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Visiting Miss Caples

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Jenna has the perfect life-until her dad leaves, and things get shaky with her bestfriend. To make matters worse, Jenna has to go read to Miss Caples, an elderly shut-in for the dumbest school assignment ever. But when Jenna runs out of boring stories to read, she starts telling Miss Caples about how her life is falling apart-and Jenna discovers that she has more in common with Miss Caples than she ever imagined.

"Involving dramas . . . make for juicy reading, and the stories ...

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Overview

Jenna has the perfect life-until her dad leaves, and things get shaky with her bestfriend. To make matters worse, Jenna has to go read to Miss Caples, an elderly shut-in for the dumbest school assignment ever. But when Jenna runs out of boring stories to read, she starts telling Miss Caples about how her life is falling apart-and Jenna discovers that she has more in common with Miss Caples than she ever imagined.

"Involving dramas . . . make for juicy reading, and the stories are true to the ageless patterns of friendship and betrayal." The Horn Book

The elderly shut-in she visits once a week becomes an unexpected source of friendship and strength for thirteen-year-old Jenna, and they help each other face and overcome painful aspects of their lives.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Children's Literature
Jenna and popular Liv have been best friends since they were tiny. Now the eighth grade social studies teacher requires students to visit a shut-in once a week. Jenna notices in Miss Caple's apartment many photographs that include a beautiful young woman. Meanwhile Jenna and Liv's families face big problems and Liv makes more and more demands. Miss Caple listens to Jenna's dilemma with Liv, who has plotted a cruel revenge on a rival and expects Jenna to carry it out--or else. The old lady tells the story of the cruel revenge plotted by her beautiful friend, thereby giving Jenna needed support at a crucial time. Jenna's newly attentive mother also helps her to make the lonely and independent decision. Prize-winning author Elizabeth Cody Kimmel creates an engaging teenager in Jenna, a memorably petty one in Liv, and shows the richness possible in intergenerational friendships. Kimmel also clearly links teen vindictiveness to family dynamics, a connection that probably should be made more often. Readers will enjoy the story's realistic teen dialogue, the intergroup rivalries, the plots and counter-plots. Even better, they'll be wiser at story's end. 2000, Dial Press, Ages 11 up, $16.99. Reviewer: Nancy Tilly
ALAN Review
Jenna, the thirteen-year-old narrator of Visiting Miss Caples, reads to old Elspeth Caples as part of her eighth-grade social studies project. At first both she and Miss Caples are unhappy with the project, but when Jenna forgets her reading material one day, and begins to share her concerns about her parents and her conflict with her best friend, Liv, the relationship begins to change. The elderly lady opens up and shares some stories of her own. Kimmel's well-written, fast-paced story addresses several issues pertinent to young teens, such as peer pressure, parent-child relationships, identity issues, and intergenerational conflicts Those students in grades six through eight who like realistic fiction will find this book both informative and enjoyable. Genre: Friendship. 2000, Dial Books, Ages 9 to 12, $16.99. Reviewer: Merrill J. Davies
KLIATT
The narrator, Jen, is thirteen years old, a popular, attractive girl who is strongly attached to her best friend Liv, the acknowledged leader of their class. Unfortunately, Liv holds her power by being a vicious bully and skilled manipulator; this makes Jen uncomfortable sometimes, but their connection goes back many years and is difficult to break. Jen, let's face it, is also a bit afraid of Liv's power to ostracize. What will give Jen the courage to defy Liv and escape her cruelty? It is tied into her visits with an elderly woman in the neighborhood, Miss Caples. Jen slowly learns of a parallel story of a destructive friendship in Miss Caples' life many years ago, a relationship that effectively ruined her life. Kimmel slowly lets her story evolve in its complexities. Liv is never a cardboard figure of menace, so we do understand Jen's loyalty to her. Visiting Miss Caples regularly at first doesn't have much meaning for Jen, and Kimmel's ability to show how Jen becomes more and more fascinated by Miss Caples' life shows real understanding of adolescent girls and the dynamics of their relationships. The bullying that goes on at school is ghastly, and unfortunately totally believable, thanks to Kimmel's skill. KLIATT Codes: J—Recommended for junior high school students. 2000, Penguin Putnam/Dial, 168p, 99-27899, $16.99. Ages 13 to 15. Reviewer: Claire Rosser; July 2000 (Vol. 34 No. 4)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142300299
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/31/2001
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 176
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.08 (w) x 7.80 (h) x 0.47 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2005

    Guide to Friendship

    Jen learns a lot in this book when see meets a shut-in, Miss.Caples. Jen makes a friend with Miss.Caples during a community service project in school. When Jen is visting Miss.Caples she learns that a mean lady across the street named Mrs.Morgan was her best friend. Jen and Her best friend Liv are just like Miss.Caples and Mrs.Morgan. So Jen learns a lot about friendship in theis book too.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2001

    Wonderful Review

    I enjoyed this book greatly, it had surprises and a great ending. It is a book for people that like friendship stories.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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