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The Black Sheep

The Black Sheep

4.3 47
by Yvonne Collins

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Fed up with her parents and all their ridiculous rules (they keep a binder full of them), fifteen-year-old Kendra Bishop writes away to The Black Sheep, a reality TV show that offers the chance to swap families with another teen. But when the camera crew shows up at her Manhattan apartment, Kendra starts to have second thoughts. Too late. Kendra's whisked


Fed up with her parents and all their ridiculous rules (they keep a binder full of them), fifteen-year-old Kendra Bishop writes away to The Black Sheep, a reality TV show that offers the chance to swap families with another teen. But when the camera crew shows up at her Manhattan apartment, Kendra starts to have second thoughts. Too late. Kendra's whisked away to Monterey, California, to live with the Mulligans. The carefree household that couldn't be more different that her own—complete with hippy parents, their five kids, and a pet ferret. And falling for Mitch, the Mulligan's seventeen-year-old son, only complicates things further, especially since Mitch despises the TV show and everything it stands for. But given the chance, Kendra might just be able to juggle first love, her new stardom, and a pushy TV producer who will stop at nothing for higher ratings.

In this hilarious and touching YA novel, Kendra learns to live under a new roof, but finds true refuge in the unlikeliest of places-her own family.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Reality TV and environmental activism give a trendy spin to Collins and Rideout's (the Vivian Leigh Reid series) cheery fish-out-of-water romance. Selected to star in a reality show called "The Black Sheep," Kendra swaps her sterile, rule-bound Manhattan existence for the Mulligan family's hippie-ish and chaotic household in Monterey, Calif., where she spends nearly every waking moment being trailed by a TV crew. Despite this lack of privacy, Kendra manages to keep secret her prickly-at-first romance with the Mulligan's eldest son, Mitch, an aspiring marine biologist. Partly to impress Mitch, but mostly because she finds herself truly caring, Kendra becomes involved with a sea otter preservation group, and even organizes a demonstration to safeguard the animals' habitat. Meanwhile, the show's megalomaniacal producer Judy, in search of ever-higher ratings, manufactures a conflict that results in the viewing audience voting to decide if Kendra should divorce her parents. In a neat summation of just how unreal reality TV can be, her alleged desire for emancipation is broadcast to the nation in a statement composed entirely of quotes taken out of context. Kendra's bright and breezy first-person narration moves things along at a rapid clip and the larger-than-life personalities and plot are balanced by her heartfelt reflections on family and fame. Ages 12-up. (May)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
VOYA - Beth Karpas
Fifteen-year-old Kendra Bishop is a self-described banker-in-training living a dull, educational life that follows all the rules in her parents' Manhattan apartment. In a fit of despair and anger, she applies to a new reality television program, The Black Sheep, where teenagers switch homes. Soon reality-TV-producer Judy is sweeping Kendra away into Maya Mulligan's life, and Maya takes over Kendra's. It is off to Monterey, California, a bedroom shared with a ten-year-old sister, four brothers (including a very hot older brother named Mitch), hippy parents who proudly recount every protest, and a family fixation with all things otter. Kendra learns the hard way that reality TV is not as real as it seems as she tries to develop her own life and rules (The Black Sheep Rules) while Judy manipulates a story line for the American television audience. This fun book should enthrall most girls, whether or not they are reality-television fans. A typical coming-of-age story, the television twist makes it fresh and new. The reader keeps hoping for Kendra to find the strength to stand up to Judy, Lisa, and the bigwigs, and eventually she does. Maya feels one dimensional, but that is as much a product of Kendra's limited interaction with her and of the limited television footage as of the writing. A Black Sheep 2: Maya's Story would happily solve the problem.
KLIATT - Amanda MacGregor
Fifteen-year-old Kendra's life in Manhattan is rigidly controlled. Her parents keep their apartment looking like a museum, have a thick binder of rules they expect their daughter to follow, and are raising her to be an investment banker. In a fit of frustration, Kendra applies to be on a new reality show, The Black Sheep. Before she knows it, she's whisked off to California, where she will be living with a hippie family with six children. Kendra realizes her time in California affords her the opportunity to be someone she isn't—someone not controlled by her parents' rules. She adopts a new code, which she calls Black Sheepism, to help remind her to step out of her comfort zone and try new things. The overbearing producer of the show, Judy, hopes Kendra will stir things up and cause problems in her new home, but Kendra adapts well. The family she is staying with volunteers at the aquarium, and Kendra is surprised to find herself interested and involved in saving the otters. She's also interested in Mitch, the oldest child in the family, who hates the intrusion of Kendra and the show. With cameras following her every move, and manipulative Judy making sure the show advances certain storylines (no matter how unreal they may be, or how much Kendra fights them), Kendra wonders if the swap is worth the hassle. Kendra is an interesting, lively character, but the overlong plot slows the story down. Too many minor characters, like the neighbor Carrie and her male friends, don't offer anything to the story and just distract from the more interesting pieces. However, fans of reality television will enjoy getting a behind-the-scenes look at how a show is put together, and just how"real" Kendra's life is. Reviewer: Amanda MacGregor
Children's Literature - Paula McMillen
What fifteen-year-old has not desperately wished at times to escape his or her family and live with another one that must be better than their own? A reality TV show, The Black Sheep, now makes that possible for some lucky winner—chosen on the basis of writing the most pathetic letter. And Kendra Bishop has succeeded beyond her wildest imagination! According to Kendra, her parents have been raising her to fit the "Banker Duplication Program" mold utilizing the rules they have compiled in the "Binder of Limitations and Harassment, or the BLAH." Swept up by a manipulative producer who knows that conflict and drama make for good TV, Kendra is whisked from her sterile and cultured Manhattan apartment to live with a chaotic and noisy California household headed by two as-yet-unmarried former environmental activist hippies. The real challenges arise not so much from sharing a single bathroom with a family of seven, or from defending her possessions from younger "siblings" who find inventive uses for her underwear in front of the TV cameras, or even from living with a ferret that only wants to sleep on her bed, but from trying to stand her ground against the machinations of producer Judy who turns everything Kendra does upside down in a single-minded pursuit of higher ratings. Kendra develops her own set of "Black Sheep" rules to help her find her way as she wrestles with typical teen angst issues and takes on saving the sea otters from greedy capitalists, but it's a battle of wit and wills until the very end. Punctuated by funny dialogue from Judy ordering her production crew around, this is a great send-up of reality TV in an entertaining and palatable coming-of-age romance.
School Library Journal

