Sunday, May 9, 2010

book review - the total tragedy of a girl named hamlet

Recently, we got some new books in the literacy room at school and the literacy specialist asked for some us to review the books. I read The Total Tragedy of a Girl Named Hamlet by Erin Dionne. I don't normally share my opinion on books because I read mostly fluff with cool covers (yes, I do judge a book by it's cover, initially). Or I read teachery books. Really, you probably aren't interested in what I have to say about either of those genres.

But if you have a tween, this review is for you.

From the book cover:
Hamlet Kennedy just wants to be your average, happy, vanilla, eighth grader. But given her family -- a seven-year-old sister who is attending middle school with her, and Shakespearean scholar parents who show up like a walking, talking, Renaissance Faire -- that's basically impossible.

School gets even worse when her sister is name the new pre-algebra tutor, and even worse when the class project is announced:  It's on Shakespeare. Add it all up, and Hamlet's life (like her name) seems like a total tragedy.

This was a very cute book that fairly realistically portrays the feelings and trials of a middle school girl. In the book, Hamlet learns how to accept herself, her family, and her friends for who they are. She deals with the balancing act of fitting in at school, as well as at home.

Erin Dionne is an engaging, humorous writer and the story moves along well. For a minute, I might have even wanted to be in middle school again.

The book is written at about a 6th grade level with no questionable material. I recommend this book for any middle school student (especially girls), or those about to embark on the middle school experience.

Oh, and, this book has a pretty cool cover.

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