|aIn a small, Virginia town, sixth-grader Jessie Lou Ferguson has a crush on the hugely popular Conrad Parker Smith, and when he suddenly develops a medical problem and the teacher asks Jessie Lou to help him, they become friends, to her surprise
6th-grader Jessie Lou is deeply, madly, passionately in love with Conrad Parker Smith. Too bad she's a tomboy with only one on-again, off-again friend, and hair so short you can't spit on it. Too bad he's the most popular boy in their small-town school. But then Conrad hurts his leg and suddenly can't keep up with his old pursuits anymore. Jessie Lou and Conrad start spending a lot more time together, but she can't help wonder -- is she just a substitute friend? And will Conrad forget her when his leg brace comes off and he's king of the school once again?
Phoebe Stone is the beloved and acclaimed author of several novels for middle grade, including The Romeo and Juliet Code, which was hailed by the Boston Globe as ＂quite simply the best novel for young readers . . . since Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.＂ She received four starred reviews for The Boy on Cinnamon Street, and another star for her novel Deep Down Popular. Booklist awarded a starred review to Romeo Blue, the follow-up to The Romeo and Juliet Code, calling it ＂compelling, and with plenty of heart and soul.＂ Phoebe and her husband live in Middlebury, Vermont.