I, Lorelei by Yeardley Smith - Book Review

Lorelei is going to be famous. She may be 11 years old, but she knows that she needs to record her life so that future biographers will have her own words. And since her English teacher tells her that it’s best to write for an audience, Lorelei chooses her recently deceased cat, Mud, to address.

Loreli may be destined for greatness, but her daily life mirrors that of most sixth graders. She’s a middle child, sandwiched between two brothers, and most of her thoughts revolve around friends and school. This would make for a cute telling as Lorelei’s voice is strong and believable, but no life is that simple and the author cautiously moves Lorelei to a realm of angst as her parents fighting turns to separation.

It is interesting to note that author Yeardley Smith is the voice of Lisa Simpson and as a follower of that television show; I saw snatches of Lisa in I, Lorelei. Lorelei’s smart and gifted. Deep thinking, yet still very much a kid. Perhaps the best part of I, Lorelei is that Smith never takes Lorelei too low. There’s always a glimmer of optimism, a hope that she’s going to be fine, even when she’s acting the brat over her swiftly changing world.

Though diary formats can sometimes be disengaging, Lorelei’s voice is so confident and honest, we not only easily engage in the story, we begin to love dead Mud too. Pretty good writing to get us to care about a dead character, though credit must be given to the adorable line drawings of Mud.

Recommended for independent readers 8-13, those interested in diary tales, stories of divorce and girls looking for smart & sassy role models. I expect there will be educational supplementals popping up soon for this one.

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Genre: Realistic Fiction. Age: 9-12. Pages: 352.

Themes:Friendship, Loss, Humor.
Awards: Thank You: Advisory:
Publisher: Harper Collins. Date: January 2009.
ISBN-10: 0061493449 / ISBN-13: 978-0061493447

Buy I, Lorelei Here

You can see an excerpt of the book on Harper Collins.

Places with Additional Thoughts:
Publishers Weekly, , The Bluestocking Society, late literacy, She Is Too Fond of Books, Reading With Monie, Rhapsody In Books, Melanie @ Love to Read, Scraptherapy, A Reader's Respite, Bermuda Onion

Author Interview:

Yeardley Smith is a jack of all trades appearing on Broadway, on television and in films. Children used to bully her about her voice, but she got the last laugh. She's won an Emmy for its use. She also likes to knit. You can see more about her work on IMDB or on her wiki entry.
© 2007-2009 Cheryl Vanatti for www.ReadingRumpus.com

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