Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Book Review Club (April 2011)

Welcome to our TWENTY-EIGHTH book review club meeting! If you're of a mathematical bent, that adds up to over FOUR HUNDRED books reviewed! Whew. It's almost enough to send you running to a comfortable chair for a cup of java and a quiet read! Also...drum roll...Sarahlynn is reviewing ROPE 'EM, a picture book by our very own Stacy Nyikos!! I'll keep my review relatively short so that you keep scrolling to the many links below that lead to outstanding reviews. Enjoy!


This non-fiction, 270-page book deals wih the female face of the bully. Ms. Simmons interviews many, many adolescent (when bullying peaks amongs girls) girls about being bullied and about bullying. She also talks to grown women who still bear the scars of years later. And how do girls bully? They use techniques that many of us recognize: the silent treatment, backbiting, excluding the victim, spreading rumors, name-calling, non-verbal gesturing (eg. eye rolling), and more.

Ms. Simmons often quotes the girls she interviewed. "I'm such a scared person now...I'm always worried about what people think about me. I'm always worried about what people are going to say about me behind my back...I'm always worried about why people hate me..." (pg. 98)

This wasn't the easiest book to read; my stomach was often in a knot. I have a daughter who will soon have to navigate those tricky adolescent waters. A character in my current manuscript must deal with a mean girl. And I couldn't help remembering a girl from my junior high days who was ostracized for at least a grade. I didn't pick on her, but I also didn't stick up for her. I'm really sorry now that I didn't befriend her. Wherever you are today, Helen, I hope you're happy, healthy and thriving.

You'll be happy to know the last couple of chapters offer suggestions to girls, parents, and teachers.

This was a very thought-provoking book.

Here's a link to the author's website: Rachel Simmons

And now....onto all the magnificent reviews below!


Sarahlynn of Yeah, but Houdini didn't have these hips: ROPE 'EM by Stacy Nyikos** Stacy is one of our very own reviewers**


Stacy Nyikos: MOCKINGBIRD by Kathryn Erskine (middle grade)

Staci of Life in the Thumb: LOST & FOUND by Shaun Tan (middle grade, graphic novel)

Kaye of the Book Review Forum: PRINCESS ACADEMY by Shannon Hale (Young Adult)


Sarah Laurence: THE HOTEL IRIS & THE HOUSEKEEPER and THE PROFESSOR by Yoko Ogawa, translated from Japanese by Stephen Snyder (2 books, literary fiction)

Scott Parker: SO CLOSE THE HAND OF DEATH by J.T. Ellison (mystery)

Patti Abbott: MILDRED PIERCE by James Cain

Kathy Holmes: ME AND MR. DARCY by Alexandra Potter (chick lit)

Jenn Jilks of Cottage Country: SEA ESCAPE by Lynn Griffin

Ellen Booraem of Freelance Ne'er-do-well: DUNE by Frank Herbert (science fiction)

Beth Yarnall: HOW TO MARRY A DUKE by Vicky Dreiling (Regency Romance)

Prairie Rose of Prairie Rose's Garden: I STILL DREAM OF YOU by Fannie Flagg

Alyssa Goodnight of the Writers' Road Less Traveled: VIENNA WALTZ by Theresa Grant (Historial Mystery)


Lucy Sartain of Ranting and Raving: VEGANOMICON by Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Hope Romero

(Note to Wonderful and Brilliant Reviewers: Leave a comment or shoot me an email if you find an error. An error or ten wouldn't be out of character!)

Thanks for visiting, everyone!


  1. Great review - I really want to check out Odd Gril Out. So exciting, too about Stacy's picture book! Thanks for hosting.

  2. This sounds like a book that should be on every parent's and teacher's reading list, Barrie. The teenage years are hard enough without having to deal with bullies.

  3. Things have changed so much since I was growing up. I guess there were bullies but I don't remember seeing the types of things you hear about today. I can't imagine going through some of the things kids have to deal with today. Thanks for the great review.

  4. It's masterful, the psychological warfare girls wage on one another. Oh, I am relieved to have boys!

  5. Interesting topic. It wasn't until I was an adult when I heard about school bullies and I was a bit surprised. I really don't recall seeing any bullying in school - not unless you count when my BFF and I were having a fight and she'd greet me with strange greetings - lol! Or another girl stealing my bike. Maybe I don't understand what bullying is - will have to read this book!

  6. I'm going to have to get this one. I read Queen Bees and Wannabes, and that was great, but my second is now dealing with girl on girl crime, and she's only nine! I need to figure out how to help her find her inner strength and deal with the ostracism and hurt feelings. Ugh. It's so hard!

  7. Wow. This sounds like a must-read book, Barrie. Thanks for the heads up.

    Did you know your cover was in the spring cover round-up at The Enchanted Inkpot? LiveJournal's down at the moment, but head over there to see. It's

  8. that's a good way to describe adolesence--navigating tricky waters. Sounds like a good read. And you would enjoy reading "The Princess Academy" outloud with your daughter. My 9 year old grandaughter read it by herself and loved it.

  9. A friend just loaned me her copy of Odd Girl Out! It's one that I've wanted to read for a while now.

  10. Great review, Barrie. That's an important book. Girls can be really cruel sometimes.

  11. Great review, Barrie! It seems like a book of this sort should be required reading for junior high or high school kids, in the hope that it would make a difference.

  12. If i were you i'd check out this AMAZING book called RULES it is by : Cynthia Lord.Also you can/ and or should check out her other books for your Blog,They're amazing!


Comments are always welcome!