Getting the Girl

( 19 )

Overview


Cameron Wolfe's life gets very complicated when he falls for his brother's girlfriend in this winning, wise novel from the dynamic author of FIGHTING RUBEN WOLFE.

Cameron Wolfe is the quiet one in his family, not a soccer star like his brother Steve or a charming fighter with a new girl every week like his brother Rube. Cam would give anything to be near one of those girls, to love her and treat her right. He especially likes Rube's latest, Octavia, with her brilliant ideas and...

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Overview


Cameron Wolfe's life gets very complicated when he falls for his brother's girlfriend in this winning, wise novel from the dynamic author of FIGHTING RUBEN WOLFE.

Cameron Wolfe is the quiet one in his family, not a soccer star like his brother Steve or a charming fighter with a new girl every week like his brother Rube. Cam would give anything to be near one of those girls, to love her and treat her right. He especially likes Rube's latest, Octavia, with her brilliant ideas and bright green eyes. But what woman like that would want a loser like him?
Maybe Octavia would, Cam discovers. Maybe he'd even have something to say. And those maybes change everything: winning, loving, losing, the Wolfe brothers, and Cameron himself.

Tired of being the underdog, Cameron Wolfe hungers to become something worthwhile and finally finds a girl with whom he can share his words and feelings--his popular brother Rube's ex-girlfriend.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books July/August 2003
Cam and his older brother, Rube (from Fighting Ruben Wolfe, BCCB 3101), return in this examination of the nature of love, romantic and otherwise. Rube hasn't changed since the last book; he's still a love 'em and leave 'em kind of guy. Cam, on the other hand, is figuring out the kind of guy he wants to be, and it isn't Ruben. Currently a loner ('You're a bit of a lonely bastard aren't y'?' his brother says), Cam is as desperate for human contact as he is for an emotional outlet, and he finds that outlet through a form of self--expression that is almost the antithesis of Rubc's bloody battles in the boxing ring. he writes. On scraps of paper he keeps stuffed in his pockets, Cam evokes his world in smears of words that manifest his longing. When Rube and Octavia (a young woman Cam sees as a cut above the rest of Ruhe's previous girlfriends) break up, Cam emerges from his solitude into a world with Octavia in it; he reveals himself to her, and she has the intelligence to welcome that revelation. Zusak rides his prose as if taming something wild, giving a sense of Cam's emotional upheaval without losing control of the momentum and pace. Solid characterizations ground the action, with Cam's personality artfully limned in a first-person narrative interspersed with his own writings; clipped staccato language, concrete and minimal, evokes the power and complexity of his yearnings. The relationship between Rube and Cam is the cohesive element in a novel that explores Cam's growing, passionate connections to the world. Readers making their own connections, passionate and otherwise, will revel in Cam's success. JMD

Booklist May 15 2003
In this sequel to Fighting Ruben Wolfe (2001), the Wolfe family has settled into a kind of "okayness." For Cameron's brother Ruben that means "one girl after another, one fight after another." Only Cameron, who's-in adolescence's high season, seems to feel restless and alone as he wanders the streets, pines over uninterested girls, and begins to discover his passion for writing. Then Ruben brings home beautiful Octavia, who, when Ruben predictably dumps her, surprises both brothers by turning to Cameron. Zusak interrupts Cameron's first-person narrative with excerpts from Cameron's writing that, as does much of the book, reads like what it's supposed to be: the words of a talented teenage writer, including some heavy metaphors, self-consciously experimental style, and fresh, inventive images. The authentic emotion behind the words and Cameron's raw experiences are powerful, though, and teens, especially boys, will easily connect with Cameron's intense yearning to define himself within his family and to discover what romance is all about-to explore, as he puts it, "the edges of words, the loyalty of blood, and the music of girls."

(Middle School, High School) Since Cameron and Ruben have quit boxing (Fighting Ruben Wolfe, rev. 3/01), Cam is no longer losing to his older brother in the ring. But he still can't measure up to Rube when it comes to getting a girl. "My brother never really had to say or do anything. He just had to stand somewhere or scratch himself or even trip up a gutter and a girl would like him." Cam, on the other hand, spends his evenings standing silently outside the house of the girl he likes, an action--or inaction--that causes Ruben to observe, "You're a bit of a lonely bastard aren't y'?" But when Ruben callously discards his latest girl--a street performer named Octavia--Cameron begins to forge his first serious relationship with the beguiling harmonica player. This story of first love complicated by a serious case of sibling rivalry lacks the blustering narrative voice of its predecessor. Cam has now taken an interest in writing, and each chapter ends with a sampling of his often overwrought work ("If her soul ever leaks, I want

