The Rites and Wrongs of Janice Wills

The Rites and Wrongs of Janice Wills

by Joanna Pearson


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The Japanese hold a Mogi ceremony for young women coming of age. Latina teenagers get quinceaneras. And Janice Wills of Melva, NC ... has to compete in the Miss Livermush pageant.

Janice loves anthropology--the study of human cultures--and her observations help her identify useful rules in the chaotic world of high school. For instance: Dancing is an effective mating ritual--but only if you're good at it; Hot Theatre Guys will never speak to Unremarkable Smart Girls like Janice and her best friend, Margo; and a Beautiful Rich Girl will always win Melva's annual Miss Livermush pageant.

But when a Hot Theatre Guy named Jimmy Denton takes an interest in Janice, all her scientific certainties explode. For the first time, she has to be part of the culture that she's always observed; and all the charts in the world can't prove how tough--and how sweet--real participation and a real romance can be.

Funny, biting, and full of wisdom, this marks the debut of a writer to watch.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780545197731
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date: 07/01/2011
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)
Lexile: 810L (what's this?)
Age Range: 14 - 12 Years

About the Author

Joanna Pearson grew up in the actual Livermush Capital of the World -- Shelby, North Carolina. She recently received both her MD and MFA degrees from the Johns Hopkins University, and her work has appeared in The New York Times and The Journal of the American Medical Association. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland. This is her first novel.

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Rites and Wrongs of Janice Wills 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
lilibrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Janice is a gangly high-school junior who considers herself an anthropologist and spends her time observing and classifying her classmates. She has entered her hometown¿s Miss Livermush contest as an observer, but starts to realize that she needs to get involved to have friends and to grow.
ilikethesebooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The premise of this novel immediately interested me. I've always said that anthropology would be an awesome job... not a job for me, but I find people in general very interesting. Especially how different cultures can seem so unique, but at the core, most share the same values and archetypal roles. Because of this, Janice Will's anthropological studies set in an American high school is something everyone can relate to. I was cracking up by how true her observations are. Her observations and more make this novel a great, quick, fun read.You know those stories where you can't help but think, "Really? Not this freaking plot again!" I had a bad feeling that this book was going to end up like that. I am happy to say I was proved very wrong. Janice has always been an observer, watching others take part in teenagerly things. Janice's transformation from observer to participator was not cliche or overdone. Actually, I thought it was pretty well written. It was different, and it was also very witty but strangely touching. This book surprised me by exceeding my expectations. If you've ever sat on a bench and found yourself immensely entertained by watching people walk by, being perplexed by their appearance, automatically sorting them into groups, or even pondering over their life story, then this is a book for you. If you're looking for a light read, I'd definitely recommend this one.
emily.s on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! Janice is so funny and very relatable. This book definitely depicts life in a small town perfectly!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nathiel More than 1 year ago
This book was funny, charming and bittersweet at times, although sometimes I felt it was a typical teenager book, much like gossip girl and such. The main character is Janice a young girl who is your typical awkward to intelligent for her own good- teenager. Janice wants to be an anthropologist and as so sees everything from a distance, until her mom tries to convince her to participate in Miss Livermush pageant (shudder) and in the end Janice agrees so that she can actually have some in site for a project she's making. Then you have the best friend, who might not be exceptionally bright or beautiful, but tends to get in trouble with the popular girls, in this story she's called Margo. You've also got the popular athletic guy, who seems all good, until he isn't, and his name is Jimmy. And the male best friend who we all know has got hots for his best friend. And the "queen of the school" who is of course tall, beautiful and rich, and she has a group of girls who follow her around. But after saying that this book does have some things that make it unique, such as the references to how people come to age in different cultures and the Pony dance (I totally want to learn it) Overall an enjoyable book and a good light summer read.
purplerose75 More than 1 year ago
As a former high school nerd, there probably wasn't much chance of me not liking this book. Fortunately, unlike Janice, I was never required to enter a local (or any other) scholarship pageant. In Janice's case, it's either participate in the Miss Livermush pageant or be shunned forever. She really doesn't care. As a budding anthropologist, she is content to watch from the sidelines as her family and friends (and enemies) go through life. Her mother, however, has decided that life as she knows it will absolutely end if Janice doesn't enter the pageant. So, with several goals in mind, including adding a chapter about coming-of-age rituals to her ever-growing anthology paper, she finally agrees to enter. The experience changes Janice in ways she never expected. In The Rites & Wrongs of Janice Wills, Janice learns more about herself and how she views the world (and how the world views her) than she does about the pageant. And I learned what livermush is. Ewww. I won this book in a Goodreads First-Read giveaway.
taraps More than 1 year ago
I had to wait to get this book because my store was out when I first tried to get a copy, but it was worth the wait! Janice Will is such a great, witty narrator with an accurate assessment of life in high school. I really enjoyed this book and will definitely recommend it to others looking for a funny, touching take on life in high school.
EPreston More than 1 year ago
Funny and astute, this book is true to the experience of growing up awkward in the Deep South (as well, one assumes, as anywhere). Highly recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mary333ML More than 1 year ago
This was a hilarious and quick read with a warm and easy-to-relate-to voice. The town reminds me of the town where I grew up! Read it - it's a totally great, fun, cool book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great for any season, really! Funny and smart approach to a coming-of-age tale.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
so funny!
ChelseaW More than 1 year ago
Janice Wills is an observer. She enjoys sitting on the sidelines and watching her fellow classmates move through the tricky and often confusing landscape that is high school. This also works well to promote her interest in anthropological studies. But Janice's junior year may prove to be a little different than the previous years. For one, there is the overrated Miss Livermush Pageant, which Janice thinks is over-hyped and underwhelming. Plus, there are two boys vying for Janice's attention, making her observations and studies become even more important! The Rites & Wrongs of Janice Wills was a cute and wholesomely innocent book. The note-taking interruptions were funny and worked well as a literary convention. Perhaps like-minded readers will be inspired to take notes of their own! Joanna Pearson has a sunny style of writing. All of the characters in the book were seemingly happy all of the time and often funny as well. I am usually a little wary of the getting-revenge-on-the-popular-girls story, but this book has a lot of heart. I found myself rooting for not only Janice, but for her friends Paul and Margot as well. And nice cover! It was a perfect fit with the book.