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Readers will agree when, in the triumphant final poem, an assured Addie proclaims: “I am a girl who knows enough / to know...

In this companion novel, Howe explores the interior life of the most outspoken member of the “Gang of Five” from The Misfits and Totally Joe (2001, 2005).

Told entirely in verse, the story follows 13-year-old Addie’s struggles to define herself according to her own terms. Through her poems, Addie reflects on her life and life in general: her first boyfriend, what it means to be accepted and her endeavors to promote equality. Addie is at her most fragile when she examines her relationship with her boyfriend and the cruel behavior of her former best friend. Her forthright observations address serious topics with a maturity beyond her age. She contemplates the tragedy of teen suicide in “What If” and decries the practice of forced marriages in “What We Don’t Know,” stating “…And their mothers / have no power to change how it goes. They too / have been beaten and raped, sold and traded like / disposable goods, owned by men, while the only thing / they own is their misery…” Addie’s voice gains confidence when she takes on the role of an advocate, as when she reveals her reasons for forming the GSA (Gay Straight Alliance) at school in “No One is Free When Others Are Oppressed (A Button on My Backpack).” Bolstered by the sage advice of her grandmother, Addie charts a steady course through her turbulent seventh-grade year.

Readers will agree when, in the triumphant final poem, an assured Addie proclaims: “I am a girl who knows enough / to know this life is mine.” (author's note) (Verse novel. 11-14)

Pub Date: July 26, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-4169-1384-9

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2011

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Paulsen recalls personal experiences that he incorporated into Hatchet (1987) and its three sequels, from savage attacks by moose and mosquitoes to watching helplessly as a heart-attack victim dies. As usual, his real adventures are every bit as vivid and hair-raising as those in his fiction, and he relates them with relish—discoursing on “The Fine Art of Wilderness Nutrition,” for instance: “Something that you would never consider eating, something completely repulsive and ugly and disgusting, something so gross it would make you vomit just looking at it, becomes absolutely delicious if you’re starving.” Specific examples follow, to prove that he knows whereof he writes. The author adds incidents from his Iditarod races, describes how he made, then learned to hunt with, bow and arrow, then closes with methods of cooking outdoors sans pots or pans. It’s a patchwork, but an entertaining one, and as likely to win him new fans as to answer questions from his old ones. (Autobiography. 10-13)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-385-32650-5

Page Count: 150

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2000

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Seuss, with 82 years and 44 books to his credit, is in better than "pretty good shape"; he's in top form with this book...

Over the past 30 years, Dr. Seuss has endeared himself to millions of youngsters (and harried older types) with his tales of such giggle-producing creatures as "The Cat in the Hat" and "Yertle the Turtle."

Now, finally, he's written a book for those he calls "obsolete children." It's the nicest thing to happen to "senior citizens" since Medicare. This time around, the Doctor enlists his jaunty rhymes and sprightly illustrations to present a not altogether tongue-in-cheek look at that unnerving ritual of aging, "the medical check-up." His reactions to the whole demeaning (and distinctly expensive) process are so wryly knowing he might well have entitled his opus "The Cynic in the Clinic." The medical profession, under Seuss' steady gaze, comes in for some hilarious—and pointed—joshing. The action takes place at the "Golden Years Clinic on Century Square for Spleen Readjustment and Muffler Repair." Here, after first undergoing an "Eyesight and Solvency Test" (the chart reads "Have you any idea how much money these tests are costing you?"), the grey-mustachioed hero meets a battery of specialists including "Von Crandall, the World-Renowned Ear Man" and "Dr. Pollen, the Allergy Whiz." These worthies pinch, prod and poke about in search of such maladies as "Prone Picker's Plight" and "Chimney Sweep's Stupor." Diets are devised—"What you like. . .forget it!" Seuss has a great deal of fun with the "Pill Drill," in which the hero must memorize the dosages of a bewildering medicinal array: "I take the pill with zebra stripes to cure my early evening gripes. . .This long flat one is what I take if I should die before I wake." Having mastered that challenge, he goes from being "properly pilled" to being "properly billed." Finally, socks, coat and pants restored, necktie back under his chin, he's pleased to assure himself, "You're in pretty good shape for the shape you are in."

Seuss, with 82 years and 44 books to his credit, is in better than "pretty good shape"; he's in top form with this book that's sure to delight "obsolete children," and even those of us who are merely obsolescent. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 12, 1986

ISBN: 0394551907

Page Count: 56

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 1986

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