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About The Book

This gripping conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Crank trilogy features a refreshed look and a trade paperback trim size.

Hunter, Autumn, and Summer—three of Kristina Snow’s five children—live in different homes, with different guardians and different last names. They share only a predisposition for addiction and a host of troubled feelings toward the mother who barely knows them, a mother who has been riding with the monster, crank, for twenty years.

Hunter is nineteen, angry, getting by in college with a job at a radio station, a girlfriend he loves in the only way he knows how, and the occasional party. He's struggling to understand why his mother left him, when he unexpectedly meets his rapist father, and things get even more complicated. Autumn lives with her single aunt and alcoholic grandfather. When her aunt gets married, and the only family she’s ever known crumbles, Autumn’s compulsive habits lead her to drink. And the consequences of her decisions suggest that there’s more of Kristina in her than she’d like to believe. Summer doesn’t know about Hunter, Autumn, or their two youngest brothers, Donald and David. To her, family is only abuse at the hands of her father’s girlfriends and a slew of foster parents. Doubt and loneliness overwhelm her, and she, too, teeters on the edge of her mother’s notorious legacy. As each searches for real love and true family, they find themselves pulled toward the one person who links them together—Kristina, Bree, mother, addict. But it is in each other, and in themselves, that they find the trust, the courage, the hope to break the cycle.

Told in three voices and punctuated by news articles chronicling the family’s story, FALLOUT is the stunning conclusion to the trilogy begun by CRANK and GLASS, and a testament to the harsh reality that addiction is never just one person’s problem.


We Hear



That life was good

before she


                                            the monster,

but those page flips

went down before

our collective

cognition. Kristina


that chapter of her

history before we

were even whispers

in her womb.


The monster shaped


Lives, without our ever

touching it. Read on

if you dare. This



isn’t pretty.

Hunter Seth Haskins





All about her. Who


really is. (Was?) Why

she swerved off

the high road. Hard


to nowhere,


indifferent to


Hunter Seth Haskins,

her firstborn

son. I’ve been


that down for

nineteen years.

Why did she go


her mindless way,

leaving me spinning

in a whirlwind of

                                            her dust?





Her story, I’ll try

my best to enlighten


you, though I’m not sure

of every word of it myself.


I suppose I should know

more. I mean, it has been


recorded for eternity—

a bestselling fictionalization,


so the world wouldn’t see

precisely who we are—


my mixed-up, messed-

up family, a convoluted


collection of mostly regular

people, somehow strengthened


by indissoluble love, despite

an ever-present undercurrent


of pain. The saga started here:






Kristina Georgia Snow

gave me life in her seventeenth

year. She’s my mother,


but never bothered to be

my mom. That job fell

to her mother, my grandmother,


Marie, whose unfailing love

made her Mom even before

she and Dad (Kristina’s stepfather,


             Scott) adopted me. That was

             really your decision, Mom claims.

             You were three when you started


             calling us Mama and Papa.

             The other kids in your playgroup

             had them. You wanted them too.


We became an official

legal family when I was four.

My memory of that day is hazy





at best, but if I reach way,

way back, I can almost see

the lady judge, perched


like an eagle, way high above

little me. I think she was

sniffling. Crying, maybe?


                               Her voice was gentle. I want

                               to thank you, Mr. and Mrs.

                               Haskins, for loving this child


                               as he deserves to be loved.

                               Please accept this small gift,

                               which represents that love.


I don’t really remember all

those words, but Mom repeats

them sometimes, usually


when she stares at the crystal

heart, catching morning sun

through the kitchen window.


That part of Kristina’s story

always makes Mom sad.

Here’s a little more of the saga.


Chapter one





It started with a court-ordered

summer visit to Kristina’s

druggie dad. Genetically,


that makes him my grandfather,

not that he takes much interest

in the role. Supposedly he stopped


by once or twice when I was still

bopping around in diapers.

Mom says he wandered in late


to my baptism, dragging

Kristina along, both of them

wearing the stench of monster


sweat. Monster, meaning crystal

meth. They’d been up all night,

catching a monstrous buzz.


It wasn’t the first time

they’d partied together. That

was in Albuquerque, where dear


old Gramps lives, and where

Kristina met the guy who popped

her just-say-no-to-drugs cherry.





