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The Creek by Jennifer L. Holm is a coming of age story. The story revolves around twelve year old Penny Carson. Penny and her family have just moved to the suburbs of Philadelphia. Penny is looking forward to a long hot summer, with nothing more to do than to build a fort with her group of friends. Her group of friends consists of the neighborhood boys. Penny also enjoys exploring the creek in the woods near her house. Her parents have to idea that danger lurks in the neighborhood. Neighborhood pets start disappearing and fires threaten the fort. The crimes are blamed on a local boy named Caleb Delvin. Penny does not think that Caleb is behind the crimes, even though he has a juvenile record. Penny is also starting to go through puberty. Penny is not sure how to handle the things going on inside her body. She can't decide if she wants to kiss any of the boys or just play with them. She hates that her mother has made her start wearing bras. Penny is drawn to the older neighbor, Amy, even though Amy is not very nice to her. The story is about Penny trying to find out what is behind the mysteries in her neighborhood as well as trying to figure out how to deal with what is going on inside her own body.
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