HOW I SURVIVED BEING A GIRL by Wendelin Van Draanen


Age Range: 8 - 11
Email this review


 Van Draanen's first book has a crackling pace, funny lines, and an iron-willed heroine with a knack for putting herself in the center of all the action. Sixth-grader Carolyn doesn't act like a girl, and doesn't look much like one either, clad in boys clothing and wearing her hair very short. She likes to spy on the neighbors with her two brothers, play stickball, and dig foxholes in the backyard. Of girls who play with dolls and wear too much lace, she has low opinions, and hardly counts herself in the girl camp at all until some unfamiliar feelings surface for her stickball buddy, Charlie. When her baby sister, Nancy, is born, Carolyn decides that being a girl is really okay, now that she has an ally in the family. The era in which the story takes place is never specified, and while Carolyn's voice is contemporary, some of the problems she faces are dated, e.g., having to wear a dress to school and being unable to have her own paper route because she is a girl. Regardless, her irreverent narration is engaging and she's refreshingly astute about family and neighborhood dynamics. Blithely entertaining. (Fiction. 8-11)

Pub Date: March 31st, 1997
ISBN: 0-06-026671-6
Page count: 163pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 1996


ChildrenWILD BIRD by Wendelin Van Draanen
by Wendelin Van Draanen
ChildrenTHE SECRET LIFE OF LINCOLN JONES by Wendelin Van Draanen
by Wendelin Van Draanen
ChildrenSAMMY KEYES AND THE KISS GOODBYE by Wendelin Van Draanen
by Wendelin Van Draanen