Dear George Clooney: Please Marry My Mom

Dear George Clooney: Please Marry My Mom

4.4 9
by Susin Nielsen

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Violet's TV-director dad has traded a job in Vancouver for one in Los Angeles, their run-down house for a sleek ranch-style home complete with a pool, and, worst of all, Violet's mother for a trophy wife, a blonde actress named Jennica. Violet's younger sister reacts by bed-wetting, and her mother ping-pongs from one loser to another, searching for love. As for

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Violet's TV-director dad has traded a job in Vancouver for one in Los Angeles, their run-down house for a sleek ranch-style home complete with a pool, and, worst of all, Violet's mother for a trophy wife, a blonde actress named Jennica. Violet's younger sister reacts by bed-wetting, and her mother ping-pongs from one loser to another, searching for love. As for Violet, she gets angry in ways that are by turns infuriating, shocking, and hilarious.

When her mother takes up with the unfortunately named Dudley Wiener, Violet and her friend Phoebe decide that they need to take control. If Violet's mom can't pick a decent man herself, they will help her snag George Clooney.

In Dear George Clooney, Please Marry My Mom, Susin Nielsen has created a truly original protagonist in Violet and a brilliant new novel that will delight readers into rooting for her, even when she's at her worst.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Nielsen (Word Nerd) has created a narrator as sassy and candid as this memorable novel's title. Smarting from her parents' divorce--her director father left her mother to marry an actress--Violet is fed up with all the "losers" her mother has since dated. When introduced to beau number 10, the pudgy and unfortunately named Dudley Wiener, the 12-year-old decides she "couldn't be a bystander any longer." She pens a letter to George Clooney (her mother, a stylist, once did his hair on a movie set), explaining that she's trying to find a suitable suitor for her parent ("I have a very good feeling about you"), adding that she and her younger sister, Rosie, would make "excellent stepchildren" with "none of the fuss and muss of babies." Nielsen skillfully balances her story's keen humor--Violet's attempts to sabotage her mother's relationship with bighearted Dudley are hilarious--with poignancy. Especially affecting are Violet's struggles to accept her father's new family and her devotion to both her mother and Rosie. A bonus: Clooney makes a cameo. Ages 11-14. (Aug.)
VOYA - Alissa Lauzon
Twelve-year-old Violet's world was shattered two years ago when her parents divorced and her father moved from their home in Vancouver to LA with his pregnant girlfriend. Her relationship with her father's new family has been rocky, particularly since at her last visit she convinced her two-year-old half sisters to eat cat poop by telling them it was chocolate. Her mother has gone from bad relationship to bad relationship since the divorce, which has further soured Violet on love. When her mother begins to date Dudley Wiener, Violet is certain that he will turn out to be just like the rest of them, so she and her best friend, Phoebe, decide that they need to find her mother the perfect guy—who better than George Clooney? Nielsen has created an interesting look into the psyche of a child greatly impacted by divorce. Violet is extremely difficult to like, as she gives new meaning to the word brat. She treats everyone around her horribly and spends a great deal of time whining. Her parents are predictably completely oblivious to the source of her behavioral outbursts. Most characters are very superficially and stereotypically cast: the adoring little sister; the flashy, absent father with his younger, hotter new wife; a mom desperate for male affection. This familiar story is a quick read with a few funny moments, but its resolution is too quick and easy. Reviewer: Alissa Lauzon
VOYA - Mary Boutet
This book is disappointing. Instead of focusing on the issues Violet had with her parents' divorce, it is almost entirely focused on Violet's obsession with finding a husband for her mother. Most of the novel is about spying on her mom's boyfriends, obsessing over Amanda and Cosmo, or worrying about her own romantic life (at the ripe age of twelve). By ending the novel with both Violet and her mother having boyfriends, the prevailing message seems to be that ultimate happiness is achieved by getting a boyfriend (even when you're twelve). Reviewer: Mary Boutet, Teen Reviewer
Children's Literature - Denise Daley
Violet has experienced a lot of changes in her twelve years. It started when her parents divorced and her dad quickly remarried a young actress and moved to Los Angeles. Violet's mother got a job and began dating a string of strange men. In spite of all the turmoil that Violet and her younger sister are experiencing, both of their parents love them deeply. Violet is a lovable but goofy character. She has a slightly sinister side which becomes apparent when she tricks her younger step-sisters into eating cat poop by telling them it is chocolate. It an attempt to keep her mother from marrying Dudley Weiner, a punster with moods, Violet tries to arrange for George Clooney to meet her mom. Hilarious mayhem ensues as Violet writes several clever letters to Mr. Clooney and even tracks him down at the studio where he happens to be filming. Violet's extreme efforts are surprising yet sincere, and readers will identify with her as she tries to do what is best while slowly learning to trust again. Reviewer: Denise Daley
School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—Violet can't stand her father, her new stepmother's fake boobs, the whole middle-school boy-girl thing, or her mother dating a geeky punster named Dudley Wiener, so she solicits George Clooney as an alternative future stepdad. It's no spoiler to reveal that Mr. Clooney does not marry the angry 12-year-old Vancouver girl's mother, although he does appear to give her some sage advice. Actually, the Clooney gimmick is the one part of this otherwise rather down-to-earth daughter-of-divorce book that doesn't gel (although it sure will grab readers' attention). All of the characters and their complicated relationships are wonderfully realized. Violet's anger is palpable, and there's just enough humor—slapstick, gross-out, and just plain goofy—to temper the emotional bits. The girl's voice, which is often too jaded, confident, worldly, and wise for her years, softens just the right amount with love for her five-year-old sister. Whether or not you can believe the celebrity bits, this novel is a steady addition to most middle-school collections.—Rhona Campbell, formerly at Washington, DC Public Library
Kirkus Reviews