Our lives were never the same

                         again, Mom often says. That

                         was the beginning of six years


                         of hell. I’m not sure how we all

                         survived it. Thank God you were

                         born safe and sound. . . .


All my fingers, toes, and a fully

functional brain. Yadda, yadda . . .

Well, I am glad about the brain.


                         Except when Mom gives me

                         the old, What is up with you?

                         You’re a brilliant kid. Why do


                         you refuse to perform like one?

                         A C-plus in English? If you would

                         just apply yourself . . .


Yeah, yeah. Heard it before.

Apply myself? To what?

And what the hell for?


I KInD of enjoY




My underachiever status.

                   I’ve found the harder you

                                work, the more people expect


of you. I’d much rather fly

                   way low under the radar.

                               That was one of Kristina’s


biggest mistakes, I think—

                   insisting on being right-up-

                               In-your-face irresponsible.


Anyway, your first couple years

                   of college are supposed to be

                               about having fun, not about


deciding what you want to do

                   with the rest of your life. Plenty

                               of time for all that whenever.




I decided on UNR—University

                   of Nevada, Reno—not so much

                               because it was always a goal,


but because Mom and Dad

                   did this prepaid tuition thing,

                               and I never had Ivy League


ambitions or the need to venture

                   too far from home. School is school.

                               I’ll get my BA in communications,


then figure out what to do with it.

                   I’ve got a part-time radio gig at

                               The X, an allowance for incidentals,


and I live at home. What more

                   could a guy need? Especially

                               when he’s got a girl like Nikki.

Autumn Rose Shepherd

Sometimes I See Faces







Somehow familiar,

but I don’t know why.


I cannot label them,

no matter how intently


I try. They are nameless.

And yet not strangers.


Like Alamo ghosts, they

emerge from deep


of night, materialize

from darkness, deny


my sleep. I would call them

dreams. But that’s too easy.

I Suspect






One of those faces belongs

               to my mother. It is young, not



much older than mine, but weary,

               with cheeks like stark coastal



cliffs and hollow blue eyes, framed

               with drifts of mink-colored hair.



I don’t look very much like her.

               My hair curls, auburn, around



a full, heart-shaped face, and

               my eyes are brown. Or, to be



more creative, burnt umber. Nothing

               like hers, so maybe I’m mistaken



about her identity. Is she my mother?


               Is she the one who christened me


Autumn Rose Shepherd? Pretty

name. Wish I could live up to it.



Aunt Cora Insists







I am pretty. But Aunt Cora

is a one-woman cheering section.

Thank goodness the grandstands

aren’t completely empty.


I’m kind of a lone wolf, except

for Cherie, and she’s what you

might call a part-time friend.

We hang out sometimes, but


only if she’s got nothing better

going on. Meaning no ballet recitals

or play rehearsals or guy-of-the-day

to distract her from those.


But Aunt Cora is always there,

someone I can count on, through

chowder or broth, as Grandfather says.

Old Texas talk for “thick or thin.”








Things feel

                                            about the consistency

                                            of milky oatmeal.

                                            With honey.



Most days,

                                            I wake up relatively

                                            happy. Eat breakfast.

                                            Go to school.

                                            Come home.




Blah, blah, blah.


But sometimes,

                                            for no reason beyond

                                            a loud noise or leather

                                            cleaner smell, I am afraid.

It’s like yanking myself

from a nightmare only,

even wide awake,

I can’t unstick myself

from the fear of the dream.

I don’t want to

leave my room.

Can’t Bear the Thought




Of people staring, I’m sure

they will. Sure they’ll know.

Sure they’ll think I’m crazy.



The only person I can talk to

is Aunt Cora. I can go to her

all freaked out. Can scream,

“What’s the matter with me?”



             And she’ll open her arms, let me

             cry and rant, and never once

             has she called me crazy. One



             time she said, Things happened

             when you were little. Things you

             don’t remember now, and don’t want

             to. But they need to escape,



             need to worm their way out

             of that dark place in your brain

             where you keep them stashed.


Summer Lily Kenwood







I learned not to


a long time ago.