Publishers Weekly
Octavia is narrator Cameron's first real girlfriend, but she is also the latest casualty of his womanizing older brother, Ruben (from Fighting Ruben Wolff), in Marcus Zusak's sequel, Getting the Girl. "Rube" is a compassionate friend to his younger brother until Cam's burgeoning into a sensitive companion to Octavia becomes something Ruben both admires and resents. Zusak's tale of first love turns into a complex and authentic rendering of one boy's earthy desires and pain, set against the landscape of Sydney, Australia. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
This sequel to Fighting Ruben Wolfe book begins by leading the reader into the changing life of Cameron Wolfe. The youngest of four children, Cameron is suddenly faced with discovering the new feelings of being a teenager. All of a sudden he does not like who he is. He is not a person with a lot of friends, especially girl friends. Cameron begins to notice his older brother Ruben's attitude toward girls. Even though Ruben never dates a girl for more than a few weeks, he has no trouble finding girls who take an interest in him. Cameron's ambition is to find a girl whom he can treat with respect. Cameron has never had a girlfriend, but desperately wants one. He dreams of finding just the right girl, and then he meets Octavia when she begins dating Ruben. After they break up, Octavia shows her true feelings towards Cameron. Cameron thinks that his dream has come true until he gets into a fight with Ruben because of Octavia. Not wanting to break up a family, Octavia disappears, leaving Cameron at odds with his brother and without the girl of his dreams. At first this book appears to be a typical teenage novel, but it adds more depth by incorporating an idealistic sense of family. Unlike most teenagers in most books, Cameron respects and values his family. He actually grows closer to Ruben in the end by confessing his feelings for Octavia. Cameron additionally grows closer to his sister and other brother Steve. The novel does not merely focus on the story of Cameron and Octavia, but delves into Cameron's relationship with several people. This allows the reader to see several perspectives, instead of the viewpoint of only the main character. 2003, Arthur A Levine Books/Scholastic Press,and Ages 12 up.
—Jordan Long
KLIATT
Zusak follows up his acclaimed first novel, Fighting Ruben Wolfe (reviewed in KLIATT in March 2001), with another story about the working-class Australian Wolfe family. Cameron, the sensitive and lonely younger son, once again narrates. He longs to connect with a girl, while his tough, handsome, careless brother Rube has girls falling all over him. Cam is particularly taken with a lovely girl named Octavia, and when she and Rube break up Cam is astonished to find that she is interested in him. But when he tells Rube that he and Octavia have started to see each other, his brother is furious, calling him "Scraps" for taking his leftovers and beating him up. Cam is struggling hard to become his own person, however, and to emerge from Rube's shadow and that of his fiercely determined, athletic oldest brother, Steve. His sister encourages him, and he finds strength in his writing and in his feelings for Octavia. He comes to Rube's rescue when Rube is badly beaten by a jealous boyfriend and earns his brothers' respect, and in the end comes to realize his own value. The title and the cover, a close-up of a girl's (clothed) torso, are sure to attract attention, though this is more a story of the relationship between brothers than of getting girls. The strongly drawn characters, Cam's longing for connection, and his growing understanding of the need to assert his own identity, as well as the bits of sports action and violence, should keep readers turning the pages. Zusak's dialogue is gritty and realistic, and readers will care about Cam. This can stand on its own, for those who haven't read Fighting Ruben Wolfe. They will probably want to, after finishing this. (Editor's note: originallypublished in Australia as When Dogs Cry.) KLIATT Codes: JS—Recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2003, Scholastic, Arthur A. Levine, 272p.,
— Paula Rohrlick
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-Cameron Wolfe, first introduced in Fighting Ruben Wolfe (Scholastic, 2001), wants a girlfriend. He wants sex. He wants to separate himself from his brothers' shadow. He wants to find himself and be something more than the underdog in the family. And he doesn't know how to go about getting what he wants. He is attracted to a girl who treats him horribly so he stands outside her house at night, hoping for glimpses of her. He likes his brother Ruben's girlfriend-and she treats him like a human being. When she and Ruben break up, Octavia shows an interest in Cameron and even though his brother already has another girlfriend, he beats up Cameron and Octavia walks away. Ruben has some bigger problems, though, and violence is once again his method of solving them. However, this is Cameron's story, and he discovers that he is much more than he ever thought he could be. His sister is the first to recognize her brother's strengths and helps give him the courage to face himself and his demons. The interaction of the characters is a real strength of this novel. It is a story of family dynamics and coming of age, interspersed with the protagonist's poignant poems and observations. The book, which was first published in Australia, should appeal to readers who want strong male characters such as those in Chris Crutcher's books.-Janet Hilbun, formerly at Sam Houston Middle School, Garland, TX Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Cameron Wolfe has never had a girlfriend. He's had many crushes including his most recent one, Octavia. Pretty, funny, and great on the harmonica, Octavia is the current girlfriend of Cameron's brother, Ruben. His sibling doesn't treat any of his girlfriends well, and Cameron believes Octavia deserves better. When Ruben and Octavia break up, Cameron begins a relationship with her. His brother acts as if everything is fine, but this turns out to be the first real conflict between them. Will either relationship remain intact? Cameron's sister, Sarah, shows her brother that he is his own person and has many strengths—he's smart, funny, and sensitive. Markus Zusak's sequel (2003) to Fighting Ruben Wolfe (2001, both Arthur A. Levine Bks.; Brilliance, 2011) is about family relationships, personal discoveries, and first love. The audiobook, which can stand on its own, is narrated by Stig Wemyss in an Aussie accent that adds authenticity to the story. This coming-of-age tale from a teen boy's perspective is a good choice for most library collections.—Elizabeth L. Kenyon, Merrillville High School, IN
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780439389501
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/28/2004
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 176,128
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.02 (w) x 7.02 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Meet the Author

