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The Right-Under Club is included in Atlanta Parent Magazine's 2007 list of 50 Must-Read Books. The list was published in the magazine's November edition. The write-up says, in part, "The themes of friendship and resilience shine through in the girls' weekly tree house meetings as they openly discuss and work through the problems they face."

Writer Captures Stepfamily Angst in Tween Novel

Leftovers.
That’s what five middle-school girls feel like in their complicated families full of stepparents, half-siblings and other sorta-relatives.
But if they feel like misfits in their own families, they find they fit right in with each other. Tricia, Leighton, Hope, Mei and Elizabeth form The Right-Under Club to commiserate about their family problems and offer each other support.
West Point native Christine Hurley Deriso writes about their angst, optimism and resilience in her third book, The Right-Under Club, published in July by Random House imprint Delacorte Press.
“I didn’t grow up in a stepfamily, but I created one as an adult,” says Christine. “I felt such empathy for my stepson, wondering what it must be like to adapt to instant families when parents divorce and remarry. What a huge adjustment that must be.”
Christine’s stepson, Graham, is all grown up now, but her two teenagers, Greg and Julianne, help keep her firmly attuned to the tween audience she writes for.
“I dedicated the book to Julianne, calling her my ‘editor’ who keeps it real,” Christine says. “She’s always reading over my shoulder as I’m writing, telling me if the dialogue rings true or if the storyline sounds believable.”
It was Christine’s first novel, Do-Over (Delacorte Press, 2006) that cemented her love of writing for tweens. The novel, about a 12-year-old with the power to turn back time to relive embarrassing moments, “was pretty cathartic,” Christine says. “We all have those adolescent moments that make us cringe, and I loved creating a fictional character to take the sting out of the experiences. I like giving kids a chance to step back from their problems and see the humor and universality in their circumstances. My novels are kind of an homage to what my parents used to tell me: ‘This, too, shall pass.’”
Visit Christine’s Web site (www.christinehurleyderiso.com) for updates about book signings, author visits and other events.

To visit Christine's first book web site, "Dreams to Grow On", click here. To visit Christine's second book web site, "Do-Over", click here.

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