Gr 7-10
Fifteen-year-old Kendra, an only child, has grown up in a sterile and highly controlled Manhattan household. As she sees it, her distant parents, both bankers, are simply grooming her to assume their overprogrammed urban lifestyle. Frustrated, she enters and wins an essay contest that qualifies her to be a costar on a reality show, The Black Sheep , in which she changes places with a West Coast girl from a completely different type of family. The Mulligan household consists of a pair of aging hippies and their six children, one of whom is an attractive boy with a passion for saving threatened sea otters-a cause that Kendra quickly adopts. She discovers that it is difficult to be an amorous activist-and nearly impossible to find your true self-when you're being tailed 24/7 by a camera crew and a pushy producer. Light, predictable, happy-ending fare without much fizz.
—Jeffrey HastingsCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
Kendra Bishop, stunned she's picked to be on The Black Sheep, a trading-places reality show, is helpless when brazen producer Judy Greenberg charges into her life with a camera crew in tow. Uprooted from her conservative New York City parents, Kendra is whisked to Monterey, Calif., to live with the Mulligan family. The aging hippie parents use a laissez-faire approach to child rearing, and Kendra's "siblings" simply march to different drummers. Part of the odd family is Mitch, a 17-year-old who is easy on the eyes but initially ignores Kendra. Any potential romance, more in Kendra's dreams than reality, is stalled by the camera crew constantly rolling tape and Judy waiting to pounce on any juicy gossip. Joining Mitch on a crusade to prevent a golf course from destroying the habitat of a group of otters, Kendra unintentionally becomes an activist. Although Judy's cameras love the corporate confrontation, this segment seems tacked on to the plot. However, Kendra is an admirable character who discovers inner strength while thrust in a sink-or-swim environment. Fans of Meg Cabot's Princess Diaries series may migrate to this romantic comedy. (Fiction. YA)

Product Details

Allison & Busby, Limited
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)
Age Range:
12 - 15 Years

Meet the Author

Longtime friends Yvonne Collins and Sandy Rideout met as teens. Together they have also written Totally Me: The Teenage Girl's Survival Guide, as well as a number of popular YA novels, including Word for Word, Introducing Vivien Leigh Reid: Diva in Training and Now Starring Vivien Leigh Reid: Diva in Training. Both authors live in Toronto, Canada.

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The Black Sheep 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 47 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
the black sheep is a amazing book....Kendra is a awesome character that is trying to fit in California & prove to them that she's serious & not some ' City Girl ' from the Big Apple...Mitch may have a jerkish side to him, but also a sweet one...=]]...i hope Yvonne & Sandy makes a 2nd book called American Lovebirds, so Judy would know how it feels to be spied on...
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is awesome ! i couldnt get my eyes stop reading it once i picked it up in the library ! So anyone looking for a exciting funny book GET BLACK SHEEP ! (: 3
Julia14 More than 1 year ago
This books was cute, funny, and surprising. I could not put it down, I've read it twice! I think you should read it if you're someone who likes a cute romance story mixed with some serious comedy:)
JThompson101 More than 1 year ago
This book was about two teenage girls switiching famlies. This book was mainly reality and its was a reality tv show.
DanceBree17 More than 1 year ago
I loved this book and the Kendra/Mitch romance is so cute. Kendra was a great character because she overcomes the whole "city girl" image and really gets involved in things. It was nice to see the changes in the characters, but I didnt like Judy that much, or even Myra because she really was the brat in the whole book. Highly reccomended!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really like this book. The events come in fast and it is very entertaining. If u like drama and romance u have 2 read this book. It is amazing!!:P
monreal_netters More than 1 year ago
i read this book because i was in desperate need of a book to read and i didnt think it would be good because i've always judged books by their cover and this book looked dumb but wen i was finished reading i was so glad i chose to read this book i highly recommend this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really like this book. It is about a teenage girl named Kendra who gets put on a tv show where she has to switch families with another girl named Maya who's family is the complete opposite of hers. Little did she know that on the show, she would learn about helping others, romance, friendship, what family is, and most importantly...herself. Some parts were a little cheesy but overall, I defenitely recomend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldn't even finish this book. By chapter five I had enough, and forced myself to get through three more chapters before calling it quits. The characters and story aren't very interesting, especially the main character who is a bratty and whiny teenager from NYC who pretty much just cares about buying things until she meets Maurice, an otter she named. Her sudden obsession with helping Maurice seems a little fake to me...And also, of course she falls in love with the hot older brother of the girl she switches families with. This book is really long and feels like a waste of time to me..
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Highly recommended
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