Tuesday, July 1, 2008


Unraveling by Michelle Baldini & Lynn Biederman (2008)

Life is tough for Amanda Himmelfarb--her nickname (Himmelfart) stinks, her mom (the Captain) just doesn't understand her, her sister Melody (aka Malady) is a brat, and when the cool guy at school begins to like her, it's for all the wrong reasons.

Like an updated version of Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret, this book tackles a girl's first period, her first sexual experiences and the awkwardness that goes along with adolescence. It was written by two librarians, which I find very cool but I'm a nerd so don't listen, and the poetry interspersed throughout the book was written by a real teen!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting UNRAVELING on your blog! It was interesting for me to see your "real life" tag, especially in light of a conversation I had last night with a mother of a 15 yr. old daughter. Apparently, she had seen a review of Unraveling on a blog of a local writer in the town we both live in. Pre-reading for her teen daughter, she had just finished Unraveling and passed it along to her daughter. She explained that what goes on in the story --sexual encounters she might normally object to her daughter reading-- seemed to her to be the stuff of fiction not reality. Of course, she's dead wrong on many counts and I had to enlighten her as such although, she may be snatching the book away from her daughter this morning as a result. (But I couldn't keep quiet here.)That the main character weighs a choice--her virginity in exchange for a date to a dance with a guy she realllly likes--might sound outrageous (or not believable) without more context of Amanda's life and what she hopes to accomplish with her decision. But, these types of dilemmas are real and in fact, this one is based on real life. Um, I can vouch for this!! :) I guess it's a matter of perspective and that's what makes realistic fiction what it is. At one point, our editor felt the tension between mother and daughter in the book or more specifically the mother character--The Captain--wasn't credible. Well, this character was also based on real life. This too leads me back to perspective. I'd be curious to hear what your teen readers think about this. And, what about a mom having to read a book before her teen daughter does? I wished I'd thought to ask if she previews TV shows or movies? You can see where I come out on this. Anyway, thanks again for your post. Best,