The Curse of Addy McMahon

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Overview

All her life, Addy's heard stories about the McMahon family curse. Her mom says the stories are just jokes, but Addy isn't so sure. In fact, she's got evidence. Like the fact that her archenemy saw Addy shopping for a training bra with her mom. Or that Jonathan, her mom's g-ross boyfriend, is moving into the guest room.

If only Addy could escape into the cartoon world of her journal, or hang out with her best friend, Jackie. The only problem is?and this is probably because of ...

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Overview

All her life, Addy's heard stories about the McMahon family curse. Her mom says the stories are just jokes, but Addy isn't so sure. In fact, she's got evidence. Like the fact that her archenemy saw Addy shopping for a training bra with her mom. Or that Jonathan, her mom's g-ross boyfriend, is moving into the guest room.

If only Addy could escape into the cartoon world of her journal, or hang out with her best friend, Jackie. The only problem is—and this is probably because of the curse—Jackie is now Addy's ex-best friend since one particular comic from her journal was somehow shown to the entire school.

If only Addy could prove to Jackie that it wasn't her fault. It had to be that curse. Didn't it?

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Joyce Rice
Addy McMahon is a typical sixth grader with best friends who understand her, a parent who does not, and a brother who does not care. Addy is convinced that she carries the family curse because bad things always seem to happen to her. For instance, her dad died of cancer when she was a fourth grader. Now her mom has invited Jonathan to live with them until he finds a place of his own. If that were not enough, Addy has just made a serious mistake with her computer that may cost her the loyalty of her best friend, Jackie. If Jackie had not made her mad by saying that Jonathan and Addy's mom would soon be married, the whole thing never would have happened. Addy, who writes interviews for the school paper and the local paper, had chosen Jackie for her next interview subject. She had most of the article done when she had a fight with Jackie about Jonathan. Addy's other preoccupation is her drawing. She likes to make cartoon-like strips that tell a story, mostly her story. When she accidentally sends out the autobiography-strip about Jackie to all their friends, instead of the interview, things get really heated up in the friends department. It will take all of Addy's writing ability and persuasive powers to solve this one, and little does she know that Jonathan will play a large part in the solution. This quick read will provide a laugh for girls in upper elementary grades. This is the author's first novel. Reviewer: Joyce Rice
Kirkus Reviews
Addy believes her Grandmother when she claims the "family curse" has been lurking for several generations. How else can she explain losing her father to cancer, having to get along with her mom's new "houseguest," Jonathan, losing her best friend to an e-mail mistake and being singled out as the most hated girl in the sixth grade? Addy wants to be a published writer and is already on her way with the school's monthly newspaper. Davis melds typical tween social dilemmas with the consequences of terminal illness and a child's privately painful grief. Disturbed by her mother's impending second marriage, Addy reflects on life through her graphic "autobiogra-strip" that is woven through the novel, telling her story in a sardonic and somewhat fatalistic voice. Yet she remains determined to mend a broken friendship and learns to accept life's challenges for what they are-not curses, but realities she can work through on her way to new successes. A well-crafted view of a child's inner struggles and emotional growth. (Fiction. 10-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061287114
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/22/2008
  • Pages: 271
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 740L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Katie Davis is the best-selling author-illustrator of seven picture books, including Who Hops? and Kindergarten Rocks!. This is her first novel. She lives near New York City with her two kids, husband, and Mango, the cutest dog on the entire planet.

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Read an Excerpt

The Curse of Addy McMahon

Chapter One

"C'mon, Addy, what's the use of being a best friend if you don't get to share secrets?" Jackie asked. "Pleeeeeeeeease show me what you're writing?"

"I'm only drawing. Why don't you just finish your math homework?" I said. I stepped over Jackie's books and papers, which were scattered in a semi-circle on my floor. I flopped down on the bed and started sketching my next page.

"Is that your autobio . . . autobi . . . autobiography strip?"

"Wait." I tore a page out of my pad, scribbled a cheat sheet, and Frisbeed it down to the floor. As she picked it up and started to read, I said, "Repeat after me: auto-bi-aw-gra-strip."

Jackie sailed the paper back to me and said, "Very funny." She stood up and leaned over, trying to see what I was working on. "Let me look at it anyway."

I curled my arm around my notebook and asked, "Do you let me see your diary?"

"That's different, Addy."

"Just because my journal is like a comic strip and yours isn't?"

Jackie harrumphed. "Exactly! The pictures make it nothing like mine, and you're probably the first kid ever in the history of kids who had a graphic diary. So it's no fair you're not sharing! C'mon, you know how much I love a good comic book."

