North of Beautiful
North of Beautiful
School Discount
Price:

$10.19
Qty(6-24)
Discount Price:

$8.99
Qty(>25)
Discount Price:

$8.39
To purchase this item, you must first login or register for a new account.

Annotation: Terra, a sensitive, artistic high school senior born with a facial port-wine stain, struggles with issues of inner and outer beauty with the help of her Goth classmate Jacob.
Catalog Number: #4370460
Format: Paperback
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2009
Edition Date: 2009
Pages: 373 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-316-02506-2
ISBN 13: 978-0-316-02506-5
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2008009260
Dimensions: 21 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
Horn Book
Despite having a model's figure and a hottie boyfriend, Terra's large port-wine-stain birthmark and her verbally abusive father cause her constant insecurity. After meeting Jacob, a Chinese American goth guy, everything changes. With their mothers, they travel to China, each returning with a new sense of identity and self-worth. Terra's journey is engaging, but overdone symbolism may distract readers from it.
Kirkus Reviews
The daughter of a verbally abusive cartographer attempts to chart the rugged emotional terrain of her life. Stunning except for the port-wine stain birthmark on her cheek, Terra lives in the shadow of her father's petty sarcasm. She creates collaged maps and endures rigorous workouts to cope, but nothing makes her happy. Then she meets Jacob, a self-assured Asian Goth boy with a cleft lip who invites peoples' stares and doesn't care about Terra's birthmark. A chance to travel to China with Jacob and his adopted mother becomes an opportunity for Terra and her mother to define themselves outside of Dad's narrow parameters and gain the confidence to map their own futures. This emotionally satisfying novel is replete with themes about the true meaning of beauty, the destructive power of verbal abuse and the restorative ability of art. Mapping and cartography terms are expertly woven throughout the text, adding yet another level to an already complex and deeply felt read. Look out, Sarah Dessen. You may have met your match in Headley. (Fiction. 13 & up)
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up Terra's body is very nearly perfect, except for the port-wine birthmark on her left cheek, which several surgeries have failed to remove. It is the teen's final semester of high school and she looks forward to college where she can study art and escape from her bullying, verbally abusive father. Over the Christmas holidays, Terra and her mother get into a car accident and meet Jacob, a Goth Chinese boy with a cleft lip, and his adoptive mother. The women immediately strike up a supportive friendship, while Terra and Jacob grow close. When Terra's brother, who lives in Shanghai, sends her and her mother tickets to visit, and Jacob's mother wants to try to track down Jacob's birth mother, they decide to travel together. But what about Erik, Terra's enamored but slightly clueless boyfriend? Headley's ambitious novel is written in a beautifully crafted style that flows seamlessly. The pace is somewhat bogged down in the first half but it quickens when the characters travel to China, where Jacob, Terra, and their mothers begin to confront their insecurities. Terra and Jacob are flawed, complex, and memorable characters. The message that true beauty and strength come from within is dominant, but this is also a moving and satisfying story in its own right. Amy J. Chow, The Brearley School, New York City
Starred Review for Publishers Weekly

Laced with metaphors about maps and treasure, Headley’s (Girl Overboard) finely crafted novel traces a teen’s uncharted quest to find beauty. Two things block Terra’s happiness: a port-wine stain on her face and her verbally abusive father, a failed cartographer who views her as ugly and belittles the collages she creates. A car accident brings her together with Jacob, an Asian-born adoptee with unconventional ideas. Besides introducing her to new pursuits like geocaching, a treasure-hunting game using GPS, Jacob ends up traveling with her when they have an opportunity to visit China together with their mothers. The trip, far-reaching on many different levels, gives Terra a chance to rethink the past and re-map her goals. Taking readers to America’s Northwest, then to China and back again, the author confidently addresses very large, slippery questions about the meaning of art, travel, love and of course beauty. All of her characters hold secrets; finding them out will be as rewarding as Terra’s discoveries of caches. Ages 12–up. (Feb.)

Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* Sixteen-year-old Terra seems to be a typical high-achieving high-school student. Under her heavy makeup, though, she hides a port-wine colored birthmark on her cheek that makes her feel like an outsider. During yet another attempt to remove the birthmark, Terra runs into Jacob, a gorgeous Goth with a cleft-palette scar. That encounter initiates a transformation in both Terra and her subservient mother. Headley has written an exquisite book that explores the difference between physical and true beauty as Terra and her mother travel from Washington state to China, and from the home of a shame-faced, cruel cartographer into the presence of an adventurous, strong woman and her insightful teenage son. Headley uses map metaphors throughout, even in the activity, geocaching, which helps bond Terra and Jacob in both Washington and China. She also uses Terra's artistic medium, collage, as a literary device to create layer upon layer of experiences and insights into a artfully written journey of self-discovery, self-actualization, and love. With every carefully chosen word, well-crafted sentence, and fully developed character, Headley maps out a wholly satisfying reading experience that takes readers from terra nullis to terra firma.
Voice of Youth Advocates
Is beauty only skin deep? Terra has been camouflaging her port wine stain her entire life while plotting her escape to college and a real life beyond the family dynamic soured by her embittered fatherÆs failure and her browbeaten motherÆs surrender. Her best friend convinces her that the jock boyfriend who feels TerraÆs killer body more than makes up for her face is a dream come true, but a fender bender changes everything. Jacob is tall, dark, and gothùcould he be the one to truly see her, the one with whom she finds her own True North, far from the artificial Land of Beautiful? HeadleyÆs characters, both adult and teen, are complex, nuanced, and intriguingly intertwined. Particularly powerful is the depiction of TerraÆs growing recognition of her own artistic drive and their deepening connection through her motherÆs mirrored recognition of personal worth. The primary metaphors of maps, journeys, exploration, and art as a catalyst for expression and connection are meaningful and beautifully sustained.ùMary Arnold.
Word Count: 104,332
Reading Level: 5.9
Interest Level: 9-12
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 5.9 / points: 17.0 / quiz: 128170 / grade: Upper Grades
Lexile: 850L
Guided Reading Level: Z
Fountas & Pinnell: Z

As he continued to stare, I wanted to point to my cheek and remind him, But you were the one who wanted this, remember? You're the one who asked-and I repeat-Why not fix your face?

It's hard not to notice Terra Cooper.

She's tall, blond, and has an enviable body. But with one turn of her cheek, all people notice is her unmistakably "flawed" face. Terra secretly plans to leave her stifling small town in the Northwest and escape to an East Coast college, but gets pushed off-course by her controlling father. When an unexpected collision puts Terra directly in Jacob's path, the handsome but quirky Goth boy immediately challenges her assumptions about herself and her life, and she is forced in yet another direction. With her carefully laid plans disrupted, will Terra be able to find her true path?

Written in lively, artful prose, award-winning author Justina Chen Headley has woven together a powerful novel about a fractured family, falling in love, travel, and the meaning of true beauty.


*Prices subject to change without notice and listed in US dollars.
Perma-Bound bindings are unconditionally guaranteed (excludes textbook rebinding).
Paperbacks are not guaranteed.
Please Note: All Digital Material Sales Final.