The Manny

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Overview

Justin Blakewell has the perfect summer job: He's a manny—a male nanny—in the Hamptons. you say only girls are nannies? exactly. what better way to meet and impress them? Justin's mission is to date rich, bikini-clad beauties all summer long. taking care of four-year-old Aspen causes some hilarious mishaps, but all goes as planned—until Justin falls for the wrong girl. liz isn't rich or beautiful. but she might teach Justin a few things about wooing women . . . and growing up. ...
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Overview

Justin Blakewell has the perfect summer job: He's a manny—a male nanny—in the Hamptons. you say only girls are nannies? exactly. what better way to meet and impress them? Justin's mission is to date rich, bikini-clad beauties all summer long. taking care of four-year-old Aspen causes some hilarious mishaps, but all goes as planned—until Justin falls for the wrong girl. liz isn't rich or beautiful. but she might teach Justin a few things about wooing women . . . and growing up.

A sixteen-year-old New Yorker looks forward to his summer job as a manny, or "male nanny," to an affluent couple's four-year-old in the Hamptons.

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Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
The Manny, by Sarah L. Thompson, is told from the perspective of 16-year-old Justin Blackwell, whose sarcasm and wit really make this book stand out from others and lots of fun to read. Justin is hired by a wealthy couple to work as a nanny for their four-year-old son, Aspen, one summer in the Hamptons. During the summer, Justin faces the typical teenage issues of how to ask a girl out, how to deal with the girl's hostile ex-boyfriend, and how to respond to adult injustices. Things don't always go smoothly for Justin, but he survives pretty well. 2005, Dutton Children's Books, 181 pp., Ages young adult.
—Karen Ford
Children's Literature
Justin Blakewell has landed the perfect summer job: summering in the Hamptons, spending afternoons in the park or strolling along the beach—chasing a four year old boy. That is right, Justin Blakewell is a nanny—or, as he likes to say, a manny, a male nanny. Wait a minute, as Justin's best friend, Alex, says, girls are nannies. Precisely. Who do you suppose will be watching all those other little kids at the park? Girls, of course. And what girl can resist a sensitive guy who loves kids? And at the beach? Lovely, suntanned girls in skimpy bikinis. Sounds like the perfect summer to Justin. And he has got his eye on a lovely brunette, who not only looks great in a bikini, but is rich to boot. But it would not be much of a story if everything went according to plan. Along the way, Justin finds himself in all sorts of hilarious situations, and at times comes across as more of a bumbling idiot than the suave, sophisticated sensitive guy he is trying to portray. Think white couch, yappy little dogs, and muddy paw prints, and you will get a good picture of just one of those situations that Justin had not anticipated when he formulated his manny mission. A fun, light read, this book will be a hit with middle-school and high-school age readers alike. 2005, Dutton Children's Books, Ages 12 up.
—Pat Trattles
KLIATT
Justin Blakewell has a plan for the summer. He is going to be a nanny for four-year-old Aspen Jeremy Belton in the Hamptons. It is a plan that will get him out of the city for a whole month onto the beaches where other nannies, of the female variety, will also be spending their summer, in bikinis, taking care of little kids. Justin is 15 years old and has had experience babysitting. He gets along well with Aspen and on the first day at the beach is hopelessly smitten with Serafina, a tall, dark beauty. Lucky for him he has also met Liz, a townie, whose company he enjoys and who has volunteered to give him pointers for "getting the girl." Justin definitely needs those pointers. The hormones are there but the capacity to demonstrate character isn't. Justin has trouble speaking with Serafina and definitely feels the distinction between his family and hers. He learns lessons about taking care of children, especially when Aspen disappears at the pool. During his time in the Hamptons, Justin learns about consequences and responsibility. KLIATT Codes: JS—Recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2005, Penguin, Dutton, 188p., Ages 12 to 18.
—Janis Flint-Ferguson
VOYA
