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Clementine (Clementine Series #1)

Clementine (Clementine Series #1)

4.3 45
by Sara Pennypacker

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Clementine is having not so good of a week.

  • On Monday she's sent to the principal's office for cutting off Margaret's hair.
  • Tuesday, Margaret's mother is mad at her.
  • Wednesday, she's sent to the principal again.
  • Thursday, Margaret stops speaking to her.
  • Friday starts with yucky eggs and gets worse.
  • And by Saturday, even her mother is


Clementine is having not so good of a week.

  • On Monday she's sent to the principal's office for cutting off Margaret's hair.
  • Tuesday, Margaret's mother is mad at her.
  • Wednesday, she's sent to the principal again.
  • Thursday, Margaret stops speaking to her.
  • Friday starts with yucky eggs and gets worse.
  • And by Saturday, even her mother is mad at her.

Okay, fine. Clementine is having a DISASTROUS week.

Editorial Reviews

"Margaret's hair was not my fault and besides she looks okay without it," narrates ingenuous 8-year-old Clementine. Kids who appreciate the funny foibles of Junie B. Jones will love this firecracker of a heroine, who calls her little brother, variously, Spinach, Radish, and Rutabaga: "Okay fine, my brother's name is not really Spinach. But I got stuck with a name that is also a fruit, and it's not fair that he didn't. The only thing worse than a fruit name is a vegetable name," she reasons. A sweet family life, though, serves as the foundation for the story, which charts a tough week for Clementine, involving badly cut (and marker-dyed) hair, trouble with the principal, and a spat with a best friend. Spirited black and white ink drawings make Clementine's antics easy to envision for new chapter book readers. (Ages 6 to 8)
Child magazine's Best Children's Book Awards 2006
Publishers Weekly
I have had not so good of a week," begins the irrepressible narrator of this winning caper. Pennypacker (Stuart's Cape) then takes readers straight through that week, making clear that Clementine has an unfailing nose for trouble and a comical way with words. The eight-year-old proclaims herself lucky because "spectacularful ideas are always sproinging up in my brain." One of these ideas concerns her fourth-grade friend and neighbor Margaret getting glue in her hair, and Clementine's attempt to help; together they cut off nearly all of Margaret's long locks. Further strategies involve the use of permanent markers and Clementine undergoing a sympathy coif. Frazee's black-and-white illustrations of the close-cropped gals captures the mixed emotions of their shared fate. Her portraits of the heroine's three-year-old brother, "who didn't get stuck with a fruit name," and whom Clementine calls by various vegetable names, including "Spinach," "Lima Bean" and "Pea Pod," may remind readers of the charming star of Frazee's Walk On! Along with the humorous bits, Pennypacker seamlessly weaves into the narrative common third-grade themes, such as Clementine comparing Margaret's neatly dressed banker mother with her own overalls-clad artist mother, and envying Margaret her kitten from the litter of Clementine's own lately deceased cat, Polka Dottie. Luckily, Clementine ends her week on an up note. Fans of Judy Moody will welcome this portrait of another funny, independent third-grader. Ages 7-10. (Sept.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
For a third grader, Clementine spends an awful lot of time in the principal's office. It is not that she is a bad kid, she is just a rambunctious one with lots of rather harebrained schemes in her little head. Clementine does not always think before she acts and though her heart is always in the right place, Clementine seldom is. Although Clementine's unusual parents never get too flustered, they do try to help Clementine see that she does not need to act on every idea she has. This is an enjoyable read with a fun character with personality to spare. Frazee's illustrations are an added treat to this quirky story. 2006, Hyperion, Ages 7 to 10.
—Joan Kindig, Ph.D.
Children's Literature - Kathryn Erskine
Spunky and perky like Junie B. Jones or Ramona, new-to-the-scene Clementine bounces in with child-like perspectives, fun language, and much heart. Though often in trouble, we know she means well. In fact, we find ourselves wondering why the adults in her life cannot see things her way. Fortunately, her parents are helpful and understanding and they both obviously have a good sense of humor. An excellent transition from Junie B. and early chapter books, readers will find short chapters, wonderful illustrations, and fun themes. It is also a bridge to true middle grade novels because there are poignant moments, too, such as when Clementine comes to terms with her not-so-sophisticated mother, realizing that she loves the art and freedom her mother represents. There are laugh-out-loud phrases, funny encounters in the principal's office, friendship mishaps, sibling issues with her little brother whom she calls endless vegetable names, given that she is named after a fruit, and many ordeals with which third-graders, like Clementine, can relate.
School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-Clementine, a not-so-common third grader, knows her way around the principal's office as well as she does the art-supply closet. Daily rituals take on a different view when seen from her eyes. She's constantly being told that she needs to "pay attention," but to her mind she is paying attention and making astute observations. Whether looking out the window during the Pledge of Allegiance at the janitor locked in an embrace with the lunch lady or dealing with a pesky pigeon problem at her apartment building, her concentration is always focused. Clementine goes to great lengths to be friends with fourth-grade neighbor, Margaret, but more times than not, both girls end up in trouble. Humorous scenarios tumble together, blending picturesque dialogue with a fresh perspective as only the unique Clementine can offer. When the protagonist pleads to skip school because of a self-inflicted haircut fiasco, she tries to convince her mom that she must have caught arthritis from old Mrs. Jacobi or has possibly come down with the "heartbreak of sore irises." Frazee's engaging pen-and-ink drawings capture the energy and fresh-faced expressions of the irrepressible heroine. And even though she confesses that "I do not think fathers should be comedians," her parents are portrayed as being fairly cool. A delightful addition to any beginning chapter-book collection.-Cheryl Ashton, Amherst Public Library, OH Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Maybe it was because third-grader Clementine was a little bit angry with her best friend Margaret that things got out of hand with the scissors and the permanent markers and the hair. Or maybe she really was just trying to help. In short chapters, set in the city apartment building her father manages or the school where she has some tough days, Clementine relates the events of the trying week she discovered she was the difficult child in her family and thought she was about to be given away. Middle-grade readers will sympathize with Clementine's conflicted feelings about her friend and her family, and laugh out loud at her impulsive antics, narrated in a fresh first-person voice and illustrated with plenty of humor. Just like her family they will cheer when she comes up with a way to end The Great Pigeon War as well as the temporary rift with her friend. Energetic and imaginative, Clementine is gifted with understanding and patient parents. Give this to readers of Cleary and Blume and cross your fingers for more. (Fiction. 7-10)

