Headley, Justina Chen. North of Beautiful. Little, Brown and Company: Books for Young Readers. 2009. ARC ISBN: 0-316-03317-0
Terra has tried everything possible to get rid of the large port wine birthmark on her cheek. She is perfect in every other way. North of Beautiful is a coming into your own kind of story. Terra’s father still angry over a botched map discovery makes his wife and daughter the scapegoats for his perceived failure. After a trip to China with an adopted Chinese boy and his mom, both Terra and her mom begin to peel away the layers of insulation so they might live as they have dreamed. Mom stands up to Dad by refusing to be bullied. Terra faces her fear of being shun because of the birthmark. There is a bit of romance, a parallel drawn between Terra and Jason’s “defects” and the family dynamics are believable. Not a page turner but a solid read for young adults.