Recipe for Rebellion (Zodiac Girls Series)

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Danu used to have tons of friends and did well in school. But that was before her dad went away for work and left her with her cold, workaholic aunt. As a Sagittarius, Danu longs for space and company. When she can't get either, Danu rebels at school, changing from a straight-A student into every teacher's worst nightmare. When a Web site search reveals that she is a Zodiac Girl, Danu is skeptical at first, but soon her zodiac guardians are pointing her back in the right direction. Danu learns that she must take ...

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Overview

Danu used to have tons of friends and did well in school. But that was before her dad went away for work and left her with her cold, workaholic aunt. As a Sagittarius, Danu longs for space and company. When she can't get either, Danu rebels at school, changing from a straight-A student into every teacher's worst nightmare. When a Web site search reveals that she is a Zodiac Girl, Danu is skeptical at first, but soon her zodiac guardians are pointing her back in the right direction. Danu learns that she must take responsibility for her own happiness and that when life hands you a difficult card, it's how you play that counts.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Denise Daley
Danu was not always a rebel. In fact, she never got in trouble at her old school. But that was before her dad accepted a position in South America, requiring Danu to leave her friends, pets, and school, in order to live in a tiny apartment with her work-a-holic Aunt Esme. Danu twists her hair into dreadlocks and becomes the class clown, hoping to get expelled from her new school and sent back home. In the midst of this chaos, Danu takes the advice of Joe, a deli worker, and visits a website that tells her she is this month's Zodiac Girl. Of course Danu does not even know what a Zodiac Girl is, but strange occurrences soon convince her that celestial beings can take human form in order to offer assistance and help others. What's more, they provide Danu with advice and life strategies that help her long after her month as Zodiac Girl is over. This fast paced and well-written book is told from the perspective of a thirteen-year-old. Pre-teenaged readers will identify with Danu as she searches for acceptance and learns how to deal diplomatically with challenging life situations. Reviewer: Denise Daley
Publishers Weekly

Hopkins (the Mates, Dates series) kicks off the Zodiac Girls series with this somewhat silly yet quickmoving novel centering on an angry, lonely 13yearold. When her widower father goes off to South America on an archeological dig, Danu is sent to live with her workaholic lawyer aunt in a sterile apartment. Feeling neglected and friendless, Danu plays a rather forced badgirl role at her new school, hoping she'll get expelled for inane stunts she pulls off with tricks from a magic shop. But her life takes a change for the better—and the bizarre—after she encounters Joe, a cheerful fellow who runs a deli and tells her to check out his astrology Web site. When she visits the site, she learns that she has been selected as "this month's Zodiac Girl!!!!!," with Joe as her "guardian." Danu learns that Joe is the planet Jupiter "in human form," and he offers advice so she can transform her life, which she does with the help of his celestialbeing pals. These include Mars, a martial arts instructor who teaches Danu to defend herself against neighborhood bullies, and Venus, a beautician who spiffs up Danu's appearance. Despite the novel's farfetched premise, the heroine emerges as a realistic, likable character. Readers will likely find her story's happyeverafter ending quite satisfying and may well tune in for another Zodiac Girl's chance to change her life in From Geek to Goddess (ISBN 9780753458952), due out the same month. Ages 812. (May)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780753458969
  • Publisher: Kingfisher
  • Publication date: 5/15/2007
  • Series: Zodiac Girls Series
  • Pages: 192
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.67 (w) x 6.95 (h) x 0.46 (d)

Meet the Author

Cathy Hopkins is the author of the best-selling Mates Dates series, which has sold more than one million copies and has been translated into fourteen languages. Before becoming a full-time writer, Cathy worked as an aromatherapist and was a singer in a rock band. Cathy was born in England but went to elementary school in Kenya. She now lives in London with her husband and four cats. She is an Aquarius.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

"Danu Harvey Jones. Can you read us the poem you've written about family?"

asked Mr. Beecham, peering over his glasses at the front of the classroom. "And sit up straight."

"It's Dee, not Danu," I said.

"I think not, Miss Harvey Jones. We call ourselves by our proper names at this school. We don't use nicknames, and your given name is Danu. Now,

stand up and read us your poem."

"My aunt is full of bat poop,

My brother is a twit,

My parents have deserted me,

I don't know where I fit."

"That's enough, Danu," he said. "Sit down. I don't think we need to hear any more of that. See me after class."

I lived in a town in Maine with my dad, who's an archaeologist. He's famous in some circles. My mom died when I was three, and my dad had a lady from town come in to do our housekeeping. Mrs. Wilkins. She was lovely. Kind and happy and the most fantastic cook. There was always the smell of something wonderful baking in the oven when I got home. I attended the local school, and in fact I was able to walk there from our old house. It took ten minutes, through the back field, five minutes along the coast road, and there I was. I had lots of friends. Bernie, Fran, Annie, and Jane. I had a dog, Snowy

(he was jet-black). I had a cat, Blackie (he was pure white), and I used to be able to ride our neighbor's horse. They let me name him, so I called him Spot

(he was a chestnut). There were birds and squirrels in our yard. I had a huge bedroom with a bay window looking out over rolling fields and woods.

I was happy.

