best Books for Young Adults and the Canadian Library Association's Young Adult Book of the Year Award in her spare time.
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