In Zanesville

In Zanesville

by Jo Ann Beard
3.3 39

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Overview

In Zanesville by Jo Ann Beard

The beguiling fourteen-year-old narrator of IN ZANESVILLE is a late bloomer. She is used to flying under the radar-a sidekick, a third wheel, a marching band dropout, a disastrous babysitter, the kind of girl whose Eureka moment is the discovery that "fudge" can't be said with an English accent.

Luckily, she has a best friend, a similarly undiscovered girl with whom she shares the everyday adventures of a 1970s American girlhood, incidents through which a world is revealed, and character is forged.

In time, their friendship is tested-- by their families' claims on them, by a clique of popular girls who stumble upon them as if they were found objects, and by the first, startling, subversive intimations of womanhood.

With dry wit and piercing observation, Jo Ann Beard shows us that in the seemingly quiet streets of America's innumerable Zanesvilles is a world of wonders, and that within the souls of the awkward and the overlooked often burns something radiant and unforgettable.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316175166
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 04/25/2011
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 531,698
File size: 854 KB

About the Author

Jo Ann Beard is the author of a collection of autobiographical essays, The Boys of My Youth. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Tin House, Best American Essays, and other magazines and anthologies. She received a Whiting Foundation Award and nonfiction fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and the New York Foundation for the Arts.

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In Zanesville 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 37 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In Zanesville is utterly charming and delightful, as was Ms. Beard's first book, Boys of My Youth. I keep calling it Boys of Our Youth, because that's what it felt like. In both books, I had the uncanny feeling the author must have grown up in my town, gone to my school, and been in my family. The writing is lovely and pitch perfect, and there are several scenes I'll never forget. I'm not even a fan of coming-of-age novels, but I absolutely loved these books and have recommended them to numerous friends, all who felt the same way. In Zanesville is a rare treat. Anne McGrath
autumnbluesreviews More than 1 year ago
If you were a teen in the 1970's you can definitely relate to INZANESVILLE. The main character a 14 year old teenager girl is also the narrator and remains annonymous throughout the book. Despite her dysfunctional family which includes her chain smoking mother and her non-working alcoholic father, the narator seeems to emotionally lead a rather normal teenage life. Follow her and laugh as I did as she leads you through her life at home, through school, as she hangs out with her best friend Felicia and a few others, all with silly nicknames. Reminise in her feelings as she begins to notice boys and experience those first tingling sensations all over again. I love the character of the narrator simply for the reason that she is just like the average teenager, not overly attractive yet not plain, but just in between. She struggles with the friendship of her best friend Flea while also trying to fit into a group of teens that have found her interesting either because her differences seem to intrigue them or they are bored of themselves. I found a lot of familiarity including the fiasco when the narrator purposely acquires detention in order to introduce herself to a said boy, who she later awkwardly dumps when he gets a little frisky. Beard really makes these characters come to life on her pages and you can relate to these teenage antics whatever your age. The close teenage friendship, the feelings of abandonment by her friend, her relationship with her siblings and even her parents can be anyones real life. I feel Beards intention with this story is to pull the reader back to that particular time in their life, those teenage years, to make that connection. The true realization I recognized INZANESVILLE to hold is that real true friendships are more important than school cliques or boys.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fairly quick, easy read. You follow the (somewhat) nameless narrator through the summer and fall of what is presumably her sophomore year of high school as there is little to no reference of the just-starting-high-school angst. The characters are believable in their personalities with the over-enthusiastic art teacher, the overwhelmed mother, the pesky but lovable little brother. What I didn't care for was how the author started certain story lines and then left them as cliff hangers throughout the book. Overall, it was a likeable read but nothing outstanding.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Teenage girl thinks she's a misfit, when actually she's pretty normal. Well written, funny and a delight to read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow. In Zanesville is a coming of age story narrated by a nameless but deeply authentic feeling 14-year-old every-girl in a small every-small town. It is set in the 70s, but except for the competition for the family phone, it could be any time, too. The novel is concerned with that time when nothing much is happening, and yet, everything is happening, and everything feels freighted with portent and meaning. Babysitting jobs, slumber parties, walks into town with a best friend stand side by side with a sudden and new uncertainty about that best friend, anxiety about all too human and fallible parents, and wonder about boys. It is all sharply observed and tenderly captured. There is not a word out of place. The last two, in particular, are perfect.
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Sisterofrachel More than 1 year ago
Ms. Beard writes in such an authentic voice. I loved the book. I read it when it first came out and I still think about some of the scenes. I look forward to reading whatever she writes next.
MissCourt More than 1 year ago
While the narrative was well done, I kept finding myself waiting for something to happen. Nothing ever did.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I grew up in the 70's and this book was boring to me! Sure it would be to others also
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Wish it went on longer, but well written.
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