Markus Zusak is the award-winning author of The Book Thief and I Am the Messenger, both Michael L. Printz Honor Books. Markus Zusak's writing career began in high school, where he led a "pretty internal existence. . . . I always had stories in my head. So I started writing them." He lives with his wife and two children in Sydney, Australia, where he is currently working on his new novel Bridge of Clay.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 19 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 19 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 16, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Courtesy of Mother Daughter Book Club.com

    In Getting the Girl, Markus Zusak takes us into the world of Cameron Wolfe, a high school boy living in the shadow of his older siblings: Steve who's smart and driven and successful at everything he does, Sarah who works hard, and Ruben, a fighter who earns the respect of all the guys in the neighborhood and who easily gets any woman he wants.<BR/><BR/>But Cameron is a loner, with no friends outside his family, no girls to go out with, and nothing to do at night but wander the streets around his home. Things start to change for Cam when Octavia comes into his life. Octavia is the latest in a long line of girls dumped by Ruben. Cam sees her as different from the rest, and when she makes it known she's interested in him, Cam doesn't hesitate. But how does he open up to someone when he's so used to being alone? And how does he tell Ruben that's he's dating one of his ex-girlfriends?<BR/><BR/>Cameron is an unlikely hero. Quiet and unassuming, he's caught between wanting to find someone who appreciates him for what he is and wanting to be more than what he lets others see of him. Getting the Girl delves into complex issues of family and the roles played by different members, and finding a way to be true to yourself while not being overshadowed by more forceful personalities.<BR/><BR/>Markus Zusak has a way of writing that makes you forget you're reading about a fictional character and instead think you could run into Cam Wolfe on the street one day. Excellent!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2007

    odd

    Maybe this book just wasnt for me, but the main character-Cameron Wolfe seems really odd. In a way, this book freaked me out. no offense to those who liked it. I kept reading and I thought it was ok.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2014

    NO

    This book is full of curses and gay stuff. No go, bro.

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  • Posted July 28, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Read fighting ruben wolfe too.

    this book was great. I enjoyed reading it. I read it as a freshmen in highschool along with "fighting ruben wolfe" (which was also good) and they were unforgettable because of such a unique story line.

    i recommend it to anyone who is just looking for somthing different to read. its not your regular love story..

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2007

    i loved it.

    this book was really good. i loved how realistic his problems seem and i think alot of people can relate to the main character.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2004

    awsome

    i read this after fighting ruben wolfe and it was great! both stories are from cameron's point of view, although it still focuses on other people. it shows how he lives and grows as a young man. and getting the girl really shows that. i like the realistic family bonding and fighting that the book has, the family-no matter what-are theer for each other!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2004

    Who's really getting who?

    Cameron Wolfe is the youngest sibling in his family, and yet he feels that he is the least important one in the family. He feels that nobody really cares, just as long as he does his chores, and does everything he is asked. He has two older brothers, and an older sister. He doesn¿t really talk to his sister, she keeps mostly to herself. His closet to age brother, Ruben talks to him a lot, and they get along great, until one of Rube¿s girlfriends come over, and he slowly falls into love with her. His oldest brother Steve, plays soccer, and is very well known for it. Everyone wants him on his team, and Cameron wants to be just like him. When Ruben brings home his ¿new¿ girlfriend, Octavia, Cameron falls deeply in love with her. She¿s not like the other girlfriends Ruben brings home. She actually cares for him, and acts like he is a human being. After awhile he starts writing on small pieces of paper what he feels. They become the major part of the book. He writes as though he is distant from himself. When Ruben breaks up with Octavia, Cameron takes advantage of it, and throws himself at Octavia, who gives in and they start hanging out. Ruben finds out and throws a couple punches at Ruben, and then Octavia¿s and Ruben¿s relationship is over. From then on they fight to keep each other close. There became many fights to show each brother that they are still brothers for life. In the end, Cameron saves Ruben¿s life, and never really gets the girl back. In the last piece of writing he writes. He writes about how its not about getting the girl, its about how the girl gets you.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2003

    Getting the Girl

    I read this book after I read Fighting Ruben Wolfe this year and I loved it just as much. In Getting the Girl, the story focuses more on Cameron rather than on both Rube and Cam. Also, Steve and Sarah's characters were more developed. I felt like I could really relate with Cameron and his family, and I think that everyone could in some way. I recommend this book to anyone, but I sugest that you read Fighting Ruben Wolfe frist. This book rocks!

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    Posted August 23, 2009

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    Posted February 11, 2011

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    Posted November 5, 2008

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