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A Certain October
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A Certain October

3.51  ·  Rating details ·  441 Ratings  ·  85 Reviews
From three-time Coretta Scott King Award–winner Angela Johnson, a wrenching, honest book about surviving the unimaginable and finding a way to go on.

Scotty compares herself to tofu: no flavor unless you add something. And it’s true that Scotty’s friends, Misha and Falcone, and her brother, Keone, make life delicious. But when a terrible accident occurs, Scotty feels respon
Paperback, 176 pages
Published September 3rd 2013 by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers (first published August 28th 2012)
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Rebecca McNutt
A Certain October is a great book, going into the life of Scotty, who after a traumatic event finds her family dysfunctional and her mind falling to pieces. It's up to her to pick them up and put them back together again, and the upcoming dance is her opportunity.
First Part Last was also a slim volume, but it packed so much more of a punch than A Certain October. As a main character, Scotty doesn't make much of an impression, compared to her gorgeous and confident best friends. Misha always gets attention but is determined to stay true to herself even when chosen for the Homecoming Court, tattoos and dreads and all. Falcone is out to his father and a sympathetic sounding board. Scotty is primarily defined by her misery and grief in the face of tragedy. A ...more
Teresa Bunner
Feb 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My book has the title A Certain October. Goodreads has it listed under this title. Either way, it's a beautifully written very poignant book about life. Thank you Angela for offering us teen characters who are silly, strong, loving and kind. And thank you for making the teen boys gentlemen. Our teens need to see more characters like these.
While I found A Certain October entertaining enough as I read it, I don't think it is a memorable book.

Scotty stays busy with her friends and family and taking care of Keone, her autistic little brother. A terrible accident kills a new friend of Scotty's and puts her brother in a coma. Scotty blames herself.

That's pretty much it. We get to know Scotty and her friends, then we experience the terrible accident and go through Scotty's turmoil afterwards.

The book is very short and quickly read, howe
Dec 07, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
Had A Certain October been written in a more linear fashion, I would have easily given it four stars. The author takes too long to get to the heart of the story, namely a tragedy that shakes Scotty to her very core. Although this book is very short, the character of Scotty is exceedingly well developed. Her anguish, then jubilation, comes through very clearly and the small snapshot into her life definitely had me interested. The author uses the flashback method, as well as the "it was just a dre ...more
Aug 01, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: yareads
What I enjoy about Angela Johnson's books withstanding (integrated community, eloquence and art to her narrative style, ambiguous "gray space" themes and topics), A Certain October fell short for me as a novel. For one, the central plot isn't revealed until around page 40, and even then I'm not sure what has happened or what the protagonist -Scotty- is planning to do about it. Scotty's autistic younger brother is important to the book, but for some reason reads kind of like an afterthought. Fina ...more
Ms. Schutte
Confession: I didn't finish this. It's not a bad book--I just got bored. Angela Johnson is fabulous and amazing, but I just feel like I've read this book a million times before and there wasn't enough originality to make me want to read it again: Awesome girl with fabulous, hilarious pseudo-misfit friends and an autistic younger brother gets caught in the middle of a freak accident that completely rips her world apart and makes her feel like every bad thing is her fault. It's a coming-of-age rit ...more
Beth Dailey Kenneth
I found it hard to connect with the main character. I liked her but I wasn't drawn in to her story. I liked how she truly grieved with a support system of friends and family but hated that the book magically ended in a limo after prom--the perfect night with the perfect couples.

Contains: African-Americans, autism, gay couple
Feb 23, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, tayshas-2013
This book didn't strike me as typical Angela Johnson fare. It was told in a very straightforward manner at a very slow pace. The climax of the book, and the events leading up to it, were not very....well....climactic. I felt like there was too much history behind all of these characters for it to be such a short book. I left it feeling very unsatisfied.
Nov 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While initially confusing because of non-linear format, this short but powerful book was very readable. Johnson packs a lot into a very short book about love, loss, coming of age teen experience. Scotty as first person narriator was so honest about everything. Good to pass on to a teen with an autistic sibling, loss of a sibling.
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“My life is like tofu—it's what gets added that makes it interesting.” 662 likes
“Damn. It's still the Midwest around here, no matter how many open-minded people you surround yourself with.” 3 likes
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