Laugh-out-loud humor deftly mixes with insight into a troubled girl's pain over her parents' divorce, keeping readers involved on every page. Twelve-year old Violet develops some remarkably nasty antisocial coping strategies as she lashes out at those she blames for her family's breakup, sometimes scoring against innocent parties as well as more culpable ones. Nielsen has real talent for comedy, zoning in on just the right level of snark as she describes Violet's campaign to find a better man for her Mom than the losers she's been dating: George Clooney, of course. The situation is desperate. Mom is dating Dudley Wiener, who's as dorky as his name. Meanwhile, Violet navigates the dangerous world of middle-school relationships. The narrative's balance tips much more into comedy than drama, but it illuminates Violet's psychological difficulties among the laughs. Best friends, stuck-up enemies and a possible love interest for Violet spice up the story. A nifty almost-saw-it-coming ending puts everything right. This comic novel scores. (Fiction. YA)

From the Publisher
WINNER - 2012 Rocky Mountain Book Award

“Nielsen (Word Nerd) has created a narrator as sassy and candid as this memorable novel’s title…. Nielsen skillfully balances her story’s keen humor…with poignancy. Especially affecting are Violet’s struggles to accept her father’s new family….”
—Starred Review, Publishers Weekly

“Laugh-out-loud humor deftly mixes with insight into a troubled girl’s pain over her parents’ divorce…. Nielsen has real talent for comedy, zoning in on just the right level of snark…. This comic novel scores.”
—Kirkus Reviews

“…Violet is a complex, appealing character whose intimate, lively first-person narrative, both droll and heartfelt, discusses classmate conflicts and crushes as well as her insecurities and her gradual acceptance of what she can and cannot control. Violet’s growth and authentic range of emotions … ring true in this very engaging read.”

  “This vacation-friendly paperback is perfect for carry-ons, road trips or wherever the summer takes your teen. Violet, a seventh-grader from Vancouver, attacks life and its many adventures with humour and spunk. In the midst of coping with her cheating dad and his new family, she and her sister sabotage their mom’s new dating life in order to help her find the perfect man. Teens will love Violet’s sarcasm, charm, antics and wit.”
—Canadian Family

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Product Details

Publication date:
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Product dimensions:
7.94(w) x 11.04(h) x 0.84(d)
700L (what's this?)
Age Range:
11 - 14 Years

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Dear George Clooney: Please Marry My Mom 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought it would be a lighthearted read but it is dark and boring at many times
pattygirlPB More than 1 year ago
Made me smile from page one. A fast read full of comedy and pathos.
Heidi_G More than 1 year ago
Twelve-year-old Violet is mad at the world, or at least at her mom for making poor choices (in Violet's mind) when it comes to boyfriends, at her dad for leaving the famiy to marry a blond bimbo, and at George Clooney for not writing back to her. Violet's mom met George years ago and Violet thinks a letter asking George for a date, on behalf of her mom, is a way to get rid of the most recent bad potential stepdad--Dudley Wiener. There are many laugh-out-loud moments but Violet did rub me the wrong way a few times. Does a tween really spend her life obsessing about the perfect stepfather? Would a tween really feed her half-sisters the disgusting item that Violet presented to the twins? Some children of divorce will identify with the anger and confusion of the protagonist. Teen girls will revel in the naughtiness.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing, one of the best books I have ever read in my life..I am hoping/waiting for a second series for this book. I did not want to finish this book because it is so amazing, I never wanted it to end. Great job Susin Nielsen!(:
banana_girl30 More than 1 year ago
I am 12 and its the best book i got it yesterday in the stores and just finished it at 6am! its funny and since i'm a kid i know all kids will love this!
Julia Fahey More than 1 year ago
freind read it out loudin the library.... it was really good bu can get a little gross some times but its very funny.