Thursday, June 13, 2013
Just Like Elizabeth Taylor
WINNER — League of Utah Writer’s Juvenile Novel & Diamond Quill
Twelve-year-old Liz Taylor has known for a long time that she would escape—escape the abuse against herself, and against her mother. She just didn’t know how or when.
Then the perfect opportunity comes—money left of the table by her mother’s abuser—and Liz is on the run. But a girl her age doesn’t have many options when it comes to hideouts, making a K.O. A. Kampground and a nearby middle school her perfect choices.
If only she can keep to herself, Liz, now using the name Beth, knows she can make it on her own, until things change, and she realizes she must face her situation head on if she is to save herself and her mom.
Excerpt: I was named after a movie star. Elizabeth Taylor. When Mom was pregnant she watched National Velvet on a cable station playing old movies.
“She was so beautiful, and with our last name being Taylor, I couldn’t resist,” Mom told me. “The doctor in the delivery room placed the tiny bundle that was you across my stomach. Your eyes almost looked violet, and you had a head full of dark hair and a little birthmark on your cheek, just like Elizabeth Taylor. I knew that had to be your name.”
“Liz, if you please,” I reminded her for the millionth time.
I’d read some of the biographies. I didn’t want to spoil Mom’s impression by telling her that baby Elizabeth Taylor had been ugly, her little newborn body covered all over by dark hair. Mom didn’t have any idea that my life—and hers—would turn out to be filled with those same unglamorous experiences her idol had faced. Life wasn’t all movie stars and parties like Mom imagined.
JUST LIKE ELIZABETH TAYLOR, a young adult novel from the Small Town U.S.A. series, is historical fiction with the feel of today. Liz faces challenges too horrific to think about, yet learns much about life and herself as she struggles to survive.
Like with the works of Carol Lynch Williams (Miles from Ordinary), or Sara Zarr (Story of a Girl), readers will find a main character in Liz that they will love, as well as want to save.
Lu Ann Brobst Staheli is a three-time Utah Best of State Medal recipient for Literary Arts and Education, winner of Utah’s Original Writing Competition and the League of Utah Writer’s Diamond Quill for Juvenile Fiction.
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