Jean and Johnny

( 22 )

Overview

First Date

Fifteen-year-old Jean is astonished when a handsome Johnny whirls her ‘round the dance floor. She's never given much thought to boys before; now Johnny is all that's on her mind. Finally she finds the courage to invite him to a dance. But the excitement of a new dress and a scheme to take Johnny's photograph cannot stop jean's growing uneasiness that she likes Johnny a lot more than he likes her . . .

This high-school story, which is...

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Jean and Johnny

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Overview

First Date

Fifteen-year-old Jean is astonished when a handsome Johnny whirls her ‘round the dance floor. She's never given much thought to boys before; now Johnny is all that's on her mind. Finally she finds the courage to invite him to a dance. But the excitement of a new dress and a scheme to take Johnny's photograph cannot stop jean's growing uneasiness that she likes Johnny a lot more than he likes her . . .

This high-school story, which is both funny and touching, is about a girl who lacks self-confidence, and a boy who has too much.

A timeless tale of how a teenage girl experiences the hazards of one-sided love and matures in the process. Short, bespectacled Jean is stunned when handsome Johnny asks her for a dance. Instantly smitten, Jean soon realizes Johnny doesn't feel the same way. But then Jean meets a much more compatible boy--Johnny's friend. Reissue.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Amie Rose Rotruck
Jean Jarrett has never been one to attract a lot of attention. When Johnny, a popular senior, asks her to dance, Jean becomes obsessed with him. While Johnny seems like he might be interested, people keep telling her not to chase after him. Johnny will do things like say he is going to come over. Then, after Jean has gone to a lot of trouble with her family to arrange the house just right, he calls and says he will not be able to come after all. Jean cannot help but compare her relationship with Johnny to the budding relationship her sister Sue has with Kenneth. When Jean asks Johnny to go with her to the Girls' Assocation Dance, he agrees. Jean is very happy at first, but as time goes on, she begins to wonder if Johnny really does like her or just finds her amusing to have around. While some of the plot elements are certainly outdated for today's teen, the book does have a message that translates well for modern girls: do not waste your time on someone who is not that in to you. Jean is a very realistic girl, even by today's standards. Yet another example of Cleary's work that, on the surface, may seem outdated; yet it continues to have relevance for today's youth. The book was considered Young Adult when it was first published; now it would be better suited for middle grade.
Children's Literature
The notion of first love is one that most young people imagine and romanticize. Jean Jarrett is no exception. Jean is thrown into the dating arena totally unprepared. After she meets the most popular boy in school, Johnny, her transformation begins. Jean wants to change everything, from her appearance to her age, in an attempt to win Johnny's attention. Jean finds out that sometimes things aren't always the way they appear. Although this delightful rite of passage book was originally written in 1959, Cleary's portrayal of "first love" is timeless and is sure to entertain today's young teens. 1996 (orig. 1959), Avon Books, $4.95. Ages 10 to 14. Reviewer: Rita Karr
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780380728053
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/28/2007
  • Series: First Love Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 368,280
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 900L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Beverly Cleary

Beverly Cleary is one of America's most popular authors. Born in McMinnville, Oregon, she lived on a farm in Yamhill until she was six and then moved to Portland. After college, as the children's librarian in Yakima, Washington, she was challenged to find stories for non-readers. She wrote her first book, Henry Huggins, inresponse to a boy's question, "Where are the books about kids like us?"

Mrs. Cleary's books have earned her many prestigious awards, including the Amercan Library Association's Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, presented in recognition of her lasting contribution to children's literature.

Her Dear Mr. Henshaw was awarded the 1984 John Newbery Medal, and both Ramona Quimby, Age 8 and Ramona and Her Father have been named Newbery Honor Books. In addition, her books have won more than thirty-five statewide awards based on the votes of her young readers. Her characters, including Henry Huggins, Ellen Tebbits, Otis Spofford, and Beezus and Ramona Quimby, as well as Ribsy, Socks, and Ralph S. Mouse, have delighted children for generations. Mrs. Cleary lives in coastal California.

Biography

Beverly Cleary was inadvertently doing market research for her books before she wrote them, as a young children’s librarian in Yakima, Washington. Cleary heard a lot about what kids were and weren’t responding to in literature, and she thought of her library patrons when she later sat down to write her first book.