Product Details

Hyperion Books for Children
Clementine Series , #1
Age Range:
7 - 10 Years

Meet the Author

Sara Pennypacker, author of the Clementine books, was a painter before becoming a writer and has two absolutely fabulous children who are grown now. She has written several books, including Stewart's Cape and Stewart Goes to School, both illustrated by Martin Matje, and Dumbstruck. When she was in school, she never had any problem at all paying attention. Okay, fine. That last part was about somebody else. Sara lives on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

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Clementine 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 45 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Clementine is a believably written character who is sensitive, high-spirited, clever, and funny. This series is one of the best for tweens. My daughter loves them and even my son (going into 3rd grade) enjoys them. The books are laugh out loud funny because of the sticky situations Clementine always seems to get into although she always has the best intentions. We aren't fans of fresh mouthed kids or potty talk so Clementine is a refreshing change from Junie B. Jones and her ilk.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is fun and funny. My mom and dad were laughing so hard. It is a hit. It is a family fun story in a twisted way.I strongly think you should read this book to get a awesome laugh!!!!!
Mum23 More than 1 year ago
We actually listened to the audio for this book and the other Clementine Books. My kids loved them greatly. My daughter liked it so much she took Clementine out of the library and read it again. I love Clementine's character - she is so funny!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My first grader loves "Clementine". In the beginning I was a bit suspicious,because of Clementine's behavior, but it really got me to look at things at a childs level. My 1st grader was having problems in school that I could not relate to. By reading "Clementine" with my daughter I was able to talk to her about making better choices. We read one chapter per night together.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I saw this book several times at the book store before I decided to give it a try. I'd say she is as funny as the Junie B. Jones series; but she is sweet and cares about others feelings. Her friend is kind of bossy, and a neat freak, but Clementine has her own style. She is a little sweetheart. I have bought the book for several of my friends. A great book for book lovers or if you want a quick break. Clementine will leave you wanting more.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Clementine is a sweet story about a smart, self-aware third grade girl. This is a great alternative to those who have read all the Junie B. Jones series and want more. Also, parents who do not care for Junie B's overuse of the word 'stupid' will find Clementine a good choice.
Erin-teacher More than 1 year ago
Clementine is a story about a mischievous third-grader. She is very interested in all the world has to offer. However, she can get into quite a lot of trouble. Most of the trouble involves her best friend Margaret. In many situtations Clementine is only trying to help, but she makes things worse. I really enjoyed reading this book and it made me laugh often. I really feel that children can relate to the situations that Clementine finds herself in, and they will enjoy reading about them. Many of these situations could be used for "teachable" moments. I would recommend this book for first, second, or third grade readers. I also feel that teachers could read this aloud to students and they would thoroughly enjoy it.
Bean44 More than 1 year ago
Wow! What a delightful book! I just finished reading it with my 3rd grade daughter and we both absolutely loved it and were so sad when it ended. We're planning on reading other "Clementine" books right away. The silliness of the characters is delightful and such a welcome read in our often too serious world. We both giggled all the way through. The story is entertaining and provides great wisdom as well. The lessons found in the book regarding friendship and family are touching and heartfelt.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Clementine is such a funny little girl. It is amazing the kind of messes that an 8 year old can get into. She has a best friend named Margaret and they get into one mess after another. Of course, their parents get upset each time. Clementine is usually the cause of the mess. I would recommend reading it as a read aloud to 1st, 2nd, or 3rd graders. There are several situations in the book where Clementine is sent to the principal¿s office that could be used as teachable moments. It is also just enjoyable to read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Clementine is a girl that children will love to read about! Her spunky personality makes the plot of the story very interesting, exciting and you never know what will happen next! Children can relate to this main character because of her actions at home and at school. For example, her teachers are always telling her to pay attention. She believes she is paying attention- to what is happening out the window! At home, Clementine worries about secret conversations she overhears from her parents. While Clementine gets herself in a lot of trouble, the humor that goes with this and the reality of what is happening makes the book very enjoyable! Sara Pennypacker does an excellent job showing Clementine's character through not only her actions and words, but also her thoughts. When Clementine is forbidden to touch a friend's mask, she admits to touching and then says 'twice. Okay, fine.' These thoughts revealed make the story easier for children to understand! I enjoyed this book because of the various events that happen to Clementine throughout the week are realistic but with a funny twist.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The 'poor grammar' and misuse of words is part of what IS Clementine. You wouldn't find Clementine nearly as believable or entertaining if she used perfect grammar. Kids can tell the difference and can even learn a lot from this grammar if used as a teachable moment. I wouldn't suggest having a beginner reader pick it up and read it independently--the recommended age IS 7-10 after all, but as a read-aloud, read by someone who can really play it up vocally, it would be entertaining for younger students as well. My 7 year old read through Junie B books like crazy last year, loves Clementine, and IS able to pick out the funny moments when Clementine misuses a word. Not every character in literature has perfect grammar. Books like this are really a good way for young students to understand character, voice, audience, and detail, which are things they should consider in their own writing!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is very funny! It's funny because Clementime always gets in to mischeif. I would recomend this book to people who like humor in their books. I would like to thank Sara Pennypacker and Marla Frazee for writing and drawing the pictures in the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Clementine is in the third grade and she is having the worst week ever. Everytime she tries to do something helpful it gets her in trouble. In this book, CLementine spends most of the week getting trouble for helping Margaret cut her hair, then cutting her own hair to match Margarets. Clementine then helps her dad with the great pigeon war, and her parents throw her a party to celebrate her achievment and even Margaret comes to the party!

