Diary of a Chav

Diary of a Chav

by Grace Dent

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Fifteen-year-old Shiraz Bailey Wood's days are filled with hanging around outside Claire's Accessories, her parents work crap jobs, and her school is pretty much loser central. But this loveable British dreamer with a brain and a heart of gold is beginning to feel there might be a lot more to life than minimum wage and the bling of a souped-up car.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316042871
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date: 10/01/2008
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 525 KB
Age Range: 15 - 17 Years

About the Author

Grace Dent's Diary of a Chav is a bestseller in the UK. Grace is still grounded for dying her mother's best saucepan purple while customizing denim hot pants when she was a teenager, but she also works as a journalist for The Guardian and Radio Times for whom she recently wrote a phenomenally popular Big Brother blog.

She is currently working on the fourth Shiraz book for Hodder UK, and Diary of a Chav #2 will publish in hardcover on the Little, Brown Young Readers list in Fall 2009.

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Diary of a Chav 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Originally published in Great Britain as TRAINERS VS. TIARAS, Grace Dent has crossed the Atlantic and now we are able to enjoy the rich adventures of Shiraz Bailey Wood.

Meet Shiraz. Most of the folks in her small town think she is a "chav." And if you're like me, you're wondering what in the world is a "chav" right? Fortunately, Ms. Dent supplies us poor American folk a glossary at the back of the book. A "chav" is a poor working class person in Britain. My first thought was, "OK, so this would be similar to our term trailer trash." I wasn't wrong! For in the definition Ms. Dent provides, she claims that being called a chav is a bit like calling someone trailer trash. So, having that out of the way, you can get the gist of the tone of the story.

Poor Shiraz is faced with the derogatory definition throughout the book. It starts off at Christmas time where she complains that she gets knock off trainers (sneakers for us Americans!) and a diary. She can't believe her grandma would even think of giving HER a diary. Is she nuts? But as the story unfolds, Shiraz comes to write down everything that happens over the course of the next year.

The diary format has been used before, that's nothing new. We've seen it THE PRINCESS DIARIES, BRIDGET JONES'S DIARY, and the Louise Rennison novels. But what makes DIARY OF A CHAV stand out is the unique way Ms. Dent has Shiraz tell her story.

Shiraz is a loudmouth and doesn't want to stand out at school. But when a new English teacher shows up and sees something in Shiraz, Shiraz finally starts to contemplate if there is more to life than just earning money at a job. Her year at school does a two-week work stint, and while working at a mind-numbingly boring job at a packing plant, Shiraz decides she will try to do the work at school.

While dealing with school, Shiraz also has troubles at home to deal with. Her mom and older sister are at odds and, to solve the problem, Shiraz writes to a Jerry Springer type show for help. Airing their dirty laundry on TV doesn't turn out the way Shiraz expects it to.

And to top all that off, her best friend, Carrie, has ditched her for her exciting new boyfriend, Bezzie. Shiraz doesn't think Bezzie is all that, but Carrie can't see beyond having such a grand guy, and the friendship starts to suffer.

For those expecting a book to flow elegantly and gracefully, DIARY OF A CHAV isn't that book. But if you're looking for a brutally honest look at the life of the teenager in working class England, this is your book. Shiraz is a breath of fresh air. She may irritate you at times with her disregard for authority, but in the end, she does choose the right path and you want to cheer for her when she does!

For more adventures of Shiraz, look for POSH AND PREJUDICE (SLING THE BLING in Great Britain) due out in June 2009. For those of you that absolutely can not wait, you can get your hands on this and more in the series from Great Britain.
francescadefreitas on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
15-year old Shiraz Bailey Wood (also known as known as Shiz) is not a Chav. Even if her school is known as Superchav Academy. All she has to do is survive her GCSE's next year, her family, not being able to deal with lads, her best friend's new romance, and she'll be just fine. Because if there's one thing she's good at, it's telling it like it is!The flyleaf and the back cover of this book read like the worst sort of face, but the pages inside? Deadly! Shiraz if far more than a mockery of a hoop-earringed, hoodie wearing Adidas slave - there is a lot going on in her head, and her voice is smart and very, very funny.I'd give this to anglo-philes, people who enjoy high school comedy, and especially fans of Louise Rennison.
EKAnderson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Shiraz Bailey Wood isn't really a chav - even if she wears trackies and loves hip hop and doesn't really care about exams. But she and her best friend Carrie go to a school frequently referred to as "Superchav Academy" and her mother seems put out by Shiraz' sister, Cava-Sue, who is attempting to better herself by pursuing A-levels at an arts college. Since Carrie has become infatuated with her new boyfriend, a terrible rapper, Shiraz has been spending all her time avoiding the lovebirds and hiding the fact that she's actually doing well in English. But when Cava Sue runs away from home and her parents refuse to get involved, Shiraz knows there's only one thing she can do: write a TV talk show in hopes that they can put her family back together. While at first Diary of a Chav seems like a hard knocks version of the Georgia Nicolson series, it's not long before Shiraz's unique voice comes out. Past the hijinx, jokes, and rants, this is a book about social class, stigma, and finding yourself despite the way everyone else wants to see you. Complete with an index of Shiraz' slang, you can be sure this isn't the last you'll hear from Miss Wood (if only because several sequels are already available in the UK).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Yasas10 More than 1 year ago
I ordered this book off the internet because after checking several ratings, it was rated quite high - 4 stars. I quite like how it started, with her describing how she didn't want a diary at all, but the rest just bored me. It's possible that it annoyed me as I didn't get the British humour, but I don't see how this could possibly be the main effect.