Learned to


down hard

against pain,


my little mouth

wedged shut.


back was useless,

anyway. I was


at three, and Zoe

was a hammer.


are stinkier than

 boys when they                         


dirty, she’d say,

scrubbing until I


And if I cried

out, I hurt


I’m Fifteen Now






And though Zoe is no longer

             Dad’s lay of the day, I’ll never

                         forget her or how he closed

                                     his eyes to the ugly things

                                                  she did to me regularly.


He never said a word about

             the swollen red places. Never

                   told her to stop. He had to know,

                               and if he didn’t, she must have

                                            been one magical piece of ass.


Cynical? Me? Yeah, maybe

             I am, but then, why wouldn’t

                         I be? Since the day I was born,

                                     I’ve been passed around. Pushed

                                                  around. Drop-kicked around.


The most totally messed-up

             part of that is the more it

                         happens, the less I care. Anyway,

                                     as foster homes go, this one is

okay. Except for the screaming.

Screaming, Again




It’s Darla’s favorite method

of communication, and not

really the best one for a foster


parent. I mean, aren’t they

supposed to guide us gently?


                         Her shrill falsetto saws through

                         the hollow-core bedroom door.


                         Ashante! How many times

                         do I have to tell you to make

                          your goddamn bed? It’s a rule!


Jeez, man. Ashante is only seven,

and she hasn’t even

been here a week. Darla


really should get an actual job,

leave the fostering to Phil,


who is patient and kind-eyed

and willing enough to smile.

Plus, he’s not bad-looking


for a guy in his late forties.

And I’ve yet to hear him scream.

Darla Is a Different Story








Here it comes, directed at me.

                                     Summer! Is your homework finished?


Hours ago, but I call, “Almost.”

                                     Well, hurry it up, for God’s sake.


Like God needs to be involved. “Okay.”

                                     I need some help with dinner.


Three other girls live here too.

                                     And turn down that stupid music.


The music belongs to one of them.

                                     I can barely hear myself think.


She thinks? “It’s Erica’s music.”

                                     Well, tell her to turn it down, please.


Whatever. At least she said please.

And would you please stop yelling?







My neck flares, collarbone

to earlobes. Like Erica

couldn’t hear her scream?


I fling myself off the bed,

cross my room and the hall

just beyond in mere seconds.


“Erica!” (Shit, I am yelling.)

“Can’t you . . . ?” But when

I push through the door,


the music on the other side

slams into me hard. No

way could she have heard


the commotion. “Great

song, but Darla wants you

to turn it down. What is it?”


                         Erica reaches for the volume.

                         “Bad Girlfriend.” By Theory of a Dead-

                         man. I just downloaded it today.


                         She looks at me, and her eyes

                         repeat a too-familiar story.

                         Erica is wired. Treed, in fact.

I Totally Know Treed




In sixth grade, the D.A.R.E.

dorks came in, spouting stats

to scare us into staying straight.

But by then, I knew more than

they did about the monster

because of my dad and his women,


including my so-called mom.

Her ex, too, and his sister and cousin.

Plus a whole network of stoners

connecting them all. The funny

thing is, none of them have a fricking

clue that I am so enlightened.


Tweakers always think no one

knows. Just like Erica right now.

“Shit, girl. You go to dinner lit

like that, you’re so busted.

Darla may be a bitch. But she’s

not stupid, and neither is Phil.”


                         Here comes the denial.

                         Her shoulders go stiff and

                         her head starts twisting

                         side to side. But she doesn’t

                         dare let her eyes meet mine.

                         What are you talking about?




“Hey, no prob. I’m not a spy,

and it’s all your life anyway.

I’m just saying you might

as well be wearing a sign

that says ‘I Like Ice.’ If

I were you, I’d skip dinner.”


                         I turn, start for the door,

                         and Erica’s voice stops me.

                         It’s just so hard to feel good,

                         you know? I do know. And

                         more than that, it’s just

                         so incredibly hard to feel.

Reading Group Guide

A Reading Group Guide to the

Crank, Glass, Fallout trilogy

by Ellen Hopkins

Overall pre-reading questions for the series:

Why might teens begin using drugs like meth even though they know the dangers?

How might drug addiction impact a family?

What scars might drug addiction leave for generations to come? 