I thought this book was wonderful. I think children can easily relate to Clementine, because the story is told from a childlike perspective. I loved how in Clementine's world she was just trying to help, but from an adult perspective it seemed like she was causing trouble. I think this book is a good book for educators to use because it can help us remember that children see things very differently than we do, and also because like I said before children relate to Clementine.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i lovede this book, it was really good.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I bought this book for my daughter in 2nd grade and she loved it!!! Both my sister & I read it through and laughed tons - very silly!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this book. Sara Panabaker is a wonderful writer! It is about a girl named Clementine who is haveing a horrible week. Her friends Mom is mad @ Clementine for cutting off her friends hair. Then she thinks her parents are giving her away. Alot more things happen that week. What will Clementine Do?
Guest More than 1 year ago
Not only did my daughter love this character, but because the book is told from Clementine's point of view, it was like another kid talking to her. She is only 4.5 yrs old and we had planned to read her 1 chapter per night, but she always asked for more. I really enjoyed it too. We want more Clementine!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Clementine is a sweet, albeit unremarkable, story told from the point of view of a well-meaning precocious little girl. But in trying to capture the way a child talks and thinks, the author uses so many hyphenated adjectives and so many run-on sentences, that a young reader is easily lost.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When I was in third grade I was never as spunky as Clementine.This fiction book tells the story of a third graders life and some of the adventures that go along with it.Clementine is the reason I loved this book, because you never know what she's going to do next.She has a horribla week involving scissors as her parents plot to get rid of her.Clementine and her father try to fight the great pigeon war.The father owns the eight story apartment building and the mom is a painter.Clementine and her best friend, Margaret , have a fun time until Clementine decides that she's nine and has to copy Margaret's hair.Margaret is in fourth grade so she enjoys bossing Clementine.You'll realize she's alright.The story Clementine will surprise you with all of the interesting things that she does.One day she decides to help the painters so she tries something daring but she keeps failing.
Anonymous 4 months ago
It is hialarious whenever Margeret gets mad or Clementine gets in to trouble.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Clementine rules!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
JasonJamesBourne More than 1 year ago
Clementines is a very good book that's I have ejoyed reading for a long time now. Clementines is about a girl that never gets along with her sister or school. His sister just care about herself, she want to be a princess. But for Clementine she's really unlucky she always gets in trouble and can't help it. Clementine had the worst week ever, she went to the office in big trouble then she loses her best friend and the next day her best friend mom hates her. Then it get even worse.
Taylor-Fassler123 More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. I would say that younger kids would like it so for around ages 7-10. It was very silly! And, it just is a good thing to read if you are feeling down, it always made me giggle.I really thought that my little sister would like it, or it would be a cute story to read with someone.This very cute book, and I totally would recommend it for anyone. But, mostly to the younger readers.
Clau8a More than 1 year ago
My 7 yrs old son is fascinated with this story: he tells me what has happened every time he finishes a new chapter: easy to read for a 7 yr old kid, interesting to them
pileofbooks More than 1 year ago
It was a present and she loves it, she read it all in 1 day and she will read it again :)