‘Saving Lonesome Carsten’ By Emily Stalder Johnson

Kacey Harlow and her best friend, Carsten Hayes, have been inseparable ever since they first met. Even though their introduction was only about a month ago, they quickly determined since they both are outcasts, they may as well be good friends. Carsten is the only one who gave Kacey the time of day. Both are bullied incessantly by their peers, but the pair remain steadfast in supporting the other always in tough times.

It’s not long after their friendship has flourished that Kacey realizes something is different about Carsten. The troubled 7th-grade boy acts like he has some dark secrets and they have to do with his home life. Not once is she invited over to his house; they always hang out at her place after school and on weekends, occasionally. Soon, things seem to spiral downward for Carsten. His father, a prominent and respected lawyer in their hometown, is spiteful and short with Kacey when she calls, and she begins to see why Carsten is the way he is. Timid, quiet, lost in his thoughts, and just… lost. Lost, with no one to save him. Kacey sure can’t, if he won’t let her in and allow her to help him. Things take a drastic turn for the worst when Carsten is hurt at home and requires surgery to repair a broken wrist. It seems it was an accident, but Kacey knows better…

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