Tag Archives: Carolyn Mackler

Recent Reads


Just a few notes…

I just listened to Outlaw Princess of Sherwood by Nancy Springer. It wasn’t my favorite book ever, but I like the whole person in a cage theme (because I loved Jane Yolen’s book, Girl in a Cage). I found that I could let my mind wander and then when it came back to listening I didn’t have to rewind.

Just stayed up really late to finish Vegan Virgin Valentine by Carolyn Mackler. Mara Valentine’s niece comes to stay with her and her parents. Her niece, who goes by the name “V” is in high school just like Mara, but the things they have in common end right there. While Mara is the honor roll student, student council member, 6th grade tutor, possible Valedictorian, college class taking, perfect child, V couldn’t be more opposite. V has been traveling the earth with her mom, Mara’s sister Aimee, following every love interest and male hobby on creation. This time, Aimee can’t take V with her to Costa Rica, so V shows up on Mara’s doorstep, cigarettes and bad attitude in hand. Mara and V seem to repel each other at first, but as they say, opposites attract and a friendship eventually develops between the two. During this time, Mara falls in love and starts to see that being an overachiever isn’t all she had made it out to be. I still prefer The Earth, My Butt and Other Big Round Things, but obviously, since I stayed up way past my bedtime to read it, this one wasn’t too bad.

I can admit right up front that I didn’t read the entire thing, but I think that How To Train Your Dragon by Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III by Cressida Cowell will be a hit with all those Time Warp Trio, Series of Unfortunate Events, Dragon Slayer’s Academy, Captain Underpants readers. I know I’m grouping a lot of diverse readers there, but this book has something for each of them. It’s a hero adventure story with great pictures and geez, who could overlook a “Dragon Whisperer” who speaks genuine Dragonese (short gloassary included). The foul and ridiculous names (Gobber the Belch, Fishlegs, Baggybum) got on my nerves a bit, but I’m sure the kids will love them.

Read the book and then you will understand this phrase: Nee-ah crappa inna di hoosus, pishyou.

Recent Reads


Macee–She’s Not There: a life in two genders sounds incredible. Your review alone nearly brought me to tears.

I’ve got two books to tell you about today.

Clara Gillow Clark recently published Hill Hawk Hattie. It’s a story of a girl and her Pa who are trying to rebuild their lives after the loss of Hattie’s Ma. Pa has become so mean since Ma’s death and Hattie Belle is getting meaner by the second. Suddenly, Pa seems less proud of his girl and lets her know that things would be so much easier if she were a boy. Maybe Hattie just reminds him of his dear wife?

Hattie chops off her braids and writes an entry in the diary her Ma left behind (her one comfort) apologizing to Ma for cutting her hair. Pa disguises Hattie as a boy and they take a wild raft ride down the Delaware River. Hattie and Pa make new friends and learn to love one another again as they combat the tempestuous river. The writing flows with movement of the river. It’s a beautiful book and perfect for fourth and fifth graders.

Now, for those rebellious teens (and maybe for those of us who have grown out of our rebellious teens but still do things like pierce our noses!). The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler, is one of the best coming of age novels for teenage girls that I have read in a long time.

Here’s what’s happening in Virginia’s life:

  • she’s battling her weight and the plus size section at Saks–where her Mom insists that she shops
  • she wants a boyfriend
  • she must come to terms with the fact that her brother is not the stellar character that she always believed
  • she is lonely and missing her best friend on earth

…and so much more. Virginia faces all these trials with a unique voice and fun solutions. She realizes that her own thoughts and reactions to her family members are valid–and that she looks great with purple hair! This is a must read for parents of teenage girls, teenage girls, people working with teenage girls… It has a lot to teach us about body image and the realities of family life and communication!