By Aurelie Sheehan
Aurelie Sheehan's subtle and moving History Lesson for Girls looks back on a year in the lives of two 13-year-olds in a posh Connecticut town: self-conscious Alison, who wears a back brace for scoliosis, and her champion, the popular, nervy Kate. They bond over horses (this novel's presiding spirits), the failures of their oddball parents, and Kate's increasingly imperiled hopes. Says grown-up Alison, a veterinarian and something of an expert on loss, "Still, you know, you need to imagine something will survive. You need to imagine that every day."