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The Cat Ate My Gymsuit (Puffin Modern Classics)

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Overview

Marcy Lewis hates her life, until she meets Ms. Finney, an English teacher who treats kids like human beings. Marcy has never met anyone like her, and suddenly life has a purpose. . . .

When the unconventional English teacher who helped her conquer many of her feelings of insecurity is fired, thirteen-year-old Marcy Lewis uses her new found courage to campaign for the teacher's reinstatement.

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Overview

Marcy Lewis hates her life, until she meets Ms. Finney, an English teacher who treats kids like human beings. Marcy has never met anyone like her, and suddenly life has a purpose. . . .

When the unconventional English teacher who helped her conquer many of her feelings of insecurity is fired, thirteen-year-old Marcy Lewis uses her new found courage to campaign for the teacher's reinstatement.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
"First published in 1974, Paula Danziger’s compassionate and accurate portrayal of a young girl struggling to find her own voice rings as true today as it did 30 years ago.  A full cast brings this modern American classic of teenage angst to life with humor and pathos."
AudioFile
"Full Cast Audio enhances this classic. Every character is perfectly realized, conveying the pain, pleasure, and confusion that are prerequisites to growing up."
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
Marcy Lewis suffers from low self-esteem and it really isn't surprising. She lives in a truly dysfunctional family. Her father is unhappy at work and seems to find relief by belittling everyone in the family. Her brother is tied to his teddy bear, Marcy overeats, and her mother takes tranquilizers. When a new teacher, Ms Finney, arrives at school, things start to change. However, her freethinking and unorthodox teaching methods result in suspension. Marcy and the other kids work to get her reinstated. It is a time when Marcy starts to come into her own and even has a date. Her mother suddenly decides to stand up to her husband and while the conclusion is satisfying, the quick change in Marcy's mother's behavior seems a bit unrealistic. In some ways the book is a painful read, because it seems so autobiographic, but the humor helps and kids will gain insights into family dynamics and come to admire Marcy. 1998 (orig.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-7-Misunderstood, overweight, and convinced that she'll never get a date, Marcy Lewis wants nothing more than to be "normal." Her admiration and defense of Ms. Finney, an outspoken English teachers with the courage of her convictions, provides a way for Marcy to reexamine what's imporant to her and to stand up for what she believes. First published in 1974, Paula Danziger's compassionate and accurate portrayal of a young girl struggling to find her own voice rings as true today as it did 30 years ago. A full cast brings this modern American classic of teenage angst t life with humor and pathos. In an afterword, Danziger explains how she came to write this novel.-Cindy Lombardo, Tuscarawas County Public Library, New Philadelphia, OH Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Booklist
"The shining star in this production is C
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142402504
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/23/2004
  • Series: Puffin Modern Classics Series
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 924,783
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.03 (w) x 7.05 (h) x 0.44 (d)

Meet the Author

Born in Washington, D.C., and raised in New York, Paula Danziger knew since second grade that she wanted to be a writer. Beginning her career as a teacher, Danziger taught at the junior high, high school, college levels. She received her Masters Degree in reading and during that time she wrote her first bestselling novel, The Cat Ate My Gymsuit. She returned to teaching, but the success of her book encouraged her to become a full-time writer. It was non-stop for Danziger since then. Among her titles are: the enormously popular Amber Brown books as well as Remember Me To Harold Square, The Divorce Express, and Can You Sue Your Parents For Malpractice?

Danziger received numerous honors, including: Parent's Choice Awards, International Reading Association - Children's Book Council Awards, a IRA-CBC Children's Choice Award and many nominations for state reading and library association awards.

Known as a flamboyantly funny and deeply honest writer and speaker, Paula Danziger knew how to relate to young readers at their level. She was vital, funny, and compassionate. She knew how kids felt, what made them laugh, what they wore, collected, read, and played with. From collecting novelty toys that would make any teacher cringe, to wearing jangly earrings, funky glasses and shoes covered with beads and sequins, Paula Danziger had a direct line into kids' hearts and funnybones. She will be missed always.

In Paula's memory, The Amber Brown Fund has been established to bring authors and illustrators to schools and libraries which otherwise could not afford them. Donations may be sent to The Amber Brown Fund/ SCBWI Museum of Children’s Books, 8271 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 26 )
Rating Distribution

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(13)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

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2 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 26 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2005

    read this book!!!

