Flip-Flop Girl

( 5 )

Overview

Written by Newbery Medalist, National Book Award winner, and Laura Ingalls Wilder Award recipient Katherine Paterson

Vinnie Matthews needs a real lifesaver—on that will bring her father back to life and let her family go home. Living with Grandma means having to be responsible for her little brother, Mason, who refuses to speak, and ignoring the kids who ask why he's so crazy. Then Vinnie meets Lupe, the mysterious "flip-flop girl" who only wears orange flip-flops on her feet. ...

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Overview

Written by Newbery Medalist, National Book Award winner, and Laura Ingalls Wilder Award recipient Katherine Paterson

Vinnie Matthews needs a real lifesaver—on that will bring her father back to life and let her family go home. Living with Grandma means having to be responsible for her little brother, Mason, who refuses to speak, and ignoring the kids who ask why he's so crazy. Then Vinnie meets Lupe, the mysterious "flip-flop girl" who only wears orange flip-flops on her feet. Lupe is strong, confisent, and even more of an outsact than Vinnie. She's just teh type of friends Vinnie needs, if only Vinnie can ignore the rumora about Lupe's past.

Uprooted following the death of their father, nine-year-old Vinnie and her five-year-old brother, Mason, cope in different ways--one in silence--but both with the help of Lupe, the flip-flop girl.

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Editorial Reviews

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* "Resembles some of Paterson's most affecting books, such as Bridge to Terabithia and The Great Gilly Hopkins. . . . All readers will know more about themselves when they get to the conclusion of this powerful story."
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Torn apart by the recent death of her father, 10-year-old Vinnie does not look forward to moving from D.C. to Virginia and starting a new life in Brownsville (a town as dull as its name) with her stressed-out mother and ``crazy'' younger brother, Mason, who has not spoken a word since the funeral. Sharing her dreary grandmother's cramped house is bad enough, but going to a new school proves even less bearable. The only classmate to show her any kindness is Lupe, herself ostracized by the others. Like Lyddie, the eponymous heroine of the author's previous novel, Vinnie finds a refuge from emotional pain in fantasy, but when the object of her romantic dreams, gentle teacher Mr. Clayton, announces his upcoming marriage, she feels betrayed. Enraged, she scratches Mr. Clayton's beautifully painted car--whereupon her remorse teaches her the destructive effects of her anger, allowing her to come to terms with her problems and to open her eyes to other people's suffering. A master of rendering the intensity of childhood emotions, Paterson explores the impact of grief and the slow process of healing. With deep compassion, her story crystallizes the vulnerability and resiliency of preadolescents placed in tragic circumstances. Ages 8-10. (Feb.)
Children's Literature - Susie Wilde
This slender but meaty novel is great for reluctant readers. Vinnie, the heroine, is trying to adjust to her father's death by moving away from her home and living with her grandmother, But it is tough attending a new school in thrift store clothes, plus competing with a grieving brother who refuses to speak for her working mother's attention. Vinnie blossoms in brief moments under the glorious attention of a compassionate teacher. But she must share this teacher with others, even the Flip-Flop Girl who's father is in prison and who is so poor that she wears flip-flops to school. Vinnie's jealousy drives her to destroy a car treasured by her teacher. When the Flip-Flop Girl is blamed, Vinnie must make amends. Paterson gives us painful realism and an intelligent young heroine who has the biting humor, core honesty, and courage to survive and thrive.1996 (orig.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-Sorrow and loneliness sweep over Vinnie and her little brother, Mason, after their father dies and their mother moves them to a small town to live with their grandmother. Mason has been mute since the funeral, and Vinnie's mother, overwhelmed with worry about him and her struggle to support the family, seems to have nothing left to give her daughter. Thrust into a new school, without friends or the right clothes, and with rumors about her troubled brother wafting around her, Vinnie is drawn to a very tall, very odd girl who wears long dresses and orange flip-flops. Lupe is more of an outcast than she, and has suffered tragedy and rumor as well. But Lupe is strong, confident, and intuitive, and is able to offer support to Vinnie and her brother when it's needed, to stand back when it's not, and to accept whatever befalls her with grace. It's Lupe and a gentle, generous teacher who help the girl through her grief and her guilt and give her back her family. Life has been reckless with the children in this book, but Paterson has not-she's given them complex problems and personalities, compassionate adults, and a compelling story that is as strong as the power of redemptive love that prevails in this thoughtful tale.- Susan Oliver, Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140376791
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/28/1996
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 560,122
  • Age range: 8 - 11 Years
  • Lexile: 720L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.22 (w) x 7.74 (h) x 0.37 (d)

Meet the Author

Katherine Paterson

Katherine Paterson was born in China, where she spent part of her childhood. After her education in China and the American South, she spent four years in Japan, the setting for her first three novels. Ms. Paterson has received numerous awards for her writing, including National Book Awards for The Master Puppeteer and The Great Gilly Hopkins, as well as Newbery Medals for Jacob Have I Loved and Bridge to Terabithia. Ms. Paterson lives with her husband in Vermont. They have four grown children.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 5 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2000

    I Loved It!!!!

    Flip-Flop Girl was an interesting book. It had everything in it! It was sad,and funny! I felt so bad for the main character because her dad died.Her little brother won't talk, and she has to live with her grandmother. I'm trying to read all of her books.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2002

    An Awesome Book

    this book is awesome It's a read from ages 10-14 in my point of veiw

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2002

    Where was the climax? i Gave it 3 stars

    I felt bad for vinnie because of all of her problems but i thought they should have made the way mason started talking again a little more exciting.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2000

    URGENT!! GREAT BOOK ON THE LOOSE!!!!!!

    I must say, this is a really good book. This book showed a lot of detail through the whole book! It actually felt like it was a story about a real girl. Correct me if I'm wrong but I'm not sure if you added what kind of cancer did Vinnies dad die from? Everything else was just perfect and spectacular. I don't think anyone could write it better than a great author named Kathrine Paterson.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2000

    Mr.Orcutt's Literature Circle Group- Niskayuna/Hillside

    The book Flip Flop Girl by Katherine Patterson was realistic yet we found it difficult to relate to the characters. They didn't act their age. We felt the book was too predictable. The book deserves 2 1/2 stars. From Susan, Kristen, Ericka, Michelle,Sandra.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews

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