Here's to You, Rachel Robinson

Here's to You, Rachel Robinson

4.6 49
by Judy Blume
     
 

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Rachel's a straight-A student, on every teacher's wish list of Natural Helpers, and she practices the flute 45 minutes a day. But she grinds her teeth at night and dreads dinnertime, now that her troublemaker brother, Charles, has been expelled from boarding school and is back home, acting up to get attention from their parents. See more details below

Overview

Rachel's a straight-A student, on every teacher's wish list of Natural Helpers, and she practices the flute 45 minutes a day. But she grinds her teeth at night and dreads dinnertime, now that her troublemaker brother, Charles, has been expelled from boarding school and is back home, acting up to get attention from their parents.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Continuing the story begun in Just As Long As We're Together , Blume here focuses on Rachel, one of three best friends. This gifted, highly motivated student who, according to her mother, was ``born thirty-five,'' feels somewhat out of sync with Stephanie and Alison as seventh grade draws to a close. Then, when Rachel's acerbic older brother is expelled from boarding school, life at home becomes equally unsettling--and decidedly unpleasant. Rachel's incisive, first-person narration easily draws readers into her complicated world as she learns to cope with the pressures brought on by her relentless quest to be the best at everything and by her troubled family situation. Perceptive, strong storytelling ensures that other characters' points of view (particularly Rachel's brother's) can also be discerned. Blume once again demonstrates her ability to shape multidimensional characters and to explore--often through very convincing dialogue--the tangled interactions of believable, complex people. Ages 11-up. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Mary Sue Preissner
Blume writes this story centered around Rachel, one of the trio of friends which include Alison and Stephanie, from other adolescent stories. Rachel is an overachiever, musically talented, easily embarrassed by her brother, and trying to cope-just like every other child in this age group. This humorous accounting is a snippet of Rachel's seventh grade year, one filled with questioning, emotion, and looking for a comfortable place. Reading this tale, an adolescent may believe it is HER life in print.
Children's Literature - Susie Wilde
Here's a family story for older readers. Blume fans will happily welcome this sequel to Just as Long as We're Together. When Rachel's brother Charles is expelled from boarding school, his sarcasm and brutal honesty combine to tear apart relationships and psyches in the Robinson house. Rachel, an overachiever, blames Charles until she begins to look below the surface and see hard truths about her own life. Blume again helps young adults examine appearances and family unhappiness with humor in a fast-paced story.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-This is the second book in what will likely become a trilogy revolving around three 13-year-old friends, Stephanie, Rachel, and Alison. In Just As Long As We Are Together (Orchard, 1987), Stephanie described the turmoils of the first half of seventh grade. Here, Rachel picks up the narrative. Her intelligence and drive have always set her apart, and now her emotions are in a state of turbulence. The unwelcome return of her rebellious brother from boarding school unsettles her family, which is dominated by the intense and highly successful Mrs. Robinson. Charles wreaks havoc through his volatile behavior and cruel, but often insightful, attacks on his sisters and parents. Rachel also struggles to find a balance at school, where increasing pressures threaten to overwhelm her. While dealing with these concerns, she becomes attracted to an older man and longs for her peers to accept her. A master at conveying the values and mores of the upper-middle class, Blume excels in her descriptions of family life and adolescent friendships. Her characterization is powerful and compelling. Rachel's strong narrative voice, couched in simple, direct language, realistically conveys her intense self-preoccupation. Though Rachel is an unusual personalitity, the author never loses sight of the common threads running through the lives of all teenagers. She draws on the universal themes of awakening sexuality and emerging identities to capture and hold her audience. Preteens will snap this one up.-Maggie McEwen, Coffin Elementary School, Brunswick, ME
Ilene Cooper
Blume is back near the top of her form in this companion to "Just as long as We're Together" (1987). This time the focus is on another of the three friends introduced in that story, narrator Rachel Robinson. Rachel, a child prodigy (as her brother, Charles, snidely calls her), has a penchant for doing her homework on time, doing the right thing, and, in general, living up to her potential. Her 16-year-old sister, Jessica, also aims high, despite a serious case of cystic acne. It's middle sibling Charles who sees himself as the mirror that reflects the family's flaws, and he relishes the job, labeling his mother an ice princess, his father a wimp, and Jessica a potato head. Meanwhile, he has flunked out of school, smokes dope, and generally turns up the pilot light hoping to burn the family. Blume does a fine job of showing, rather than telling, so the reader really understands the family dynamics and Charles' motivations (some of them, anyway). But she also has a tendency to skim the surface, and just when readers really get interested in a particular story line--for instance, how difficult it is for Jessica to deal with her acne--Blume whisks you away to some other situation, such as an older cousin's flirtation with a married man or Rachel's feelings that friends Alison and Stephanie like each other better than they do her. What Blume gets so right is the stress of modern family life, just as wearing on the kids as on the adults. Everyone tries to keep going, but it's like running an obstacle course where the hurdles are everywhere and awfully high to boot.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780531086513
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
10/01/1993
Pages:
208
Product dimensions:
57.50(w) x 85.00(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

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