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As Ever, Gordy
     

As Ever, Gordy

4.4 21
by Mary Downing Hahn
 

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Gordy couldn't be more unhappy about moving back to his hometown of College Hill, where everybody knows his family's troubled history. In North Carolina, Gordy's life had finally seemed to be on the right track. But in College Hill, Gordy and his sister, June, move into a cramped apartment with their brother Stu and his new family. The principal at Gordy's school

Overview

Gordy couldn't be more unhappy about moving back to his hometown of College Hill, where everybody knows his family's troubled history. In North Carolina, Gordy's life had finally seemed to be on the right track. But in College Hill, Gordy and his sister, June, move into a cramped apartment with their brother Stu and his new family. The principal at Gordy's school immediately has it in for him, his old pals encourage him to cause trouble, and his one-time nemesis, Elizabeth, hates him more than ever. It seems to Gordy as though the whole world is against him. Will he slip back into his old trouble-making ways for good, or will he be able to keep growing into the successful person he was striving to become?

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Hahn expertly shows how the expectations of others influence Gordy's behavior, as he struggles to step away from his bad old self; in the end he takes that step, though not without a realistic amount of backsliding….While Gordy's anger is the dominant feeling here, flashes of humor and deftly inserted historical details of the postWW II era lighten the load."--Kirkus Reviews

Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
Gordy is back in College Hill and he couldn't be more unhappy. Just when he felt his life was turning around, Grandma died and he and June had to return north to live with his brother Stu and his family. His old buddies Toad and Doug are pleased to have their crony back. The girls are appalled that their tormentor has returned. Will Gordy ever straighten out his life? Can he ever be the person that his grandmother believed in? Hahn writes with flair, and there is plenty happening in the life of Gordy and his family and friends, enough to keep readers turning the pages until the very end. But lets hope this isn't the end and we'll get to know more about Gordy.
VOYA - Diane Tuccillo
This sequel to Stepping on the Cracks (Clarion, 1991) and Following My Own Footsteps (Clarion, 1996) is set just after World War II. For the past three years, things had been going pretty well for thirteen-year-old Gordy Smith. Gordy and his younger sister, June, were living with their grandmother in North Carolina after their mother, three little brothers, and abusive father left for California without them. During that time, Grandma managed to get Gordy's poor behavior on track, and a new school and friends gave him a chance at a fresh start. All this changes when Grandma dies suddenly.

Gordy and June, who have no idea where their parents are, are forced to move back to their old town in Maryland to live with their married older brother, Stu. Once there, Gordy finds himself again lashing out at the world while trying to get a girl, his old enemy "Lizard," to like him. The problem is, Gordy's negative behavior has the opposite effect. His old buddies Toad and Doug are no help, and before he knows it, Gordy finds himself in all sorts of trouble. Through intervention by caring adults in his life, Gordy manages to get his problems ironed out and his anger under control.

The dialogue, language, and situations are realistic and the characters are well drawn. Unfortunately, the cover on As Ever, Gordy is inaccurate and less attractive than those on the first two. Even though this book could stand alone, reading the previous ones first would be a plus.

VOYA Codes: 5Q 3P M J (Hard to imagine it being better written, Will appeal with pushing, Middle School-defined as grades 6 to 8 and Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9).

