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Melanie in Manhattan

Carol Weston

Average Review Rating Average Rating 9/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Alfred A. Knopf

Published : 2003

Copyright : Carol Weston 2003

ISBN-10 : PB 0-375-83028-6
ISBN-13 : PB 978-0-375-83028-0

Publisher's Write-Up

For once, Mel is spending her vacation on her home turf - Manhattan! But she’s not alone. Miguel, the cute boy she met in Spain, is visiting New York, and this time Mel gets to be his tour guide. From the Empire State Building to the Statue of Liberty, from the Central Park Zoo to the Brooklyn Bridge, Mel and Miguel are off on their own adventures. But uh-oh!

Mel also meets a boy in math class. And while she is learning lots about the Big Apple, she is also learning it’s harder than you think to like two guys at one time.


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Reader Reviews

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Review by Molly Martin (160505) Rating (9/10)

Review by Molly Martin
Rating 9/10
The narrative opens with Melanie’s diary entry dated March 31. It is a Brand-New Diary, Melanie is on-board a boat as part of a party hosted by Mr Martin’s boss. Melanie, her parents, little brother and others are all out to see the Statue of Liberty. Life for Melanie is almost perfect. She is in fifth grade, has a best friend, Cecily and a boy in Spain that she likes. Melanie has just gotten her first kiss, mice Milkshake and Pancake have produced a family of ten offspring.

The one fly in the ointment is Suze, the new girl at school. Well, of course there is another irritation; brother Matt the Brat is always underfoot, full of silly sayings and rhymes and just in general being a bothersome little brother. Suze the Ooze and her meddling, bragging and always trying to horn in with Cecily, is moving right to the top of the list of Melanie’s major annoyances. Jumping baby mice, a trip to Lincoln centre, Friday email from Miguel in Spain, Central Park in bloom, detention, and a boy named Justin all are part of the tale. A trip to the Bronx Zoo, too much rain, a stop at the Met, and a telephone call from Miguel comes just at the right time. The end of the year dance, Field Day at school, buying a first bra, in fact buying three, Miguel comes to New York, Cecily spends part of vacation with her dad and Melanie has a new special friend round out the book.

Melanie in Manhattan is another festive read sure to please girls in the target reading group of 9-14 year olds. Once again Author/Parent Weston demonstrates her deftness as an accomplished writer. Clearly Weston knows and effortlessly captures the essential quality of this age group. Melanie in Manhattan is an easily read, delightful account. As with all of her Melanie books author; Weston nimbly weaves a realistic portrayal of childhood/growing up angst, a touch of geography, along with mention of artistic work; this time it is with works of Spanish artists in addition to at times muddled or dissatisfying interpersonal relationships.

The format of diary entries filled with sketches, high spirits, a child-like, hand drawn map of Manhattan, fun and chatter predictable from an eleven-year-old girl are a continuing pleasure to read. The reader is caught up in the narrative immediately. Melanie is a typical ‘almost teen girl’ who is learning to deal with changing emotions surrounding boyfriends, sharing friends, home and school. In her diary Melanie sets down her hopes, anguish, anger and happiness in her diary.

Writer Weston gently guides the reader into an understanding that Melanie, the reader and likely we all at one time or another have faced each of the feelings, situations and problems Melanie is facing. Girls ages 9 – 14 may not always want to talk with parents or teachers about their roiling emotions. Reading Melanie’s life may well help these girls realize they are not so different, odd or ‘out of it’ when their own lives may seem to mirror many of the ups and downs as Melanie is experiencing.

Melanie in Manhattan is a book sure to fit well into the classroom ‘free reading’ program, a home library and pleasure reading for middle grades. Look forward to reading others in the series.

Enjoyed the read, happy to recommend.
Molly Martin (16th May 2005)

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