2007 National Book Award Finalist,
Young People's Literature

Sara Zarr

Story of a Girl

Little, Brown & Company

Photo © Quinn Jacobson.

About the Book and Author

When she is caught inthe backseat of a car with her older brother's best friend - Deanna Lambert's teenage life is changed forever. Struggling to overcome the lasting repercussions and the stifling role of "school slut," she longs to escape a life defined by her past.

Sara Zarr grew up in San Francisco and Pacifica, CA, and now lives with her husband and in Salt Lake City. Story of a Girl is her debut novel. She is currently working on her next young adult book, Sweethearts, coming out in February 2008.

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from Story of a Girl
by Sara Zarr

One morning in August, I walked in on my dad in the kitchen. He looked up and then back at the coffeepot. This is how it had been for weeks: us avoiding each other, tiptoeing around the house, peeking around corners to make sure the other wasn’t there. I went past him and got down a box of cereal and a bowl. I poured the milk and turned around. Dad was standing there holding a spoon, which he held out to me. “Here.”

I took it and sat down. He stayed standing with his National Paper mug, eyes on the floor. “So school starts soon I guess,” he said.

“Yeah. Two more weeks.” I watched him, in his striped auto parts shirt and fresh crew cut, looking like Darren.

“Well. You get some tough classes junior year, right? Might be hard to keep your grades where you had them.”


He dumped out his coffee and rinsed the mug, placing it carefully on the hook near the sink. “Your mom said you’ve been saving your paychecks. Maybe we can find you an old car.”

He walked out of the kitchen without waiting for my reply, back straight.

I smiled.

A spoon held out. A question about school. The possibility of an old car.

It came down to the smallest things, really, that a person could do to say I’m sorry, to say it’s okay, to say I forgive you. The tiniest of declarations that built, one on top of the other, until there was something solid beneath your feet. And then…and then. Who knew?