The Pity Party: 8th Grade in the Life of Me, Cass
  • The Pity Party: 8th Grade in the Life of Me, Cass
  • The Pity Party: 8th Grade in the Life of Me, Cass

The Pity Party: 8th Grade in the Life of Me, Cass

by Alison Pollet
     
 

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When eighth grade begins, Cass feels like the entire school is out to get her. She's stuck in classes without her closest friends Penelope and Tillie to keep her company. And as if that weren't bad enough, this is the year that students take an extended field trip to Elston Prep's nature retreat in the countryside.

Cass confronts her problems with spirited

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Overview

When eighth grade begins, Cass feels like the entire school is out to get her. She's stuck in classes without her closest friends Penelope and Tillie to keep her company. And as if that weren't bad enough, this is the year that students take an extended field trip to Elston Prep's nature retreat in the countryside.

Cass confronts her problems with spirited resilience, and she forges an unexpected friendship with Rod Punkin, the school's biggest behavior problem. When Rod goes missing, Cass embarks on a secret rescue mission in this funny, witty, and utterly moving story about being thirteen.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In a starred review, PW said that Alison Pollet's first novel set in a private Manhattan school in 1981, Nobody Was Here: 7th Grade in the Life of Me, Penelope, "gets all the details right, from how a clique attacks a victim to the trappings of a fancy bat mitzvah, then delves beneath the surface." In her second novel, The Pity Party: 8th Grade in the Life of Me, Cass, the author once again digs deep. In the same way that Penelope befriended honest, offbeat Cass Levin in the previous book, Cass now takes under her wing "spiky-headed" Rod Punkin-and middle school will never be the same. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-In this sequel to Nobody Was Here (Scholastic, 2004), readers get to know Penelope Schwartzbaum's friend Cass better. Orphaned when she was eight, she lives with her beloved guardian, Bea, and attends a New York City private school. Cass is devastated when she discovers that she does not have classes with her two best friends. While she is at first horrified that troublemaker Rod Punkin sits behind her in English class, the two eventually develop a friendship, and she begins to understand herself and why he is the way he is. She is able to come to terms with her parents' death, accept the benefits of counseling, and gain a sense of belonging. Inventive details, such as Cass's word lists, the comforting rhyming games she remembers playing with her mother, and the warm support of her art-collecting guardian and psychoanalyst aunt make this a first-rate purchase. Multilayered characters inhabit this complex, thoughtful book that beautifully hones in on middle-school friendships.-Debbie Stewart Hoskins, Grand Rapids Public Library, MI Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Cass, the quirky, self-confident girl who appeared in Pollet's earlier Nobody Was Here (2004), about prep school life in the mid-1980s, is trying in eighth grade to sort out who she really is: orphaned child; invincible girl; third wheel? She's discovering that at 13 things start clanging around in disharmonious earnest. The garrulous boy seated behind Cass in English class seems to voice some of this turmoil. Rod is bold and not at all perfect, but their friendship is a gift, and his abrupt departure challenges Cass to try to find her own missing pieces. Pollet steers a neat and relatively innocent course through the troubled and murky waters of middle school. Readers will recognize Cass's lack of perspective and experience as their own, and there are moments enough of genuine warmth and humor that they will care what happens to her. (Fiction. 10-12)
From the Publisher

Kirkus (Kirkus Reviews, June 15, 2005 (Vol. 73, No. 12))
Cass, the quirky, self-confident girl who appeared in Pollet's earlier Nobody Was Here (2004), about prep school life in the mid-1980s, is trying in eighth grade to sort out who she really is: orphaned child; invincible girl; third wheel? She's discovering that at 13 things start clanging around in disharmonious earnest. The garrulous boy seated behind Cass in English class seems to voice some of this turmoil. Rod is bold and not at all perfect, but their friendship is a gift, and his abrupt departure challenges Cass to try to find her own missing pieces. Pollet steers a neat and relatively innocent course through the troubled and murky waters of middle school. Readers will recognize Cass's lack of perspective and experience as their own, and there are moments enough of genuine warmth and humor that they will care what happens to her. 2005, Orchard, 160p, $15.95. Category: Fiction. Ages 10 to 12. © 2005 Kirkus Reviews/VNU eMedia, Inc. All rights reserved.

Janis Flint-Ferguson (KLIATT Review, July 2005 (Vol. 39, No. 4))
The protagonist here is Cass Levin, being raised by her grandmother after the death of her parents and going into 8th grade with her best friends Penelope and Tillie. Well, not exactly with her best friends, since the school schedule shows that they are in entirely different classes. Cass makes friends with a new kid, Rod Punkin. Rod is witty and wise, but is he also a "behavioral problem." He calls out, mostly inappropriately, and gets thrown out of all the classes except English. When he is assigned to the same literature group as Cass, he shows his talent and demonstrates the know-how to put together a film, Olivia Twisted, the group's horror homage to Oliver Twist. The characters are typical young adolescents, but in the midst of middle school maneuvering there is also the story of Cass coming to terms with the long-ago death of her parents. As she tries to be friends with Rod, she also struggles with the childhood memories of losing her parents. Both situations come to a head when she runs away from a field trip and meets Rod in the summer cottage where she had spent time with her parents. In the end this is a poignant story of learning what it means to fit in. (Sequel to Nobody Was Here) Category: Hardcover Fiction. KLIATT Codes: J--Recommended for junior high school students. 2005, Scholastic, Orchard, 160p., $15.95. Ages 12 to 15.
SLJ 12/1/05
POLLET, Alison. The Pity Party: 8th Grade in the Life of Me, Cass. 149p. CIP. Scholastic/Orchard. 2005. Tr $15.95. ISBN 0-439-68194-4. LC 2004022331.
Gr 5-8–In this sequel to Nobody Was Here (Scholastic, 2004), readers get to know Penelope Schwartzbaum's friend Cass better. Orphaned when she was eight, she lives with her beloved guardian, Bea, and attends a New York City private school. Cass is devastated when she discovers that she does not have classes with her two best friends. While she is at first horrified that troublemaker Rod Punkin sits behind her in English class, the two eventually develop a friendship, and she begins to understand herself and why he is the way he is. She is able to come to terms with her parents' death, accept the benefits of counseling, and gain a sense of belonging. Inventive details, such as Cass's word lists, the comforting rhyming games she remembers playing with her mother, and the warm support of her art-collecting guardian and psychoanalyst aunt make this a first-rate purchase. Multilayered characters inhabit this complex, thoughtful book that beautifully hones in on middle-school friendships.–Debbie Stewart Hoskins, Grand Rapids Public Library, MI

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780439681957
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
06/01/2006
Series:
The Pity Party
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
160
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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