I could tell it was killing her since Jackie didn't like to miss out on anything, which was why she was so terrible about surprises. Every year she found her birthday gifts and peeked. She was fantastic at rewrapping. We weren't even on holiday break yet, and she'd already searched her house and found six Christmas presents. Without thinking, I looked over ata package on my shelf, and she followed my eyes.

It was about the size of our math textbook, wrapped in red-and-white-striped paper. I'd tied about a million mini candy canes on green ribbons, and they dangled from the package like wind chimes. Jackie loved candy canes. Which is why I wrapped her present like that.

"Who's that for?" she asked, jumping up and reaching for the package. I was faster, though, and grabbed it, making the candy canes click together.

"No one. It isn't for you . . . yet!" I said, dashing into the hall with Jackie right behind me. But I got to my mom's room with enough time to stash it under a pile of blankets on a chair in the corner. I turned around to find Jackie standing in the doorway, arms crossed, craning her neck to see behind me. We both knew she'd never go searching through my mom's room, so for now, at least, that was one Christmas present she wouldn't get until December twenty-fifth.

We went back into my room, and I picked up my autobiogra-strip. "And this isn't for public viewing either, but I will tell you this," I said. "My mom and I were at Lovely Ladies, buying something I didn't even need, so why was I there in the first place, and Marsha Pittel Like French walked in and saw."

"Addy," Jackie scolded.

"What? I'm just saying what she always says. 'It's Pittel, like French'!" I didn't know what the problem was. I sounded exactly like Marsha.

I couldn't figure out why it wasn't obvious to everyone that Marsha Pittel was the most obnoxious girl in our entire class. I could see it the day she moved here in the middle of fourth grade and started taking over practically everything.

Each day at recess all the kids played kickball and I was the best, even if I do say so. Ezra Samuels and Leon Ravets were fantastic, but I could skunk them, too. Then Marsha moved in and she was really good. No matter how hard I tried to get her out, I missed, and missed, and missed again. Everyone wanted her on their side. To top it all off, Marsha joined the Tigers, my soccer team since kindergarten.

It was bad enough to be in the same classroom, listening to her show off every single vocabulary word she knew or watching her go to the blackboard to do a math problem in six seconds flat. And she never even erased anything. That's just freakish. But when she started playing on my soccer team, I had to quit. I didn't need to be her teammate, too.

That was the first year the Tigers ever went to the championships.

"Anyway," Jackie said, "could that be your worst nightmare, or what? Nothing like your biggest enemy watching your mom buy you your first bra."

"Hey! How'd you know it was a bra?"

Jackie laughed. "You said it was something you didn't need!"

"Ha. Ha. Ha," I said, and flicked my pen at her.

"At least you got to go to Lovely Ladies. They have the nicest stuff around," Jackie said.

"You are such a fashionista."

"Hey, can I help it if I happen to be stylin'?" She put one hand on her waist and the other at the back of her head, wiggled her hips around, and struck a pose.

"Yep, you're the real thing," I said as Jackie fanned herself with her hand.

"I am hot, and I don't mean temperature-wise."

"She even tried to crack a lame joke," I said.

"Who did?" Jackie asked, plopping back down on the floor.

"Marsha! She said, 'Why is your mom buying your brother a bra?' Like it was so small only a boy would wear it. Even though, you know, boys don't—"

"I know what she meant. What did you say?" Jackie stacked her homework in a neat pile and started to slide everything into her backpack.

"Nothing. I left and waited for my mom by the car."

"No," Jackie said. "I mean, what did you say to her first? About her name?"

"I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about."

The Curse of Addy McMahon. Copyright © by Katie Davis. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

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( 9 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 27, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Marta Morrison for TeensReadToo.com

    This book was hilarious and yet had a great message to say to young adults. <BR/><BR/>Addy is in the sixth grade. She loves to do interviews for the school newspaper, which she had a hand in starting. She does very interesting interviews because she uses comic strip form. Her interviews have been printed all over the city.<BR/><BR/>Addy lost her father to cancer two years ago and a new man is coming to live with them. His name is Jonathan and he also is a writer. Addy can't stand him. She believes that he is breaking up their family. She has a horrible argument with her best friend, Jackie, and to top it off her enemy, Marsha, sees her buying a new bra!!! <BR/><BR/>Addy believes that all of this bad luck is because of a curse the fairies put on her family. How she breaks the curse and learns that most bad luck is due to the choices we make creates a very good story. <BR/><BR/>I liked the way Katie Davies writes. She uses comics along with narrative to tell her story. Graphic novels are becoming very popular today. A while back I don't think they were as accepted as they are now. This book blended the two genres together for a great read. This was a wonderful book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2008