A Reading Group Guide to Crank by Ellen Hopkins


Maybe it wouldn’t have happened if she had just stayed in Reno for the summer. Or if her father had turned out to be the man she had wanted him to be instead of the disappointment that she found. Or maybe if Adam hadn’t been so beautiful and broken and in need of her love. Maybe then Kristina wouldn’t have snorted her first line of crank and maybe then her life wouldn’t be spiraling out of control. But maybe doesn’t count in the real world, and it certainly won’t save Kristina from the monster.


How would you describe Bree? Is this the same way that Kristina would describe her? Where did Bree come from?

For Kristina, what is the lure of crystal meth? What does it provide for her? What does it take away?

Describe Kristina’s mother, father, and stepfather. Are they in any way responsible for her addiction? Do you think that there’s anything else they could have—or should have—done to help her?

Why is Kristina drawn to Adam? To Chase? To Brendan? In what ways are these three similar and in what ways are they different? How does Kristina’s relationship with each one affect her?

Which boy is most harmful to her?

Why does Kristina decide to keep her baby? What reasons might she have had for giving it up? Do you think she made the right decision?

Why does Kristina always call crank “the monster”? How do you think her renaming of the drug affects her attitude toward it and her sense of responsibility regarding it? Are there other things or people in the story that get renamed? How does this affect the way in which they are regarded?

Kristina sometimes refers to herself and her life before drugs as boring and worthless, yet at other times she seems to regard it as something very precious. What attitude do you think is closest to her true feelings? Do you think those around her would agree with her assessment?

The author chose to write this story in verse. Why do you think that she chose this format? What effect does this have on how you feel about the characters and events?

What is the overall message of this book? Do you think the story will act as a deterrent for teens who are considering drugs?


As we can see in Crank, poetry allows us to express ourselves in new and creative ways. Write a poem or series of poems about something that has happened in your life

Choose a drug—crystal meth or some other drug that you’ve heard of—and research its effects on the user. Find out exactly what it does in the body, how long the side effects last, how much it typically costs, and any other pertinent facts.

Kristina has an alter ego who allows her to be more careless and daring. What would your alter ego be like? Choose a name, list all the character traits s/he would have, and list the things that s/he could help you do. Imagine what your life would be like if you acted more like your alter ego.

Kristina’s baby, like many children of addicts, cries a lot and needs to be held more than other babies. Find out if your local hospital will allow you to volunteer to hold babies born addicted. If your community has no such programs, perhaps you could consider volunteering at a local drug clinic or an anti-drug program at your school.

Write a short story about what you think will happen to Kristina and her baby after the events depicted in the book.

There are several other books about teenage drug addiction, including Go Ask Alice and Smack. Read one of these other books and compare it to Crank.

A Reading Group Guide to Glass by Ellen Hopkins


This sequel to Crank (2004) picks up after Kristina Snow has given birth to her first son, Hunter. Addicted to meth after a brief visit to her estranged father, Kristina thinks that she can manage her addiction—without giving it up—now that she has a baby to care for. A young mother living with her mother and stepfather, who support her and Hunter, Kristina is disheartened with her excess weight and has lost confidence in herself in other ways, as well. Now a high school dropout, Kristina takes a job at the 7-11 and toys with the idea of using again to regain her pre-baby figure. Kristina gives in to the monster again, thinking she can control how much she uses, and begins another gradual spiral downward into hopelessness. Along the way, she meets Trey, a meth user, and moves farther away from her relationship with her baby and the support of her family. Her parents take custody of her son, and Kristina and Trey live rough lives as meth addicts, sleeping in Trey’s car and selling drugs to pay for their addiction. A final discovery leads to yet another challenge that Kristina may or may not be able to handle, and hope for her future, as fragile as it’s become, wears even thinner.


Ask students one of the following:  1) What do you know about the drug meth?  2) Why might a seemingly “perfect” teen turn to meth?  3) To what extent would you be willing to support an immediate family member who is addicted to meth?  


In the opening of Glass, Hopkins reminds the reader of Kristina Snow’s fall “into the lair of the monster,” a metaphor for meth. How is the word monster an appropriate metaphor for meth?

Kristina’s alter ego, Bree, takes over when she is high on meth. What does Kristina mean when she says she made a “conscious decision” to turn into Bree?

