Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyWendy Meyer's biggest concerns are liking Gary Weiss (her partner for a family living class), and her desire to adopt a dog. Wendy is the last child still residing in the family's Brooklyn home. While her mother stews about Wendy spending time alone, Wendy relishes her freedom. Then one of her brothers, his wife and their baby move in. Wendy's mom is delighted, but Wendy can feel her independence shrinking. It shrinks still further when her grandma comes to stay, and a grandpa arrives next. Wendy's other brother and sister return home from college, and the house is overrun with people telling Wendy what to do. With her home life in disarray, Wendy almost overlooks Gary, who is acting strange (he is facing a real family crisis). Wendy starts to appreciate her own relatives, and discovers that independence doesn't mean being alone, but working with others to create her own special space. Readers will like the breezy tone of this book, and some of the slapstick humor. But when the author lets near-farce takes over the plot, and doesn't show the moment when Wendy takes charge of her life, she makes it hard to really care about the characters in this book. (12-up)
School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 6-9 A book with serious flaws. Wendy loves being a latchkey kid , as it provides her with a lot of freedom. Her life changes drastically when her mother offers to take in Wendy's medical student brother, his wife, and their infant son. A maternal grandmother moves in to help, followed by an injured paternal grandfather. Snyder gives the impression of an adult trying to write like a teenager would think and talk. She fails miserably. The story is related in first person by Wendy, who explains every statement made by another characteroften in boring detail. On top of that, her descriptions of her actions are not in keeping with typical adolescent behavior. Characters are stereotypesfrom the Jewish grandparents to the flippant teenager, Wendy, to the class-clown-front-disguising-a-sad-home-situation boyfriend. Not one of the characters is spared this ignoble fate. Reader soon feel that they know exactly what the characters will say and do next, which is true, as they remain faithful to their stereotypes. Finally, there are far too many minor plots. The Leftover Kid should be left off the book orders. Nancy P. Reeder, Heathwood Hall Episcopal School, Columbia, S.C.
- Penguin Group (USA)
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