    The Addy McMahon In Me

    Addy McMahon, a twelve year old girl who goes through quite a lot of misfortune, has blamed a period of unlucky times on a family curse. Barely anyone besides herself believes that there even is a curse. As Addy goes through this page-turner, a series of unfortunate events occur. To rid herself of her guilty thoughts, she keeps assuring herself that it was caused by her great-grandfather who supposedly inflicted a never-ending curse on Addy and her family by angering some fairies. Addy¿s arch enemy, Marsha Pittel, whom Addy and her best friend, Jackie, like to tease about her last name, is every so often involved in creating Addy¿s misery. Addy has a secret diary that she often writes in throughout the book. Well, it¿s not really a diary, but it is secret. She calls it her autobiogra-strip, because it has her life story in it so far, yet it is in the format of a comic strip, though it is not particularly funny. I found this clever novel a treat to read. I read it in two days. I could not put it down. I would rate this book in my top 20 favorites. I thoroughly enjoyed the unusual and unexpected twists. Katie Davis is an amazing author and her writing is unique and fascinating. Throughout the book I found myself laughing, and nervously waiting for Addy McMahon to make difficult decisions. The style of writing helped me find an Addy McMahon in me, and I found myself feeling the feelings of the main character and some other characters briefly too. I would recommend this book to girls age ten and up, because many of the most important characters are female and because it talks about the unique situations that young girls experience in middle school.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2008

    A reviewer

    Be sure you have plenty of time when you pick up The Curse of Addy McMahon by Katie Davis--you might not be able to stop turning pages to see what happens next. On the other hand, Davis's clever use of graphic illustrations interspersed in the narrative provide clean breaks if you just have to put the book down now and then. Mother-daughter book clubs with girls in 6th to 9th grade will find a lot to like here. Addy is convinced she suffers from a family curse, rendered against her great-grandad in Ireland by fairies. And she's got mounting evidence to suggest she might be right. Her mom's boyfriend is moving into the guest room 'temporarily,' her worst enemy saw her shopping for a training bra, and her best friend, Jackie, is mad at her because she accidentally emailed a copy of a nasty fake interview with Jackie that got all around school. But Addy does have a lot going for her. She helped create a school newspaper and she's on the editorial staff. She interviews interesting people and creates graphic drawings to illustrate the stories she writes. People love her interviews, and they let her know it. I found myself wishing I had experienced that kind of good luck when I was in middle school. The illustrations punctuating the narrative should make The Curse of Addy McMahon attractive to reluctant readers as well as those who devour books. The presentation is unconventional, and so is some of the narrative. It was quite interesting to read Addy's thoughts about her father, who died from cancer he got from smoking. And the subject of parents entering the dating/relationship world after the death of a spouse is also very thoughtfully written. Here's an activity idea to go with the book: have girls and moms both draw their own autobiograstrips like Addy's. Share them at a meeting and see what discussion ensues.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2008

    Full of fun and great lessons

    What fun I had reading this... drove me nuts how Addy would not take responsiblity for her own actions...and wonderful when she began to grow and learn that owning your choises is a gift to yourself as well as others. I still remember being taught by my own dad to say I am sorry.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2008

    Curse of Addy McMahon

    This is a great book that i would definatly recommend to girls my age. I'm in 6th grade just like Addy so i can relate to her. Katie Davis (the auther) did a great job making Addy a character who actually acts and talks like a sixth grade girl. The book has a great balance between the hilarious parts and the more serious parts. I love the fact that parts of the story are like comics! I LOVE this book and hope other girls will like it too!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2008

    A reviewer

    omg this book is irrisestable!!!!!!!!!!!! once you start it you'll never be able to put it down. i'm a 6th grader myself and its so easy to relate to these characters. this book is good for any age because it's a really fun and enjoyable book to read and i know anyone can enjoy it. i recomend this book highly!!!! please read this book!! you WONT regret it!!!1

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2008

    Curse of Addy McMahon

    As a former children's book seller, this is a book I would have loved to put in a customer's hands. I read it in a couple days, Addy is a great character that gets herself into scrapes ala Harriet the Spy, learns how to say she's sorry and mean it, she's clever and funny and real! You'll remember her long after the last page, I hope Katie writes a sequel . . .

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2008

    One of the best books EVER!!!!!!!!!

    OMG! I usually don't read but when i started this book i literally couldn't put it down!!! I really felt like i could relate to the character, Addy. I love that this book is a like a graphic diary/book! It made reading it a lot more fun! I HIGHLY recommend it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2008

    I love this book!!!!!!!!

    this book was so good! i finished it in one night . i love everything about it. its like a graphic novel but more novely and graphic-y. It is all in all an absolutely splendiferous book. It is happy and funny and sad and smart. . .

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