Nothing like that. Dad had been offered a year's contract working on some ancient site in South America digging up old bones and stuff. Chance of a lifetime. The one he'd been waiting for. Etc., etc. Blah-de-blah-de-blah. And that was the end of life as I knew it. Why couldn't he go and leave me with Mrs. Wilkins, as that's what usually happened when there was a dig? I asked. But he wouldn't hear of it. Other digs had been for a weekend, two weeks at the longest. This was the big one and would take him away for a whole year. I begged to be able to stay at the house, but he'd already arranged for it to be rented out for the year. Nothing I could say or do would persuade him to let me stay. I tried to organize it so that I could live with one of my friends, but no one had any room. I'd be "just fine," said Dad. He'd arranged for me to attend a boarding school close to where his sister lived.

He'd be back to see me during school vacations, and my aunt would keep an eye on me in the meantime. I was a grown-up girl. I'd soon adjust. That was the time I realized that he cared more about a bunch of old dead bones than he did about me, his living daughter.

"Danu, Danu," said a stern voice in my ear. It was old Beecham again. What did he want now?

"Yes, sir."

"Have you been listening to anything that is going on in this lesson?"

"Yes, sir. Kittens. Ickle babies."

"Not you, Harvey Jones. I want a word."

"So, Danu. How are you settling in?"

"Not at home . . ."

"Ah, yes, I meant your home now. I believe you're living with your aunt?"

"And are things all right there?"

"Yeah." I wasn't going to tell him the truth. There was no point. Nobody could do anything to get me out of there.

"Have you got any suggestions?" Mr. Beecham persisted. "And please look at me when I'm talking to you."

" 'Whatever' is not an answer. I have your records from your past school,

Danu, so you don't fool me. You were a straight-A student, and now your highest grade is a D. What are you going to do about it?"

"Work harder," I muttered. I had no intention of working harder. My plan was to get expelled, and then with a bit of luck, I could go back to my old school.

Even if it meant living in the dog kennel with Snowy, I wouldn't mind.

Mr. Beecham stood up. "I hope so, Danu. I hope so. We're here to help, you know, not hinder, so I'd appreciate a bit of effort on your part. And . . . I also need to talk to you about . . . well, about your hair . . ."

"What about it?" I asked. It had taken me months to get it into decent dreadlocks. Since my hair is fine and reddish blonde, it had taken weeks and weeks of twirling and twirling before the coils stayed, but at last I was starting to look the part. I'd even wound some green and pink yarn through some of them. My dreadlocks were part of my plan. I had to look like a rebel as well as act like one.

"Well . . . don't you ever comb it?"

"No way."

"But that can't be hygienic."

"Not exactly."

"So what's the problem?"

"It makes you look, well, how can I put this . . . rather unkempt."

"Do you tell other girls how to wear their hair?"

"No. I don't make a habit of it."

"Okay, then. Can I go now?"

Girls were still hanging around, chatting and laughing. I kept my head down. I wished that I had a friend here. I wished that I had someone's house where I could go to and hang out in, gossiping about the day, about other kids. But no, the only place I had to go back to was the prison of an apartment where I lived with my aunt, the warden.

I caught the bus and sat looking out at the gloomy winter's night. We'd turned the clocks back last week, so it was dark early. On the street, people were huddled in their coats, rushing to get home out of the cold. I got off at the square where Aunt Esme lives and sloped over to her building. Up the steps, through the door, into the elevator that smelled damp, like boiled cabbage, and up to her floor. It was like being in some sci-fi movie about the future, where all traces of natural life had been destroyed and all that was left was concrete.

as she ate out most evenings with her job or grabbed something at the office,

where she usually worked late.

"Put in microwiv?" she asked.

"No, I'll take it," I replied. "Thank you."

better than soggy lettuce, I thought as I heated it up and took it back to eat while I watched TV.

"Bat poop," I said to the empty room.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 14, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Dianna Geers for TeensReadToo.com

    Poor Danu. She wished her dad had let her stay at home when he went for a one-year archaeological assignment in South America. At home, Danu had loads of friends, pets she adored, was a fantastic student, and was very content. <BR/><BR/>Not so much when her dad arranged for her to live with her aunt in a tiny apartment. Her aunt doesn't like it any more than Danu does. Danu thinks that by being rebellious and not doing her school work, she will be sent back home. No such luck. Plus, with that type of behavior, people who don't know her are definitely not impressed. <BR/><BR/>When Danu decides to leave the boring, dull, and lonely apartment and walk around the boring, dull, and lonely city, she finds an area of town absolutely bursting with life. And intrigue. People seem to know her. Have been expecting her. Very eerie. <BR/><BR/>When she goes to the website of a quaint little shop she visits, she receives a message that she is the Zodiac Girl for the month. Joe claims to be her guardian for that time. He is Jupiter. She's Sagittarius. It makes sense to him, but seems very suspicious to Danu. Joe tells her she will have encounters with other celestial beings, and he is correct. <BR/><BR/>Does this mean that Joe will be able to solve all of her problems? Danu could only hope for that. It is Danu who must learn to figure out what she wants and how to take steps towards making those things happen. The planets can guide you, but you have to think for yourself. Have to decide how you want your life to be. <BR/><BR/>Join Danu on a mystical trip and mingle with the planets and stars in this out-there, fun book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2010

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