    She's fat ,unsure of herself, and has no self confindence and she know it! Her name is Marcy Lewis and she is 14 along with being the main charecter in this book,''the cat ate my gymsuit''. the big question is 'how does this relate to a gymsuit?' Since Marcy has no self confidence and absoloutly WILL NOT get undressed in front of her classmates. So she makes up lame excuses like the cat ate my gymnsuit or the people who excapped from jail stole it. On top of all that her father is extreamly strict from being a lawyer and brings work home with him. He is always blaming stuff on her and calling her fat. then comes along Ms.Finney who is the English teacher who helps the students about self confidence and how to express feelings. But when Mr.Stone fires Ms.Finney for not saying the pledge,the students take charge, they love Ms.Finney and will do any thing to get her back . And i mean ANYTHING. the good part is when a cute boy named joel who likes marcy for her thoughts wants to be friends starting by the protest makes marcy have more self confident (recommended for 10-15 year olds)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2011

    YOU MUST CHECK IT OUT!!!!!!!!!!

    OMG,I READ THIS BOOK AND I FELL IN LOVE WITH IT!!!!!!! The story is about a 13yr old overweight freshmen girl named "Marcy Lewis".Marcy does not like her appearence and her acne problems.She has a verbally abusive father and it seems her parents, Martin and Lily, are always fighting. Her dad doesn't make her feel good about her excuses that result in her failing gym for the year;and he makes her not feel good about herself. Marcy refuses to take gym due to her insecurity over her large physique. Marcy has only one friend,Nancy Sheridan.Nancy later admits she was Marcy's friend only because her mother told her to be,as both of their mothers were friends and participated in the PTA. Later on,Nancy grows to like Marcy as a good friend. However as Nancy was very popular Marcy sometimes got jealous of her. There is then,a techer named "Ms.Finney," and she arranges a club for the kids to get to know each other better, and help them feel good about theirselves.Marcy has made alot good friends through this club.She even meets a boy who seems to be attracted to her;Joel Anderson,whose attorney father works with the Board of Education.Then one day, the principal comes to observe Ms.Finney.She teaches the material well, but the same teaching techniques that work for the kids by Ms. Finney are abhorred by the school administrators. Ms.Finney got fired because she does not sat the pledge.The reason she doesn't is because she doesn't think that the world offers liberty and justice for all.Ms.Finney shouldn't have gotten fired for something she believes in. Marcy and her friends suddenly find themselves coming to Ms.Finney's defense when she is threatened with the loss of her job.Marcy even stands up to her father one day.Ms.Finney brings a legal case against her firing;once in court some of her students speak in her defense.Ms. Finney also brings up the legal case for refusing to say the school Pledge of Allegiance.The school board reluctantly reinstates her,but Ms.Finney,is now realizing that she would be going back into an impossible situation,immediately resigns.Marcy and her friends feel betrayed,but come to understand her reasons,as they eventually use her lessons as they move forward in life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2010

    VERY ENTHUSIASTIC

    THE BOOK WAS PURCHASED BY MY GRANDMOTHER FOR A 12 YEAR OLD. I LIKED THIS BOOK BECAUSE IT ACTUALLY TALKS ABOUT HOW WE, MIDDLE SCHOOLERS, HANDLE OURSELVES AT SCHOOL WITH OUR PEERS AND TEACHERS. IT ALSO COVERS PROBLEMS WE FACE IN SCHOOL.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2010

    Decent but not wonderful

    I first read this book back in elementary school. I was a bit sheltered (but then many children of the '80s were ha!) and was shocked by the verbal abuse the character of Marcy was forced to endure! It was a bit strong worded for a novel that was aimed at older children. Lines like "How did I get a kid that is so stupid and so fat?! I'll never get you married off!" were extremely harsh for literature for this age group, I thought. The book did do a very good job delving into the mind of a troubled teen though. The book is a bit *dated* though, it delves into talk of 'hippies' and communes, and early women's liberation issues that no longer exist in those forms. And while the wife FINALLY getting some nerve to stand up to her husband was really great, the ending falls flat. I didn't even usually agree with the character of Ms. Finney. Perhaps she could say she doesn't want to say the Pledge, but she should dress like a teacher, and most importantly should follow the rules of where she works (the grading issues)! That's your JOB! She was supposed to be a good role model for the teens, and I didn't think she was. The decision to leave at the end was a disappointment I thought, an awful way to end a downbeat book. It needed a happy ending!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2006

