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No and Me by Delphine de Vigan

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Teenage Book of the Month

No and Me by Delphine de Vigan,
Published by Bloomsbury, 2010

No and Me opens with the principal character,Lou Bertignac feeling like a rabbit caught in the headlamps. She has just been trapped by her teacher to deliver a presentation to the whole class, something she will not do, even if she has to have a doctor certify her unfit.

But Lou’s accidental friendship with the homeless girl No makes her forget about the constant exclusion by her peers at school and for the first time she feels part of an invisible circle that encloses them both and protected them from the world. As their meetings become regular, Lou uses No’s very life to deliver an outstanding presentation to her teacher and class, winning the applause of everyone, even those who taunt her most.

As their friendship develops, Lou feels that asking No to come and live with her family is a natural progression.

Read how No’s addition to the family, where the father cries in secret and the mother hasn’t left their flat in years has explosive consequences and a life-changing effect on everyone.

Delphine de Vigan’s No and Me was originally published in France where it became an instant bestseller, winning the Prix de Libraries (the Bookseller’s Prize) in 2008.

It is an excellent read portraying family life in Paris for typical teenagers and also tells us how that life can be very different for those less fortunate.