Henry Huggins, published in 1950, was an effort to represent kids like the ones in Yakima and like the ones in her childhood neighborhood in Oregon. The bunch from Klickitat Street live in modest houses in a quiet neighborhood, but they’re busy: busy with rambunctious dogs (one Ribsy, to be precise), paper routes, robot building, school, bicycle acquisitions, and other projects. Cleary was particularly sensitive to the boys from her library days who complained that they could find nothing of interest to read – and Ralph and the Motorcycle was inspired by her son, who in fourth grade said he wanted to read about motorcycles. Fifteen years after her Henry books, Cleary would concoct the delightful story of a boy who teaches Ralph to ride his red toy motorcycle.

Cleary’s best known character, however, is a girl: Ramona Quimby, the sometimes difficult but always entertaining little sister whom Cleary follows from kindergarten to fourth grade in a series of books. Ramona is a Henry Huggins neighbor who, with her sister, got her first proper introduction in Beezus and Ramona, adding a dimension of sibling dynamics to the adventures on Klickitat Street. Cleary’s stories, so simple and so true, deftly portrayed the exasperation and exuberance of being a kid. Finally, an author seemed to understand perfectly about bossy/pesty siblings, unfair teachers, playmate politics, the joys of clubhouses and the perils of sub-mattress monsters.

Cleary is one of the rare children’s authors who has been able to engage both boys and girls on their own terms, mostly through either Henry Huggins or Ramona and Beezus. She has not limited herself to those characters, though. In 1983, she won the Newbery Medal with Dear Mr. Henshaw, the story of a boy coping with his parents’ divorce, as told through his journal entries and correspondence with his favorite author. She has also written a few books for older girls (Fifteen, The Luckiest Girl, Sister of the Bride, and Jean and Johnny) mostly focusing on first love and family relationships. A set of books for beginning readers stars four-year-old twins Jimmy and Janet.

Some of Cleary’s books – particularly her titles for young adults – may seem somewhat alien to kids whose daily lives don’t feature soda fountains, bottles of ink, or even learning cursive. Still, the author’s stories and characters stand the test of time; and she nails the basic concerns of childhood and adolescence. Her books (particularly the more modern Ramona series, which touches on the repercussions of a father’s job loss and a mother’s return to work) remain relevant classics.

Cleary has said in an essay that she wrote her two autobiographical books, A Girl from Yamhill and My Own Two Feet, "because I wanted to tell young readers what life was like in safer, simpler, less-prosperous times, so different from today." She has conveyed that safer, simpler era -- still fraught with its own timeless concerns -- to children in her fiction as well, more than half a century after her first books were released.

Good To Know

Word processing is not Cleary's style. She writes, "I write in longhand on yellow legal pads. Some pages turn out right the first time (hooray!), some pages I revise once or twice and some I revise half-a-dozen times. I then attack my enemy the typewriter and produce a badly typed manuscript which I take to a typist whose fingers somehow hit the right keys. No, I do not use a computer. Everybody asks."

Cleary usually starts her books on January 2.

Up until she was six, Cleary lived in Yamhill, Oregon -- a town so small it had no library. Cleary's mother took up the job of librarian, asking for books to be sent from the state branch and lending them out from a lodge room over a bank. It was, Clearly remembers, "a dingy room filled with shabby leather-covered chairs and smelling of stale cigar smoke. The books were shelved in a donated china cabinet. It was there I made the most magical discovery: There were books written especially for children!"

Cleary authored a series of tie-in books in the early 1960s for classic TV show Leave It to Beaver.

Cleary's books appear in over 20 countries in 14 languages.

Cleary's book The Luckiest Girl is based in part on her own young adulthood, when a cousin of her mother's offered to take Beverly for the summer and have her attend Chaffey Junior College in Ontario, California. Cleary went from there to the University of California at Berkeley.

The actress Sarah Polley got her start playing Ramona in the late ‘80s TV series. Says Cleary in a Q & A on her web site: “I won’t let go of the rights for television productions unless I have script approval. There have been companies that have wanted the movie rights to Ramona, but they won’t let me have script approval, and so I say no. I did have script approval for the television productions of the Ramona series…. I thought Sarah Polley was a good little actress, a real little professional.”

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    1. Also Known As:
      Beverly Atlee Bunn (birth name)
    2. Hometown:
      Carmel, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      April 12, 1916
    2. Place of Birth:
      McMinnville, Oregon
    1. Education:
      B.A., University of California-Berkeley, 1938; B.A. in librarianship, University of Washington (Seattle), 1939

Read an Excerpt

Jean and Johnny AER
Chapter One

"I have the funniest feeling," remarked Jean Jarrett, who was drying the supper dishes while her older sister Sue washed them. "I keep feeling as if something nice is going to happen."

"That's because this is the first night of Christmas vacation," answered Sue, rinsing a plate under the hotwater faucet and setting it in the dish drainer.