Kristina meets Trey, a user and drug dealer, and falls head over heels for him. A year previously she had fallen for Adam, who introduced her to meth. After their relationship, why does Kristina fall for Trey, another drug dealer? What characteristics does he have that draw her in? Why does she maintain this relationship even though she knows Trey has other girlfriends? 

Kristina knows that she should resist the monster. Why do you think she lacks the strength? Why might recovering addicts believe they can use again but control their drug habit?  

Chase, a boyfriend from Crank, has a minor role in this novel. When Kristina encounters him, she is somewhat tentative. What feelings does she have for him? Why do you think Hopkins develops the scene in which Kristina encounters Chase with his new wife?

Kristina’s mother and stepfather want Kristina to heal. Why does Kristina journey down the wrong path again? What emotions exist between Kristina and her mother? Between her stepfather and Kristina? 

Would you describe the way Kristina feels as “empty”? Explain.  How much power do Kristina’s parents have to help her? Could they have done anything to prevent her from spiraling downward again? If so, what?

Kristina became hooked on meth when visiting her biological father, a meth user. When her father pays a visit on her birthday, Kristina shares her own stash with him. Describe their relationship. In what ways is her relationship with her father similar to her relationship with her mother? How is it different? 

Does Trey genuinely care for Kristina? Does Brad? Cite scenes to support your response.

Does Kristina feel parental attachment to Hunter in the beginning of the story? Explain. Do her feelings toward him change throughout the story? If so, in what way?

Does Kristina grow throughout the story? Why or why not? Cite passages to support your thoughts.

Kristina’s mother “throws her out” and/or refuses to see her while she is addicted. Does her mother take appropriate steps by turning her away?

contains numerous shape poems. Identify two shape poems and explain the meaning of these forms. What effect do they have on the overall story? Why do you think Hopkins chose these shapes?

Glass begs for another follow-up in the series. What might happen to Kristina now that she and Trey have been busted? Will she distance herself from Trey or will they continue their relationship? Will she rejoin her family and resist the monster?


Organize a drug awareness campaign in your school and/or community. You may develop brochures outlining the dangers of meth and invite a guest speaker (ex., adolescent therapist) to your school, church/synagogue, etc., to speak to your peers.

Re-examine the shape poetry found in Glass. Write your own poem in a shape that suits the poem’s theme. You may create a Shape Poetry Collection that when read together convenes a theme or short story.

Research meth and its effects on the body.  Develop a blog or wiki on the dangers of meth and include information about where teens can go for help. Share the site with others in your school.

Kristina is the “perfect” girl. She is pretty, smart, and lives a comfortable lifestyle with her family. Why might someone who seemingly has everything turn to drugs? Read nonfiction accounts of teens who turn to meth. Develop a presentation that outlines common reasons teens turn toward drugs.

Volunteer to work for an organization that supports high-risk children such as a Big Brother or Big Sister.

Read a follow-up fiction novel that addresses drug addiction (ex., Candy by Kevin Brooks or St. Iggy by K. L. Going). Compare and contrast the stories. What characteristics do the drug addicts share? How are they different?

A Reading Group Guide to Fallout by Ellen Hopkins


The final installment in the Crank trilogy, Fallout picks up almost two decades after Kristina’s parents assume custody of Hunter. Hunter is in college and has two half sisters and two half brothers. Told in alternating voices, the verse novel concentrates on the lives of Hunter and his two teenage half sisters: Autumn and Summer.  All three are being raised by different families. Hunter has a steady girlfriend and struggles to understand and control his anger. Autumn has panic attacks and cannot handle the fact her aunt, Trey’s sister, is marrying and moving away. She turns to alcohol and begins having unprotected sex, even fantasizing about getting pregnant.  Summer has been abused at the hands of her father’s girlfriends and does not know she has a sister until she begins questioning her father about her past. Lonely and longing for connection, Summer runs away with her boyfriend, Kyle. Hunter, Autumn, and Summer share the same anger and mixed feelings about their mother. Their lives intersect one Christmas at Kristina’s parents’ home, where they encounter their mother, who has little emotional connection with them. While the three fear they are predestined to follow in their mother’s footsteps, they begin finding pieces of connection and dare to hope for better lives. 


What psychological impact might drug addiction have on offspring?

Is it possible for a drug addiction to be just one person’s problem?

