Customer Reviews for

Taking Care of Terrific

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  • Posted November 1, 2014

    Fourteen year old Enid Irene Crowley lives on Marlborough St. in

    Fourteen year old Enid Irene Crowley lives on Marlborough St. in Boston, MA, with her lawyer father, her radiologist mother, and the family’s somewhat eccentric live-in housekeeper Mrs. Kolodny.  She goes to the Carstairs School where her best friends are Trina Bentley and Emily Wentworth but definitely not Seth Sandroff whose father owns a television station and whose mother is a famous child psychologist, though with her other friends away at their camps she starts hanging out with Seth.  Named for her father’s very rich great aunt, she hates her name and calls herself Cynthia.  For the summer she has enrolled in a morning art class at the Museum of Fine Arts but will be babysitting four year old, over-protected Joshua Warwick Cameron IV, who doesn’t like his name either and wants to be called Tom Terrific, in the afternoons, planning to take him with her to the Public Garden to play while she draws assignments for her class.
         In the Garden, Enid/Cynthia and Joshua/Tom make friends with a tall African-American saxophone player called Hawk and a bunch of old bag ladies.  One day Tom counted 24 bag ladies in the park.  After a successful adventure organizing a picket with the bag ladies to bring back root beer flavored popsicles, they concoct another adventure, with Seth’s help, to give the bag ladies a ride on the swan boats.  The project is top secret, and they plan things very carefully so nothing can go wrong.  Or can it?  And what will Enid do when she is accused of kidnapping?  There is actually a cute story somewhere in here, but author Lois Lowry, who has won two Newbery Medals for Number the Stars, which I liked, and The Giver, for which I personally didn’t care, has loaded it down with a lot of unnecessary baggage.  The name of God is used as an exclamation, and the term “omigod” appears rather often, along with childish slang terms (crap, pee) and euphemisms (heck, darn).  
         Perhaps worse than this, Enid signs a petition regarding transvestites, talks with Mrs. Kolodny about “preverts,” speaks of Mrs. Kolodny’s gothic romances as stories in which heroines are seduced by sinister men, has a discussion with Seth about heroin-using prostitutes, jumps to the conclusion that when Ms. Cameron says that she is going away on a business trip she is really going off on a weekend with her boyfriend (which seems to end up being true), talks with Mrs. Kolodny about one of her soap operas that involves a lot of immorality, says that a man looks as if he were stoned, and describes Ms. Cameron’s dress as “low necked with lots of cleavage.”  Most godly parents would probably rather not have their pre-teen and middle-school children introduced to such sordid topics.  In addition, Enid does some lying and breaks Ms. Cameron’s rules for Joshua, and their escapade in the Garden involves some actual criminal activity—but, of course, it’s all in the name of a good cause, which is simply saying that the end justifies the means.  There are also references to drinking wine and beer and to slow dancing.  I’m sorry, but I really can’t give this book a very good rating, especially for children.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2014


    Its a good book because there is a war between bag ladies vs a popscicle man

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2005

    Loved it!

    Wow!This is a great book.In this book you get to realize how Lois Lowry can go to a setting in denmark(Number the stars)to the Public Garden in Boston (Taking care of terrific).Enid discovers a wonderful friendship with strangers in the public garden and realizes some risk are worthwhile in a lifetime.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2000

    great book

    I liked this book because it was very interestinbg and taught me about different types of people. I also thought that it was good that Enid and Seth finally become girlfriend and boyfriend. The housekeeper was really cool!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2000

    Not that great

    Taking Care of Terrific isn't really all the great. Personally I didn't really get why she wanted to change her name at the beginning of the book. Lowry really let me down this time. I don't really recommend this book.

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