THE GIRL WITH 500 MIDDLE NAMES

Margaret Peterson Haddix, Author, Janet Hamlin, Illustrator THE GIRL WITH 500 MIDDLE NAMES

Haddix's (Just Ella; Running Out of Time) first novel for the Ready-for-Chapters series features a likable narrator adjusting to a new neighborhood—and value system. Janie's secretary mother knits sweaters (personalized with children's names) in her spare time to sell at a fancy store and uses the extra income to fund a move from the city to the suburbs. There, third-grader Janie can attend a better public school, but all the children dress better than she does. Soon after Janie and her parents relocate, the store's owner returns all the sweaters, announcing that he has found a cheaper source. With no money for the new wardrobe her mother had promised her, Janie begins wearing the handknit sweaters to school, explaining that the embroidered monikers are her middle names. In a tidy conclusion, the girl's modeling of the sweaters inspires her mother to sell them on her own and Janie finally abandons her resistance to the kind, lonely classmate who has tried to become her friend. Despite a few overwritten passages (e.g., "I remembered how she'd knitted and knitted and knitted, early in the morning and late at night, on the bus and at home, every second she could for a solid year. Just for me. Because she loved me"), readers will likely warm up to this appealing novel's perceptive, independent-minded title character. Ages 7-10. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 03/05/2001
Release date: 03/01/2001
Genre: Children's
Open Ebook - 96 pages - 978-1-4424-5780-5
Prebound-Sewn - 96 pages - 978-0-613-31244-8
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-606-20672-3
Prebound-Glued - 81 pages - 978-0-7569-0362-6
Paperback - 96 pages - 978-0-689-84136-1
Hardcover - 102 pages - 978-0-7862-4412-6
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