    insperation review

    The cat ate my Gymsuit By Paula Danzige Well this novel to me was a very Intriguing novel, funny but had its moments if that¿s fair to say. This novel is about a young girl that happened to be very fat. The big girls name is Marcy Lewis, she is a very confused girl well not confused but distraught she hates practically everything she hates her father, she hates school she hates her principle and most of all she hates being fat. One of the only reason that she hates her principle is because he fired her favorite teacher which was the only real human-being that had any influence on her or tried to talk positive to her. The name of her school is Dwight D. Eisenhower middle school. The reason that I say she is very distraught is because she is only thirteen and she is in the ninth grade and having to deal with all this. She is to young to be dealing with all that to me. So I the place of the English teacher they hired a sub for the English teacher and it was very funny how they tried to do the sub they were just basically trying to give the sub a hard time but in the end it came out that they end ed up really like the sub. But what I really liked out of the book was the impact that the author made the teacher have on the students she like really made them think and believe in something and actually stand up for that and that¿s what I think more teachers need to do. So in the end I think that this was a good book and should be read to try and inspire kids to stand up for what they believe in. Carl Phillips 3/6/06 per 1

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2005

    outstanding

    i can relate to this book in many ways it really taught me that i don't need to be skinny its nothing wrong with being fat marci's father really disrespected her how could he call his own dauhgter names

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2005

    GOOD BUT NOT GREAT

    I bought this book because it's a part of Puffin's Modern Classic for Children. I thought this would introduce me to outstanding literary titles for kids. I was a bit disappointed by what I've read; or maybe YA/ Children's Literature in the U.S. have developed rapidly (this book was originally published in the `80s). 1. The characters are not fully developed esp. the main character and her father; 2. the concern of the kid like pimples and obesity are not exactly original and new these days; 3. im disappointed by political stand of the English teacher in the story (it left me hanging; im not satisfied with her decision to resign after the kids lobby for her reinstatement); 4. the roles of the protagonist's family are stereotypical; 5. the 'romance' substory is not really promising and not cute either (they are so uptight!); 6. the whole storyline is not original or maybe, maybe, this is the pioneering novel using obesity, self-esteem, mentor-student relationship, (verbally) abusive father as topics. Read the book itself--it took me only half of the day to finish. It's readable but i kept asking for more.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2005

    The cat ate my gymsuit book review

    Marcy Lewis, the main character in the novel ¿The cat ate my gymsuit¿ she is an overweight teen that also has problems at home with her dad. In this book Marcy struggles to find confidence in herself, but with the help of a new English teacher Ms. Finney she starts to see improvements in herself. Marcy soon looks forward to going to Ms. Finney¿s class then one day one Ms. Finney was not in class because she doesn¿t recite the pledge and her teaching styles were disapproved by the district. Marcy and some school friends that dearly adored Ms. Finney got together a protest to get Ms. Finney back in the classroom. While putting this protest together Marcy got close to a Boy name Joel, they soon started to go out but because of Marcy¿s dad not likening that they soon broke up. Joel and Marcy still stayed good friends.Marcy has a very poor relationship with her father, she dislikes the way her father treats her and her mother. Marcy feels that her father dose not allow her or her mother to believe in what they think is right. I think this book was a very positive because it allows you to see a god in yourself and also to see well in others. I would definitely recommend this book to other people to ready because of it positive influences. By reading this book i was also able too see that many teens have bigger isseus than you.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2004

    great book!

    I thought that The Cat Ate My Gymsuit was a great book about a girl standing up for something she believes in. I'm happy that Marcy changed from Ms. Finney's teaching and stood up for her rights. She really proved that hardwork can pay off. I thought her dad was really mean and I was praying that the mom would divorce him, oh well. The relationship between Marcy and Joel was so cute, the way Joel didn't care about looks and just wanted Marcy to be his friend. Marcy changed throughout the book and it was nice to see her so confident! I would recommend this book to everyone!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2004

    The Best Book Ever Written!