Planning to cash in on his knack for getting along with children, sixteen-year-old Justin scores a summer job as a male nanny (Manny, get it?) for a wealthy family vacationing in The Hamptons. The one-hundred-and-fifty bucks a week is cool, but hot babes languishing on the beach are the real bonus. Not a player-but definitely making himself available-Justin simultaneously charms his young charge Aspen while casting his net for a great-looking girl. Hoping "her front lives up to her back," his practiced eye locks onto gorgeous Serafina, prompting Justin to confidently e-mail his buddies bragging that his "Manny mission is progressing nicely." Dealing with four-year-old Aspen is nothing compared to Justin's bungling of his way-too-nervous date with Serafina. Complicating matters are the conversations that Justin and plain-looking fellow nanny Liz enjoy. Unwittingly the Manny finds himself caught in a Gilligan's Island-esque Ginger/MaryAnne-Serafina/Liz problem. Which girl does he really like? After a first kiss disaster with Serafina, Justin laments, "Why don't girls come with instructions?" The Manny doubles his failure when his pursuit of Serafina crashes and burns and he tactlessly enlists help from Liz (who is waiting in the wings), believing that she will furnish advice on how to handle the situation. Several hilarious slapstick scenes of Manny versus child spark the book, but what truly makes this title stand out is Justin's witty, self-deprecating humor. An interesting conclusion finds Justin finally recognizing his blunders and thinking that maybe girl relationships should start as friends and then something more. VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P J S (Better than most, marred only by occasionallapses; Broad general YA appeal; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2005, Dutton, 160p., Ages 12 to 18.
—Rollie Welch
School Library Journal
Gr 7-10-Justin is a mostly typical NYC teen, perhaps a little more mature than some; his widowed mother has tried to teach him respect, and he understands the importance of ironing before an interview. Justin has also realized something that most guys don't know-baby-sitting is tough but lucrative-and that's why he is summering in the Hamptons. He plans to spend five hours a day baby-sitting and the rest of the time impressing girls with his caring, sensitive side. But things don't work out; the romance with wealthy Serafina is expensive and fizzles out, and when Justin realizes he likes down-to-earth local girl Liz, it may be too late (although room is left for a sequel). This is a breezy read, but like Melissa de la Cruz's The Au Pairs (S & S, 2004), there are moments of social commentary regarding the way the wealthy neglect their children (which plays out dramatically with Liz's unpleasant employer) and the gap between the haves (summer people) and have-nots (hired help and locals). Justin is an engaging narrator-his too-good-to-be-true sensitive guy nature is nicely played off by his cluelessness in dealing with girls and his mom's blossoming romance-and even Serafina and Liz, cast in stock roles, feel real. This is not quite a soap opera-partying is minor and romance is kissing-but it is satisfying summer fun that will appeal to girls who wish there were more guys like Justin and want their beach reads reasonably clean.-Karyn N. Silverman, Elizabeth Irwin High School, New York City Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142408032
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 5/10/2007
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 192
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 4.26 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 0.49 (d)

Meet the Author

Sarah L. Thomson lives in Portland, Maine.
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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2008

    Great idea. . .

    Justin Blakewell has examined the merits of pursuing a summer job in a nontraditional occupation and has found those benefits numerous: he is a nanny. For those young men who have difficulty with balancing their masculinity with such a job title, that can be translated ¿manny,¿ as coined on an episode of Friends. This is a cute book that is written in the first person perspective. The plot provides some humorous episodes and some poignant conversations between characters. Having said that, the plot is also predictable in spots. Boy dates rich girl, boy wants to impress rich girl at party, boy can¿t afford rich clothes, boy uses mother¿s credit card (for emergency only) to purchase a silk shirt with the intent of returning said silk shirt after party, rival boy spills salsa on said shirt, thus negating any hope of returning the shirt. While the care giving experiences can be humorous and touching, overall, it very much appears to be a story written from a woman¿s perspective about how she thinks a high school boy would think and react. Some of Justin¿s conversation and narration uses vocabulary that an adult would use, so the story loses some credibility with its readers. Near the final chapter there is a reference to the ¿peanut gallery,¿ which, while not intended to be racist, would be likely to offend more educated readers and seems to war with the more enlightened portions of the story.

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