LIZZIE AT LAST by Claudia Mills


Age Range: 8 - 12
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Lizzie is facing seventh grade and another year of being woefully different from the other students. A little eccentric, she wears long, flowing Victorian gowns, writes poetry, relies on her horoscope, and is a whiz in school. Remembering the ridicule she suffered in sixth grade, Lizzie decides to try a different look and gets herself newly outfitted at the Gap. Long in the grip of a crush on Ethan, she also begins taking her cues from ultra-popular Marcia in order to earn Ethan’s admiration. During this brief, but anxiety-provoking experiment, Lizzie lets herself be bullied, dumbs herself down (even going so far as to get a D on a math paper), and squelches her natural and unique gifts. It is not long before the trials and tribulations of popularizing herself exhaust Lizzie, but she learns some interesting things in the process. The new, savvier Lizzie has finally managed to make some friends and the more steadfast of these appreciate her even more when she integrates the original Lizzie. By the time the seventh-grade dance rolls around, she is unafraid to appear in her white Victorian frock and ask Ethan to dance. It is heartening that the story ends, not with girl gets boy, but rather that girl decides she doesn’t want boy. Mills (Gus and Grandpa Show-and-Tell, p. 890, etc.) has written a light and entertaining story highlighting the hard-won lesson of being true to oneself even if it sets you a little apart. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 26th, 2000
ISBN: 0-374-34659-3
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2000


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