School's back in session at John Paul 2 High, and for students J.P. and Liz, not much could be worse.
The little start-up school where both their moms teach has doubled its number of students, bringing in a gaggle of clueless freshmen, singing charismatics, and annoying personages. For Liz, the major annoyance is Mary Summers, her old rival for Brian's affection. For J.P., it's a Byzantine Catholic named Athanasius Courchraine who somehow manages to be even cooler than J.P.
With Celia pushing the gag-inducing idea of creating a Catholic "community" in the midst of formal education, both kids escape to a place where religion is off the table-- Sparrow Hills High.
Then, as Liz joins the cheer team and J.P. becomes the school mascot, they start hearing rumors about the school shooting that happened at Sparrow Hills last spring. The police say the shooter is dead... but is he?
Unable to resist a challenge, Liz and J.P. get on the case. But the more they investigate the hazier the police evidence seems. And if the Sparrow Hills Shooter is still out there, no one is safe...
READ CHAPTERS 1-4 of Near Occasions. (Click the link below and it will open in a new window.)
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The gang of JP2HS is back again, and the challenges are bigger than ever. The trials of a start-up Catholic school against the backdrop of a horrifying school shooting make a page-turning read. The students are sweet and petty, timid and courageous, funny and very serious. In other words, typical teens faced with huge issues on top of the usual challenges of growing up. This is a fun book, with a lot of cute and touching moments as well as some heart pounding excitement.
Karina Fabian, author of Mind over Mind and the DragonEye series
Age 16 - Up