Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 12 to 15
- Grade: 7 to 10
- Reading age: 12 to 15
Short-listed for the 2010 CLA Young Adult Book Award
Tabby Freeman and Lora Froggett go to the same school, but they live in totally opposite worlds. Tabby is rich, pretty, and the most popular girl in her class. But behind closed doors, her perfect life is rapidly coming apart at the seams.
On the other side, Lora is smart, timid, and the constant target of bullies. While struggling to survive the piranha-infested halls of her school, she becomes increasingly nervous that somebody might discover the unbearable truth about whats been happening to her family.
Despite their differences, Tabby and Lora have something in common theyre both harbouring dark secrets and a lot of pain. Although theyve never been friends, a series of strange events causes their lives to crash together in ways neither could have ever imagined. And when the dust finally settles and all their secrets are forced out into the light, will the girls be saved or destroyed?
About the author
Deborah Kerbel is the author of several picture books, including Before You Were Born, When Molly Drew Dogs, and the award-winning Sun Dog, as well as novels for middle grade and young adult readers. Born in London, England, she moved to Canada at the age of two and went on to attend the University of Western Ontario. Her novels have been shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Canadian Library Association YA Book of the Year, and the Manitoba Young Reader’s Choice Award. Deborah lives in Thornhill, Ontario, with her husband, two book-loving children, and a schnoodle named Alfredo.
- Short-listed, CLA Young Adult Book Award
"The novel depends largely on these two main characters and therein lies the strength of the book ... Kerbel gives her readers a fast-paced and intriguing plot, many memorable scenes and an insightful look into the emotions of two very real teenage girl ... Girl on the Other Side is a novel which is entertaining yet thought-provoking at the same time, and it will have great appeal for many female young adult readers." - Ann Ketcheson
This book tells a story that sets a perfect example of why teenagers should not judge each other and try to be friends with those who are different than themselves. Girl on the Other Side was highly emotional and therefore a great motivator for humans to try to understand each other. The vocabulary was accurate with what teenagers would actually say, and they way that the chapters were organized (going back and forth between the two girls) helped the flow of the book. Also, readers would be able to get inside both of the heads of the characters and make connections. I recommend this book to high school females.
"This novel would be good for students, particularly girls, who are interested in a good story or who are having a hard time in school - it might help them know- just as it helped Tabby and Lara - that there is someone else who understands."
"Kerbel's depictions of each girl's very different brands of personal pain are stirring. "
"I would highly recommend Girl On the Other Side to teen and adult readers alike. In short, anyone who has ever been bullied, bullied someone else, or thought that the bullying of others was wrong will be moved by Kerbels story."
YA Bookshelf (YA blog)