“Caller Number Nine”, by Debbie Duncan is a delightful tale about a young woman coming of age in 1967 Los Angeles. When the story begins 13 year-old Laura Hill, of Woodland Hills, wins the Jet Set radio contest on her favorite radio station. The prize is a weekend in Hawaii with her favorite D.J. Her 15 minutes of fame helps her make friends at her new school where she is still adjusting to the change. As the trip comes and goes various obstacles and problems crop up and the issues of the time: women’s rights and Vietnam, all play into Laura’s growth.
Duncan did a bang up job recreating 1967 anywhere. I loved all the little tidbits she included, such as: no nutrition labels on food, smoking allowed everywhere, no ATM’s, princess phones, and so much more. The weaving in of the political issues of the era gave it more depth as well. Laura was a great character and I could really relate to some of her quirks (like not wanting to call people on the phone). Duncan created a very believable 13 year-old girl.
This is a great YA read that I think adults can enjoy too.