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New Novel By Saint Mary's Author Observes Teen Culture On and Offline

For Immediate Release

Debra Holtz
Director of Media Relations
(925) 631-4222
[email protected]

Moraga, Calif. (Oct. 24, 2005) - Today's teens live in a digitized world where gossip travels not only faster than wildfire, but -- with the prevalence of instant messaging, blogs and online chat rooms -- also much farther. In her new novel for teens, "Thou Shalt Not Dump the Skater Dude and Other Commandments I Have Broken" (Viking), Saint Mary's Creative Writing Professor Rosemary Graham explores how this new electronic reality affects the timeless teen concerns of emerging sexuality and the struggle for identity.

Set in Berkeley, the novel tells the story of Kelsey, a seemingly perfect California girl -- tall, blond, and pretty. Although only a high school freshman, she wins the attention of the most popular skateboarder in town. As C.J. Logan's girlfriend, Kelsey goes to outrageous parties, hot clubs and high-stakes skating contests. But after finding herself bored by all this, she does the unthinkable and dumps the skater dude.

Shocked that anyone would dare dump him, C.J. retaliates by trashing Kelsey's reputation on the Internet. He calls her a TSF for "Total Sex Fiend," and complains about her insatiable sexual appetite. Virtually everyone believes his online rampage. As the story unfolds, she must discover who she really is and how to let the world know the true Kelsey.

Early reviews of the novel have been positive, including one by Kirkus Reviews, which says: "Graham delivers a sensitive, in-depth exploration of an initially shallow girl who grows into independence, belying the ultra-light title. A very nice job indeed." Booklist, the publication of the American Library Association, predicts that "many young women will enjoy" the book's "clever humor" and "cheer for Kelsey as she stands up for herself."

Graham's first novel for teens, "My Not-So-Terrible Time at the Hippie Hotel," was published in June 2003 to wide acclaim and was recently designated a Young Adults' Choice by the International Reading Association.

A launch party and reading for "Thou Shalt Not Dump the Skater Dude" will take place Wednesday, Oct. 26, at 7 p.m. at the Lafayette Bookstore, 3579 Mt. Diablo Blvd. in Lafayette. In addition, A Great Good Place for Books, 6120 La Salle Avenue in the Montclair district of Oakland, will host a reading on Friday, Nov. 11, at 7 p.m. Graham is available for interviews by contacting her at [email protected] or 510-524-3816. Her website is www.rosemarygraham.com.

For further information, contact Debra Holtz, Director of Media Relations at Saint Mary's College, (925) 631-4222.


Saint Mary's College of California, founded in 1863, is a residential learning community in Moraga, California based in the Catholic, Lasallian and liberal arts traditions. The college currently enrolls more than 4,500 students in undergraduate, graduate and extended education programs. The Christian Brothers, the largest teaching order of the Roman Catholic Church, guides the academic growth and spiritual character of the school.