My Beautiful Hippie

My Beautiful Hippie

by Janet Nichols Lynch

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It's 1967 and fifteen-year-old Joanne's San Francisco neighborhood of Haight-Ashbury has become inundated with hippies for the "Summer of Love," which thrills her but appalls the rest of her family. In the midst of preparations for her sister's wedding, Joanne meets Martin, an enigmatic and irresistible hippie, and begins to see him secretly. Over the course of the next year, Joanne discovers a world of drugs, antiwar demonstrations, and psychedelic dances that both fascinates and frightens her. As this world collides with her family's values, Joanne must decide whether to stay with her middle-class family and pursue her love of classical music or follow free-spirited Martin into a new kind of life.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up—Joanne, 15, lives with her family in the Haight District of San Francisco during the 1967 Summer of Love. When she meets free-spirited Martin, she is introduced to a lifestyle that contradicts the traditional values of her middle-class family. Joanne is a quiet, socially withdrawn piano player with one close friend, Rena. However, the girls begin to grow apart as Rena pursues her interest in the San Francisco theater scene and Joanne pursues her interest in Martin and his brother's famous local band. Martin's spontaneous nature leaves her both excited and put off by their lack of consistent plans and commitment. Joanne's siblings are also struggling with the changing times. Her sister has just sacrificed her college education to marry an older, chauvinist professor, and her brother is actively avoiding school so he can be drafted to fight in Vietnam. The story climaxes when the three siblings all reach a crossroads. Readers may find some of the cultural references and plot devices to be heavy-handed and contrived in an effort to cover multiple aspects of the era. However, the ending is believable and satisfying. Teens will relate to Joanne's changing relationships and family dynamics, and her struggle to define herself outside of her family.—Lynn Rashid, Marriotts Ridge High School, Marriottsville, MD

Kirkus Reviews

A sheltered 15-year-old growing up in San Francisco becomes part of the 1967 Summer of Love when she falls for a free-spirited hippie who changes her life. An aspiring pianist from a conservative family, Joanne's attracted to the "hippies, freaks, heads, beautiful people, [and] flower children" who crowd the Haight District. Her mother's the perfect hostess, her father's wary of hippies, her older sister's quitting Berkeley to support her graduate-student husband, and her mindless brother can't wait to join the Marines and "blast away Commie gooks" in Vietnam. On the fringe of the in crowd, Joanne and her best friend Rena wonder what it's like to smoke pot and live in New York City. When she meets Martin, a gorgeous hippie whose vagabond life contrasts sharply with her own, Joanne keeps their casual, friendly relationship secret while he gently guides her through the counterculture of drugs, rock and war protests. As society shifts seismically, Joanne must choose between Martin's fluid lifestyle and holding onto her family and her dreams. With realism, humor and honesty, Joanne describes a brave new world of miniskirts and bell bottoms, rock music and psychedelic drugs, feminism and the Pill, anti-war demonstrations and profound political upheaval. First-rate coming-of-age story with spot-on late-1960s period detail. (Fiction. 15 & up)

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780823427994
Publisher: Holiday House
Publication date: 01/22/2013
Sold by: Penguin Random House Publisher Services
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 192
File size: 2 MB
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

Customer Reviews