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Jukebooks: The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life by Tara Altebrando

2013 August 14
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The Best Night of Your Pathetic Life by Tara AltebrandoMany high schools have a senior tradition that is not sanctioned by the school and may be vaguely illegal such as senior pranks, raucous parties involving national monuments, or just a night of endless cruising. In Tara Alterbrando’s The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life, it’s the Official Unofficial Senior Week Scavenger Hunt, in which groups compete for the highest number of points, awarded by collecting items on the list. Mary and her team of three friends have a hilarious, bittersweet night that feels in the end like crossing the official finish line of high school.

Like many parties, a great part of the fun is in the anticipation. Particularly when it comes to unofficial school traditions, kids wait years to hit their senior year and earn a legitimate piece of the action. That’s why I matched this book with a party anthem by the Black Eyed Peas, I Gotta Feeling.

On September 10, 2009, Oprah Winfrey kicked off the beginning of her 24th (and final) season with a party in the streets of Chicago, featuring an appearance by the Black Eyed Peas singing I Gotta Feeling. To Oprah’s surprise and delight, the audience engaged in an enthusiastic flash mob dance.

— Diane Colson, currently reading Babayaga by Toby Barlow, author of Sharp Teeth, a 2009 Alex Award winner

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