The Life and Times of Gracie Faltrain, by Cath Crowley

Gracie Faltrain is doing fine. Her soccer team is off to the national championships, she’s just about to capture the boy of her dreams and she’s well on the way to being ‘in’ at school. But Gracie is about to learn that life is not always fair.

First her best friend Jane leaves the country. Then there’s an unfortunate event involving her tongue and her dream-boy’s ear, which makes her a laughing-stock at school. When she finds out that the boys don’t want her on the soccer team any more, she thinks life can’t get any worse, but she’s wrong. Her parents have news of the worst possible kind.

Within days, Gracie is floundering. No friends, no soccer, no love-life – and perhaps no family – add up to one confused and angry Gracie. Is there anything she can do to make things better, or should she just resign herself to her new screwed-up life?

The Life and Times of Gracie Faltrain is an outstanding first-time novel for author Cath Crowley. Its unusual use of point of view – with perspective changing from that of Gracie to those of other characters – will appeal to teen readers. Each new perspective is highlighted by a new page with the characters speaking directly both to the reader and, at times, each other, as they recount the action.

A mix of humour, poignance and more serious themes of friendship, family and self-image.

The Life and Times of Gracie Faltrain, by Cath Crowley
Pan Macmillan, 2004