"I suppose so," agreed Jean dreamily, wishing that something nice really would happen. Lately life had lacked interesting ups and downs. Oh, there were little ups like watching Kip Laddish on television, just as there were little downs, too, like the plaid skirt she was wearing. Because she had forgotten to allow extra material for matching the plaid, she discovered, when the pieces of the skirt were sewed together, that the stripes were uneven at every seam. Little ups, little downs-how she wished she could replace them with big ups and downs that would make life exciting.

"What would you like to happen?" asked Sue.

"Oh, I don't know exactly," answered Jean. There was a speck of food on the plate she was wiping. She considered returning the plate to the dishwater for Sue to rewash, thought better of it, and polished off the speck with the dish towel. When it was her turn to wash dishes, she did not like to have dishes returned to her dishwater. "It would be nice to grow a couple more inches, and not have to wear glasses; but at fifteen I don't suppose that will happen. Maybe something like a cable arriving saying that a long-lost uncle has died and left us a fortune. "

"That would be nice," agreed Sue. "He could be a terribly romantic figure, a family black sheep we had nevereven heard of, who had run away at the age of fourteen to Kenya or Bangkok and made his fortune in diamonds or teak or something."

"Or maybe it would be better if he had run away to the South Seas," elaborated Jean. "He could be a pearl king with crews of natives with knives in their teeth diving for oysters."

"Oh, well," said Sue. "How he got the fortune isn't important. What is important is that he died and left it to the Jarretts."

"It wouldn't even have to be a fortune," said Jean. "Just enough so we could have avocado in the salad every single day. And so I could walk into Northgate Apparel Shop just once and buy a plaid skirt with the stripes matched by somebody else."

Sue laughed. "I know what you mean. Money for little extra things. Oh, well," she said, with an airy wave of the dishcloth, "what are the material things in life? We have ingenuity."

Jean giggled. "Especially me. It takes real ingenuity to make such a terrible-looking skirt."

It was Sue who had the ingenuity. Right now she was wearing a skirt she had devised out of twelve red bandana handkerchiefs that she had bought at the dime store. With it she was wearing a white blouse she had made out of a remnant and trimmed with a yard of leftover rickrack. Jean remembered how Sue had schemed, rearranging her pattern several times, to get the blouse out of the short length of material. Even two years ago, when Sue was fifteen, she would have remembered to allow extra material for matching plaid. Sue was that kind of girl: she always knew what she wanted to do and then went about it in the right way.

Both girls were silent, each thinking of nice things they would like to have happen. Sue was right, Jean thought. Money for little extra things was a problem. House payments, life insurance, hospital insurance, money put aside for Sue's freshman year at the University next fall (their father said his girls were going to have a better start in life than he had had), a small check to help their grandmother in the East — all these seemed to consume Mr. Jarrett's pay check almost as soon as he received it. It would help if their father would allow them to earn money baby-sitting someplace besides the two houses next door, but he would notnot since the Friday night some strangers down the street had engaged Sue to stay with their children and had not come home until two-thirty in the morning. Mr. Jarrett, who was a mailman and had to report to the post office at six o'clock in the morning, said he lost too much sleep worrying about Sue in a strange house being responsible for strange children. Kids could get into the darnedest trouble, Mr. Jarrett said. He ought to know. He had seen enough of it in his nineteen years of delivering mail. If his girls were going to baby-sit, they had to do it close to home, where he knew what was going on. Unfortunately for Jean and Sue, their next-door neighbors did not often go out.

Or it would be nice, Jean reflected, if her mother won a really big prize in one of the contests she was always entering — a prize so big she could give up her Saturday job as a salesclerk in a shop called Fabrics, Etc., which, sold remnants and mill ends of dress, drapery, and upholstery material.

"I know what would be nice," said Sue suddenly.

"What?" asked Jean, glancing at the clock. She must not get so carried away in daydreams that she missed Kip Laddish.

"To meet a boy." Sue's voice was wistful. "Not just any boy, but a really nice boy who liked me."

"Yes, that would be nice," agreed Jean seriously, because she understood that this time Sue was not joking. She was a little surprised at her sister's wish, because Sue had never been interested in the boys who seemed to like her. "But what about Cliff?" Jean asked. "He phoned you a couple of times, but you wouldn't go out with him."

Jean and Johnny AER
. Copyright © by Beverly Cleary. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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First Chapter

Jean and Johnny Chapter One

"I have the funniest feeling," remarked Jean Jarrett, who was drying the supper dishes while her older sister Sue washed them. "I keep feeling as if something nice is going to happen."

