What’s in a Name by Ellen Wittlinger

There are two kinds of people who live in Scrub Harbor–the people who like it just the way it is and those who would change the city’s name to the classier “Folly Bay.” Not surprisingly, the working class folk are sticking with Scrub, while the upper crusty set are wrangling for the name change. The class division has trickled down into the high school, where the students are also arguing over the name issue. Readers discover that labels and stereotypes really have nothing to do with the actual person. (But you go to high school– you know that already!) There’s O’Neill, who seems like a typical anti-social loner, but who’s really a complex person with a pretty complex secret. Popular, run-everything Gretchen decides that maybe it’s NOT all about wearing the right clothes and dating the star football player. Middle class Nelson thinks that just because he’s black, he has something in common with Shaquanda, but he couldn’t be more wrong. What’s in a Name is a frosted mini-wheat of a book–a sweet, easy read with some real substance inside.

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