School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-This sequel to Stepping on the Cracks (1991) and Following My Own Footsteps (1996, both Clarion) continues Gordy Smith's story. After the death of their grandmother in North Carolina, with whom they had been living since their abusive, alcoholic father was arrested, 13-year-old Gordy and his younger sister return to College Hill, MD, to stay with their married older brother Stu. Under his grandmother's firm but loving hand, Gordy had begun to turn his life around. Unfortunately, everyone in College Hill remembers him as a bully. As his anger over his grandmother's death and his new living conditions surfaces, he falls back into his old ways--underachieving in school and playing mischievous pranks. He also finds himself the object of teasing by classmates Margaret and Elizabeth. Perhaps because Gordy is so caught up in his personal problems, it takes much of the book for him to realize that he is attracted to Elizabeth. In the end, they begin a positive relationship. Although Hahn attempts to flesh out the book's post-World War II setting, it is barely evident. Slang words such as "chump" and "dames" and period details such as Frank Sinatra and Hank Williams do not re-create the time for today's children. Readers who already know these characters will be interested in what happens to them, but those meeting Gordy for the first time may not find the book as compelling.-Ellen Fader, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR
Kirkus Reviews
An eighth grader finds that his tough-guy persona doesn't fit as well as it used to in Hahn's third book about the fragmented Smith family (Stepping On The Cracks, 1991; Following My Own Footsteps, 1996). After his grandmother's sudden death, Gordy has to move back to the hated Maryland town in which he grew up. Discovering that the intervening two years have done little to dim his family's white-trash reputation, and that his ne'er-do-well friends, Doug and Toad, haven't changed, Gordy slips back into his old troublemaking ways. The role begins to chafe, however, when he develops a yen for old rival LizþLizzy the LizardþCrawford, and learns that his abusive father and reform-school- graduate older brother aren't the best role models when it comes to human relations. Hahn expertly shows how the expectations of others influence Gordy's behavior, as he struggles to step away from his bad old self; in the end he takes that step, though not without a realistic amount of backsliding. To Gordy's surprise and pleasure, Elizabeth is willing to meet him half way. While Gordy's anger is the dominant feeling here, flashes of humor and deftly inserted historical details of the postþWW II era lighten the load. (Fiction. 10-13)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780547549552
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
03/21/2011
Pages:
192
Sales rank:
440,011
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.50(d)
Lexile:
680L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

Read an Excerpt

Born to be bad?

Mueller cleared his throat and went on talking
as if I hadn’t said a thing. “On the other hand,
Donald dropped out of school the day he turned
sixteen. Believe me, I wasn’t a bit sorry to lose
him.” He paused and gave me another long hard
look. “I wonder which of your brothers you take
after, Gordon.”
 It was just the way I’d known it would be—
everybody remembered my father and my brothers.
They all expected me to turn out every bit as
bad as they had. The only question was, whose
path would I follow? Would I become the town
drunk? Would I drop out of school and blow
up gas stations? Would I desert if another war
started?
 When I didn’t say anything, Mueller frowned.
“I plan to keep an eye on you, Gordon. Any sign
of misbehavior and I’ll come down on you hard.
Is that clear?”
 “Yes, sir,” I muttered. His message was clear.
It was my first day at Hyattsdale High, and the
principal already hated me.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
"Hahn expertly shows how the expectations of others influence Gordy's behavior, as he struggles to step away from his bad old self; in the end he takes that step, though not without a realistic amount of backsliding….While Gordy's anger is the dominant feeling here, flashes of humor and deftly inserted historical details of the postWW II era lighten the load."—Kirkus Reviews

Meet the Author

MARY DOWNING HAHN is the award-winning author of many popular ghost stories and mysteries, including Deep and Dark and Dangerous and The Old Willis Place. A former librarian, an avid reader, traveler, and all-around arts lover, Ms. Hahn lives in Columbia, Maryland with her two cats, Oscar and Rufus.
www.MaryDowningHahnBooks.com

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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As Ever, Gordy 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A very emotional book. A boy dealing with his father abusing him and his family. The town talking about whos footsteps he was going to follow becoming yellow, dropping out of school once reaching 16 or becoming a alcholaic, abusive scary person, the town drunk. Dealing anger, a death, growing up, his family and what everyone thinks of him. A great book for fifth and up. Even adults. A book that hits home with everyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is great! I highly recomend this book! Mary Downing Hahn is a highly skilled author! READ IT! READ IT!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MUST READ
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book and its series in 4th grade and all aof them made me cry. If you like sad stories and you're around fifth or fourth grade I recommend this book and its series to you. Mary Downing Hahn is an incredible author! If you read the first book in the series ( Stepping on the Cracks)first you will understand the book so much better. This book is amazing it is a must read. Samira
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
TO START THE CHALLENGE MEET ME AT Mary Downing Hawn's book, WAIT TILL HELEN COMES? YOUR MISSION WILL START
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best books ive ever read!!!!! It is,yes,kinda sad in some parts. Gordy likes Elizebeth. He pretendes like he doesnt by insulting them. Best book evr!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was so good. Sometime i would regret putting it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book it is sweet and I think I will read it again.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this sereis of books. I recommend them to all 5th & 6th grade students. It was great watching Gordy and his friends grow up. How when he came back things weren't the same. Living in a cramped apt. with his brother Stu, thinking of William. And last his adventures after he returns.
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Thanks to whoever wrote be careful i thought this was the first book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the third book in a series that starts with Stepping on he cracks. It is not the first. Great book though. I highly recomend it
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I cant wait to start reading it im still on stepping on the cracks