"That's because this is the first night of Christmas vacation," answered Sue, rinsing a plate under the hotwater faucet and setting it in the dish drainer.

"I suppose so," agreed Jean dreamily, wishing that something nice really would happen. Lately life had lacked interesting ups and downs. Oh, there were little ups like watching Kip Laddish on television, just as there were little downs, too, like the plaid skirt she was wearing. Because she had forgotten to allow extra material for matching the plaid, she discovered, when the pieces of the skirt were sewed together, that the stripes were uneven at every seam. Little ups, little downs-how she wished she could replace them with big ups and downs that would make life exciting.

"What would you like to happen?" asked Sue.

"Oh, I don't know exactly," answered Jean. There was a speck of food on the plate she was wiping. She considered returning the plate to the dishwater for Sue to rewash, thought better of it, and polished off the speck with the dish towel. When it was her turn to wash dishes, she did not like to have dishes returned to her dishwater. "It would be nice to grow a couple more inches, and not have to wear glasses; but at fifteen I don't suppose that will happen. Maybe something like a cable arriving saying that a long-lost uncle has died and left us a fortune. "

"That would be nice," agreed Sue. "He could be a terribly romantic figure, a family black sheep we had nevereven heard of, who had run away at the age of fourteen to Kenya or Bangkok and made his fortune in diamonds or teak or something."

"Or maybe it would be better if he had run away to the South Seas," elaborated Jean. "He could be a pearl king with crews of natives with knives in their teeth diving for oysters."

"Oh, well," said Sue. "How he got the fortune isn't important. What is important is that he died and left it to the Jarretts."

"It wouldn't even have to be a fortune," said Jean. "Just enough so we could have avocado in the salad every single day. And so I could walk into Northgate Apparel Shop just once and buy a plaid skirt with the stripes matched by somebody else."

Sue laughed. "I know what you mean. Money for little extra things. Oh, well," she said, with an airy wave of the dishcloth, "what are the material things in life? We have ingenuity."

Jean giggled. "Especially me. It takes real ingenuity to make such a terrible-looking skirt."

It was Sue who had the ingenuity. Right now she was wearing a skirt she had devised out of twelve red bandana handkerchiefs that she had bought at the dime store. With it she was wearing a white blouse she had made out of a remnant and trimmed with a yard of leftover rickrack. Jean remembered how Sue had schemed, rearranging her pattern several times, to get the blouse out of the short length of material. Even two years ago, when Sue was fifteen, she would have remembered to allow extra material for matching plaid. Sue was that kind of girl: she always knew what she wanted to do and then went about it in the right way.

Both girls were silent, each thinking of nice things they would like to have happen. Sue was right, Jean thought. Money for little extra things was a problem. House payments, life insurance, hospital insurance, money put aside for Sue's freshman year at the University next fall (their father said his girls were going to have a better start in life than he had had), a small check to help their grandmother in the East -- all these seemed to consume Mr. Jarrett's pay check almost as soon as he received it. It would help if their father would allow them to earn money baby-sitting someplace besides the two houses next door, but he would notnot since the Friday night some strangers down the street had engaged Sue to stay with their children and had not come home until two-thirty in the morning. Mr. Jarrett, who was a mailman and had to report to the post office at six o'clock in the morning, said he lost too much sleep worrying about Sue in a strange house being responsible for strange children. Kids could get into the darnedest trouble, Mr. Jarrett said. He ought to know. He had seen enough of it in his nineteen years of delivering mail. If his girls were going to baby-sit, they had to do it close to home, where he knew what was going on. Unfortunately for Jean and Sue, their next-door neighbors did not often go out.

Or it would be nice, Jean reflected, if her mother won a really big prize in one of the contests she was always entering -- a prize so big she could give up her Saturday job as a salesclerk in a shop called Fabrics, Etc., which, sold remnants and mill ends of dress, drapery, and upholstery material.

"I know what would be nice," said Sue suddenly.

"What?" asked Jean, glancing at the clock. She must not get so carried away in daydreams that she missed Kip Laddish.

"To meet a boy." Sue's voice was wistful. "Not just any boy, but a really nice boy who liked me."

"Yes, that would be nice," agreed Jean seriously, because she understood that this time Sue was not joking. She was a little surprised at her sister's wish, because Sue had never been interested in the boys who seemed to like her. "But what about Cliff?" Jean asked. "He phoned you a couple of times, but you wouldn't go out with him."

Jean and Johnny. Copyright © by Beverly Cleary. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 22 )
Rating Distribution

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(6)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 22 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2012

    It seems fun... but not very good...