    This is the best book ever written! I absolutly loved the whole thing. I read it in 5th grade and now I re-read it again in the summer of 7th-8th grade. I recomended it to all of my friends. Marcy is just like me and how I felt and I think many girls who are ages 10-15 years old will enjoy this book very much! I also loved the sequel There's a Bat in Bunk 5

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2004

    You took away my breath

    This book was sad in a way for me and maybe funny on and off. I read this book when i wa in the third grade. I just could not put the book down.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2003

    The Teacher Affair

    Have you ever meet a teacher that you really liked and then she was gone? Well that what happened to Marcy Lewis. She is a teenaged girl in Dwight D. Eisenhower Junior High School. Marcy really doesn't give herself a lot of credit becasue she thinks she is a blimp. One day in English class Marcy got a new teacher, and her name was Ms.Finney. Marcy liked her and because of it she made new friend named Joel that she really liked. Marcy also had Nancy as a friend too. One Day Ms.Finney was gone. Joel found out that she was susespended. Marcy, Joel, Nancy all got susespended for protesting. Will Ms.Finney come back or will she get fired? Paula Danziger writing The Ate My Gymsuit made it a realitic fiction book. Marcy Lewis changed and for the better.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2003

    Can stuents be smarter and outwit school's pincipal?

    I was always wandering how will look like conflict between students and school's principal? What will be happen? This novel is exatcly about that. The main character Marcy Lewis and couple of her friends were in one bad conflict with their principal. That's all happened because their favorite teacher Ms. Finney got suspended by Mr. Stone, school's principal. They just were couple of USA's teenagers who cared a lot for their teacher. Author Paula Danziger write this autobiographical fiction novel, about Marcy's life which is totaly changed when in their school came new English teacher, to show everybody what are students ready to do for their teacher. This book is amazing. I was really enjoying and had a good time reading it and I think that all students should read it because it is good, interesting, easy and little bit fun novel. First of all after I read this book I learned that no matter how I look or what I'm wearing I still can find good friends in school.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2003

    Couldn't she think of anything better?

    Marcy is a fat whiner. I can't stand this book. There is little reason to read this book unless you're in the same situation as Marcy. A teacher comes to Marcy's school and helps her with her self esteem. Everbody likes her (the teacher.) Then the teacher gets in trouble. Of course Marcy crawles out of her shell to help the teacher. The only thing in this book that was close to good was the end, and even that wasn't good. Basicly, the whole mood of the book is 'pity me and do want I want or I'll hate you.' Want a good modern book? Try some of James Howe's stuff.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2003

    Can sudent be smarter and and outwit school's principal

    I was always wondering how will look like conflict between students and school principal? What will be happen? This novel is exactly about that. The main character Marcy Lewis and couple of her friends were in bad conflict with their school principal. That all happens because their favorite teacher, Ms.Finney got suspended by Mr.Stone the school principal. They just were couple of USA's 70's teenagers who cared a lot for their teacher. Author Paula Danziger writes this autobiographical fiction novel 'The Cat Ate My Gymsuit,' about Marcy's life,which is totally changed when in their school ,came new English teacher,to show everybody what are students ready to do for their teacher. This book is amazing.I really enjoying and I had a good time reading it and I think that all students should read it because it is good,interesting,easy and a little bit fun novel.First of all after I read this book I lerned that mo mather how I look and what I'm wearing,or what language I speak,I still can find a good friends in school.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2003

    This book is awesome!!!

    I am Eric a 4th grade student,this book is part of my summer reading entering 5th grade,it took me two days to read it and understanding it,and I like it very much. It also teaches you not to be afraid of who you are it changes my self esteem.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2003

    This Book was GREAT!!!!

    Even though i was reading this book for my school project I really enjoyed it. I was the first one done because I was so into this book. I sugest this book for you to read

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2002

    best book ever

    This book is sooooo good. I read it in 6th grade and it took me 2 days to read it. I could not put it down. This is definately one of the best books I have ever read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2002

    Bangin'

    This book is GOOOD, I loved it, Paula Danzinger is a great author. I just got fineshed reading the book. My freind also like it

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2002

    This is a good book

    this book makes me feel good abut my self

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 26 Customer Reviews

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