MELANIE MARTIN GOES DUTCH by Carol Weston

MELANIE MARTIN GOES DUTCH

The Private Diary of My Almost Bummer Summer with Cecily, Matt the Brat, and Vincent van Go Go Go
Age Range: 7 - 10

KIRKUS REVIEW

The subtitle and cover set the tone, writing style, and scene for this breezy, fun, lighthearted read that quite naturally folds in contemporary issues of breast cancer fears and the meaning of intolerance. Told in diary format like its predecessor (The Diary of Melanie Martin, 2000), Mel’s bubbly personality recounts the family’s summer trip to Amsterdam when her mom, an art teacher, receives a grant to study van Gogh. Mel’s BFF (Best Friend Forever), Cecily, is invited to go along while her mom undergoes and recovers from breast cancer surgery. Mel’s excitement over having Cecily on the trip quickly turns to annoyance when her best friend pays more attention to Matt, her six-and-a-half-year-old brother. Mel’s daily diary entries recount the week’s adventures that include lost luggage (for days), Matt’s lost baby tooth, and her sense of loss of parental approval and feeling left out. The diary device works especially well: Mel’s “quippy” poems are clever and funny and express her feelings; she phonetically spells out Dutch words; and her penchant for using words three times for emphasis are all so, so, so right for the voice of the character. The venue of Amsterdam is an opportunity for Mel to discover the Dutch masters, to relate passages from Anne Frank’s diary to her own life, and to compare the Dutch ways of doing things to home in New York City. This can stand alone without having read the first and the ending leaves the door open for more stories. Go, go, go girl. (Fiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: May 14th, 2002
ISBN: 0-375-82195-3
Page count: 144pp
Publisher: Knopf
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 2002




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