    ... eh

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted February 23, 2009

    A fun Read

    I have read most of Beverly Clearly's books starting with Ramona and Beezus. A few years ago, I saw Jean and Johnny and read it. It was a fun read and I looked for more about Jean.

    Jean is a young women who is enjoying high school and a new friend. With so many teen books focusing on the lewd things; you wont have to worry with this book. Beverly Clearly takes you right to the heart of a young girl who wants a boyfriend and how she treats others along the way. Jean is an exceptional student has has good manners. When JOhnny comes along, Jean's attitude toward others changes. Read it and find out.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted July 17, 2002

    Girls girls girls!

    This book was very inspiring for females to realize that guys aren't as beautiful inside as they may appear on the outside. Not everything that shines is gold. Johnny was the typical high school stud that every girl dreamed of, however, he wasn't what a caring girl would want her significant other to be. I totally recommend this book because it shows that people's looks aren't the most important thing in a relationship. I read this book a couple of years ago when I was 15 and it affected the way I look at guys. I think all teenage girls should read it (or non teenage girls who are teenagers at heart).

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted December 5, 2001

    Teen Angst at its finest!

    This book is great because even though it came out in the 50s, it kinda reminded me of one of those 80s teen movies I loved as an 80s teen (and still love -- I'm a teen at heart) JEAN is the Molly Ringwald character, of course. JOHNNY, is the handsome Emilio Estevez/Rob Lowe/Andrew McCarthy-type dream boy. HOMER, was the cute-in-a-dorky-way guy who would be played by someone like John Cusack or Jon Cryer or Anthony Michael Hall. Johnny may have been going steady with himself, but Homer was funny and sweet a la Duckie Dale/Ted the Geek/Brian Johnson/Lane Meyer/Lloyd Dobler.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted March 6, 2001

    FIRST CRUSH

    IF YOU ARE A PRE-TEEN TO TEENAGED GIRL, THEN YOU'LL LOVE THIS BOOK. HAVE YOU EVER MET SOMEONE AND LATER FIND OUT THAT YOU GO TO THE SAME SCHOOL? OR HAVE YOU EVER THOUGHT THAT YOU LIKED SOMEONE WHEN REALLY........ READ THIS GREAT BOOK[AND MAYBE YOU CAN FINISH MY SENTENCE] ABOUT THE FUN TEENAGE LIFE!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 10, 2011

    book

    it was a really GOOD book :+)

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted March 9, 2014

    Jean and Jonny by Beverley Cleary

    This is the story fo a teenage girl named Jean who is not at all popular. She only has one friend, who is her best friend. She is helping her friend's mother decorate a club's ballroom for a ball. She watches the dancers twirling about and wishes she could be one of them. All of a sudden, one of the young men srand up to her and ask her for a dance. She somehow finds herself dancing clumsily along. He is a very talented dancer. At school later, she learns that his name is Jonny. He is a very popular boy. She starts tagging along with him and walking with him from school. When her best friend decides to give Jean a birthday present, she (Jean) requests a photo of herself with Jonny. In the picture she looks terrible, while Jonny looks great, seeming to be the center. When the school has a dance where all the girls invite the bous, she invites Jonny. He agrees to go very condescendingly. Them later he says his grandmother is sick so he cannot go with her. She decides to ask Jonny's friend to go instead. There she finds the attention Jonny had was superficial, because at the dance she sees Jonny with anither girl there. She starts to like Jonny's friend and they go to the friend's hpuse afterwards and have a swell time. I give this book only 3 stars because it is a cheap kiddish romance. Even though it has a good moral, it is not my type. If you like it, good for you, but I don't. Beverly cleary is a good athor, hough. Reviewed by C. J. O.

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

    Posted June 24, 2013

    THIS IS SO BORING

    What is this suppose to be there is no interesting parts and i just kept reading to see if it got any better but no the end was like the saddest think ever cause i wasted my time reading it

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

    Posted January 21, 2013

    Iove it!

    I love the book so fare i did not get that fare the book!!!!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2013

    ok

    Its just ok i mean its goo so far in the story

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2012

    Hi

    I <3 Bevrely Cleary!!!!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2012

    Scavenger hunt2

    Go to rumpelstiltskin first result. See you there.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2002

    Beaverly Cleary fan

    She makes her best books come to life and she makes them funnyand very good to read.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2001

    Great Book

    My friend Ranae recomended this book to me and it's sweet. A great book for any girl. Thankyou Ranae!

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2000

    A book for gils...............

    I think girls should read this book and see what this girl goes through.I don't this should happen to girls.I think guys need to learn how to treat a girl be for dating a girl.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 22 Customer Reviews

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