Cover image for Telling Christina goodbye
Telling Christina goodbye
McDaniel, Lurlene.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Bantam Books, [2002]

Physical Description:
224 pages ; 18 cm
General Note:
"RL: 5.3, ages 12 and up"--T.p. verso.
Reading Level:
580 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 4.3 5.0 61391.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 5.3 11 Quiz: 31228 Guided reading level: T.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Adult Mass Market Paperback Young Adult

On Order



Trisha Thompson and her best friend Christina are having a great senior year. Trisha and her boyfriend, Cody, are making plans to attend Indiana University together in the fall, while Christina has already received a scholarship to the University of Vermont. Everything would be perfect if only Trisha got along with Christina's controlling boyfriend Tucker, who is trying to convince Christina not to go away for college. But suddenly their lives change one night when Tucker is driving the four home from an away basketball game. When his car hits a patch of black ice and overturns, Tucker walks away with barely a scratch, but Trisha is injured, Cody is in a coma, and Christina is dead. Those left behind must learn that it takes time for their scars--both visible and not--to heal. And they must find the courage to move on with their lives.

Author Notes

Lurlene McDaniel was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on April 5, 1944. She received a B.A. in English from the University of South Florida in Tampa. Before she started writing young adult books, she wrote a magazine column and promos and commercials at a television station. After her children were born, she turned to freelance advertising. When her son was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes at the age of 3, she attended a convention for diabetes and met up with the organizer who connected her with a publishing company specializing in children's books.

Her first book was Kickaroo: The Soccer Playing Kangaroo. She soon realized that writing picture books was not what she wanted to do, so she wrote Will Never Dance Again, about a girl who is diagnosed with diabetes. Thus began her career writing stories about teenagers who overcome life altering illnesses and the lessons learned. Her other books include Somewhere Between Life and Death, Too Young to Die, Goodbye Doesn't Mean Forever, Six Months to Live, and The Year of Chasing Dreams. She received a RITA Award for Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep and three IRA-CBC Children's Choice Awards.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

School Library Journal Review

Gr 6-10 Trisha is enjoying her senior year and planning to attend college in her home state, Indiana, with her longtime boyfriend, Cody. She's especially excited for her best friend, Christina, who's been offered a scholarship to the University of Vermont, which Trisha sees as an opportunity for the teen to get away from her controlling boyfriend, Tucker. Tension mounts when the four attend a basketball game together and Tucker starts a fight with a boy who talks to Christina. On the way home, the two couples have a car accident that leaves Christina dead and Cody in a coma. After the tragedy, the story and the characters become less one-dimensional and syrupy. The question of what caused the accident provides some suspense; along with the quick pace and easy dialogue, the novel will hold the interest of McDaniel's fans. -Rebecca Hogue Wojahn, Riverside Middle School, Watertown, WI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



One During the first week of classes after Christmas break, between fourth and fifth periods at Mooresville High School, Trisha Thompson went looking for Christina Eckloe. She found her best friend crying in the girls' bathroom. Her sobs were muffled and sounded almost like a kitten mewing, hardly the reflection of a breaking heart, but Trisha wasn't fooled. She'd heard Christina cry before. And it didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out why. Tucker Hanson. Trisha slipped into the unlocked stall where Christina was hiding, her hands covering her face. Trisha unrolled a swath of toilet paper and handed it to her friend. "Here, use this. It's more absorbent than your palms." Christina took the wad of paper without looking up. She wiped her eyes and blew her nose. "H-how did you find me?" "When you didn't show up for lunch, I started checking the bathrooms. This was my third stop." "Wh-where are the others? I don't want them to see me like this." "Kim and Darby went on to class. Cody's waiting outside in the hall." "Why couldn't I get a guy like Cody?" Christina asked. "You mean instead of a jerk like Tucker? That's always been my question to you, hasn't it?" Trisha felt angry. "Tucker is the reason you're crying, isn't he? I mean, he usually is the reason you cry." Christina nodded. Trisha sighed. "What'd he do this time?" "We had a fight." "Over what?" "You don't have to talk to me like I'm a child," Christina said. She stood shakily and edged past Trisha out of the stall. Trisha followed. "Sorry. But you've been fighting with Tucker off and on for years. It gets to me because he's not nice to you." Christina bent over a sink and splashed cold water on her face. "You just don't understand." "Enlighten me." "This time it really was my fault," Christina said. "I ran into Bill Lawler at the library last night. Tucker was supposed to pick me up at nine, but we'd had a fight that afternoon and he didn't show." Trisha rolled her eyes. "Anyway," Christina continued while drying her face on a paper towel, "Bill offered to drive me home and on the way we stopped off and had coffee. Someone must have seen us together and told Tucker, because when he picked me up for school this morning he was really upset. I tried to explain that there's nothing between me and Bill, but he won't believe me." "So now he's mad because you had coffee with Bill? What's wrong with that?" "I'm Tucker's girl. I shouldn't have gone out with another guy." "Oh, please!" Trisha crossed her arms. "You didn't go out on a date, you had a coffee together. How can he be that insecure? You've been with him since eighth grade." The entire class knew about Tucker and Christina's relationship. He had been voted Mr. Most Popular and this year's Homecoming King; she had been selected as Miss Best Personality and Homecoming Queen. Kids saw them as perfect for each other, beautiful people who had been going together forever and who were destined to always be a couple. Only Trisha and her boyfriend, Cody McGuire, knew about the tumultuous nature of the pairing. To Trisha's way of thinking, Tucker was often hateful to Christina, sarcastic and even rude. Trisha didn't understand why they stayed together. Christina could have any guy she wanted at Mooresville. "Are you saying Cody wouldn't object if you were seen in public having coffee with some other guy by people who think you've got an exclusive relationship with him?" Christina sounded defensive. "Frank Russo and I go out all the time and Cody doesn't feel threatened." "You're coeditors of the yearbook. Of course you go out all the time. Plus Frank has Abby Harrison for a girlfriend." Trisha ignored Christina's logic. "The point is, Cody trusts me. After all the years you've been with Tucker, he should trust you too." Christina looked dejected. "That's what I told him, but he's still angry." "Then that's his problem, not yours. He needs to get over it, cut you some slack." "There are other things too." Christina fished in her purse for lip gloss. "I've been accepted at the University of Vermont--" "But that's wonderful," Trisha interrupted. Christina smiled for the first time. "Mom and Dad think so too, especially since it came with a ten-thousand-dollar scholarship." Trisha was speechless. She'd always known Christina was smart, but this really proved it. "It's Dad's alma mater, so he really wants me to go there," Christina added. "So why wouldn't you?" "Tucker hates the idea. He can't accept that I would go so far from Indiana, or him. He's really bummed out about it. He wants me to go someplace in-state, like IU." Indiana University at Indianapolis was a good hundred and fifty miles from Mooresville, a midsized town in the middle of nowhere. Trisha had moved to Mooresville with her parents and kid brother five years before when her father, an insurance agent, had taken over the job of area manager for his company. To Trisha, after having lived in a sprawling suburb of Chicago all her life, Mooresville had seemed like the most boring place on earth. When Christina had befriended her in seventh grade, that had made all the difference. Then, when they'd both started at the high school, Trisha met Cody, and having him for a boyfriend for two years had turned Mooresville into the center of the universe. "How can Tucker expect you to change your plans--your future--for him? Why doesn't he change his plans for you?" Trisha asked. Excerpted from Telling Christina Goodbye by Lurlene McDaniel All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.