How else, besides drugs like meth, can an addiction manifest itself, especially in the life of a teenager?


 Since the birth of her first child, Hunter, how has Kristina changed over the years? How has she remained the same? How has her relationship with her parents evolved?

How are Hunter, Autumn, and Summer alike?  How are they different? Which of the three has a better chance at a successful life? Why?

Why is Autumn so careless about unprotected sex? How does she feel about getting pregnant? Is she grounded in reality? Explain.

Summer has feelings for both Matt and Matt’s friend, Kyle.  She describes Matt as a nice guy who has never pushed her to have sex and who has never belittled her or yelled at her. However, these positive characteristics “make him boring” How can this be? What characteristics in a boy excite her? Why? What similar responses to men does her mother have? Consider her mother’s relationship with Ron.

Trey and Autumn’s journey to Autumn’s grandparents house is also a journey through Trey’s relationship with Autumn’s mother and, ultimately, his relationship with Autumn, his daughter. Along the way, Trey says, “I’ve/spent the last fifteen/years hating your mother . . . What I couldn’t see/ was that hate controlled me.”  What does Trey mean? Give examples.  What other characters have been controlled by hate? Explain. 

Anger is a recurring theme in Fallout. Hunter reflects on his own rage and wonders why people take it out on those they love. Why do you think those closest often are hit the hardest by rage?  Is Hunter’s anger justified? What about his mother’s? Explain.   

How might anger be self-contempt?  Use Kristina as an example.  

Hunter’s mother remarks in the closing pages that she “used to live ‘mad’”. What does she mean and how has she changed? Has she found peace? Explain.

Autumn and Summer both want desperately to be loved.  Explain their desperation.  Why are they so quick to fall for a boy? Why are they so needy? In what ways are they like their mother? In what ways are they different from their mother?  How will they need to change so that they can have healthy relationships with men? 

How do Kristina’s children define love?  Would you say they “misname” love? If so, explain.

Kristina has hurt everyone she has touched, and she seems to know she has. How does she respond to the pain she has caused?

Will Kristina’s family ever heal? What scars might remain? Explain.

Fallout ends with the phrase, “ . . . look/very long at/Kristina, I see/me/me/me.” Each use of the pronoun me represents one of Kristina’s three older children. What do all three wish for? What are their fears?  Will each of them be able to stop the “monster” from destroying their own families?


Draw and/or use computer software to generate a relationship tree, highlighting the key characters in Fallout

Choose one of the following relationships to research: father/daughter, father/son, mother/son, mother/daughter.  What are the characteristics of a healthy relationship between the two? What relationship difficulties might a young teen have if one of these relationships is damaged? Prepare a class presentation based on your findings.

Organize a book read at your school between parents/guardians and their children around a book with strong relationship themes between parents/guardians and teens. Mothers and sons might read a YA novel about a mother/son relationship (ex., Bucking the Sarge by Christopher Paul Curtis); a father and daughter might read a YA novel about a father/daughter relationship (ex., Story of a Girl by Sara Zaar). Adopted children and their adoptive parents might read Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher. 

Read a nonfiction account or a biography about a child growing up in a foster home (ex., Three Little Words: A Memoir by Ashley Rhodes-Courter) and share your reactions to the reading with the class.

Crank guide written by Cory Grimminck, Director, Hillsdale Community Library, Hillsdale, MI.

Glass & Fallout guide written by Pam B. Cole, Professor of English Education & Literacy, Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, GA.

This guide has been provided by Simon & Schuster for classroom, library, and reading group use. It may be reproduced in its entirety or excerpted for these purposes.



About The Author

Sonya Sones

Ellen Hopkins is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of numerous young adult novels, as well as the adult novels such as Triangles, Collateral, and Love Lies Beneath. She lives with her family in Carson City, Nevada, where she has founded Ventana Sierra, a nonprofit youth housing and resource initiative. Follow her on Twitter at @EllenHopkinsLit.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books (September 14, 2010)
  • Length: 672 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781442409453
  • Grades: 9 and up
  • Ages: 14 - 99
  • Lexile ® NP The Lexile reading levels have been certified by the Lexile developer, MetaMetrics®

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Awards and Honors

  • Texas Tayshas High School Reading List
  • Joan F. Kaywell Book Award - Honoree (FL

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