Nothing’s Fair in Fifth Grade

OMG, CLASSIC! I read the shit out this one. Rereading it, it still held up as a good book. Although thinking about it, it is a little bit of a ripoff of Blubber. Barthe is one of those children’s authors that does a great job of writing from a children’s perspective without being condescending or childish, if that makes sense. She doesn’t need to launch into a lot of background about characters, but builds the characters based on dialogue and action.

Jenny is the main character, and she has two best friends, Diane and Sharon. Diane is a sassypants and is a bit cranky and mouths off to adults and tends to be moody. In other words, she rules. Sharon is kind of an ass and she and Jenny are not always on good terms because Sharon always talks about what her mother thinks.

Elsie is the new girl at school, and everyone is horrified because she is really fat. The way they describe it, they probably mean morbidly obese. (Although she barely looks chubby on the cover.) She is also unfriendly and steals food from other people. She is on a strict diet and the principal and the teacher talk about it in front of the whole class which was totally asinine. Elsie is also mean and standoffish and immediately she starts getting made fun of. Soon people’s lunch money gets stolen and Jenny catches Elsie buying junk food with it because she is not allowed to have money of her own.

One day in front of the class Elsie’s pants fall down and she runs to the bathroom. Jenny, taking the high road, goes and comforts her and tries to realize that something else is going on with Elsie because she seems so unhealthy. Jenny has Elsie tutor her in math to earn back the money she stole.

We learn that Elsie eats because her home life sucks. Her parents got divorced and her mother kind of ignores her and favors her other sister. I think it is Emily’s stepmother Karen in a former life. Jenny convinces Sharon and Diane to befriend Elsie too, and they hang out and have fun because it turns out Elsie is cool and one of the smarter kids in the class.

One afternoon, they decide to hitchhike to a carnival and they get on a flatbed truck and in a fit of panic jump off at a red light but accidentally leave Elsie’s little sister on the trunk. They have to call the police and Elsie is pretty sure her mom will flip out and send her away to boarding school or something. But Jenny has her mom call Elsie’s mom to talk to her but Elsie’s mom is a total Scorpian Woman.

Finally their teacher talks to Elsie’s mom and she gets to stay and all is well in friendship land. The last scene of the book, Elsie proclaims that she can actually see her feet for the first time in a long time because she’s losing weight.

I know there are a couple of sequels dealing with Elsie, and it turns into all about boyfriends and such. As most YA novels do. Blah.

Advertisements

120 thoughts on “Nothing’s Fair in Fifth Grade

  1. amandapea says:

    oh my gosh! that comment about finally seeing her feet has stayed with me ALL THESE YEARS. I had forgotten that it was from that book (which I loved too, btw)!

  2. Jade Wu's Toe Shoe says:

    I swear, just seeing the cover brought the entire storyline back into my head in the span of half a second.

      • olivia says:

        u tooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

  3. maybeimamazed02 says:

    LOVED this book! I wonder if it’s still in print…if not, they should reissue it. Sweet Valley be damned, this is good stuff for kids to read.

  4. Molly says:

    This is one of those covers that has stayed with me *forever*, probably because Elsie doesn’t look fat as she looks weirdly out of proportion with the other girls. I totally remember reading this in the dome tent in my friend’s backyard.

  5. Abby says:

    maybeimamazed, this is a book, like Beverly Cleary and the aforementioned Judy Blume books, that actually holds up pretty well and can still be found in a lot of bookstores and libraries. I haven’t seen a BSC or SVH book in a Barnes and Nobles since the late 90s (although some stores carry senior year and SV 7th Grade).

  6. kate says:

    I LOVED this book. Mainly because I was fat and sympathized with Elsie. I hated Elsie’s mom because the mom had this sports car and never would let Elsie ride in it because she was too fat.

    I did read one of the sequels with Elsie. I *think* she was in 9th grade and skinny and was just starting to date. (I remember her referred to her crush on her boyfriend as the love of Princess Di and Charles and I had to lauged because Charles and Di JUST got divorced.)

  7. megan says:

    Totally remember this one! I have it here somewhere!! I love the sequel better tho! I can’t remember the title 😦

  8. Becca says:

    oh, I loved this one! I had completely forgotten about that cover. It’s so pink and purple! I just remembered about the part where Elsie sewed little sachets for all the girls at the slumber party. See, she wasn’t so bad!

    I liked the sequels too, although I always thought the name of Elsie’s boyfriend – Craddock – was ridiculous. Where did Barthe come up with that one?!

  9. Kat says:

    Oh my GOD, I was just thinking about this book the other day and I was so, so sad because I couldn’t remember the title or the names of any of the characters.

    It is disturbing, the amount of love I feel for you at this very moment.

  10. Kat says:

    I also remember a part where they’re having a sleepover, and Jenny’s mom takes in Elise’s clothes because Elise is losing weight and Elise’s mom just keeps pinning the clothes. And then Elise’s mom gets furious at Jenny’s mom for interfering. Or something.

  11. Merrie says:

    I bought this book at a used book sale a few years ago. My older sister was going to buy it for her classroom, but I distracted her and grabbed it from her pile — ha!

    There were several books by DeClements that had Elise, Jenny and everyone in it. They are:

    The Fourth Grade Wizards (never read)
    Nothing’s Fair in Fifth Grade (awesome!)
    Sixth Grade Can Really Kill You (first time I remember reading about learning disorders)
    How Do You Lose Those Ninth Grade Blues? (Elise is thin and meets Craddock — truly an effed up name)
    Seventeen and In-between (This isn’t a SVH book — there’s actual talk of sex in it!)

    Great recap — I still love this book! But now I want to read the other ones, too.

  12. HK says:

    No, the sequels are awesome, too. Jack, the red-headed devil who is not a snitch, turns out to be one of Elsie’s best friends, and, if I recall correctly, kind of a fox. Like a lumberjack or something. DeClements continues to develop the borderlinish features of Elsie’s mother. The later books aren’t just about bf’s, but also long-term effects of emotional abuse. Like, moving.

  13. Keri says:

    Seventeen and In Between is amazing. I read it recently and it really holds up. It’s about relationships certainly but is really strong in characterization.

    Fourth Grade Wizards was the best when I was like 11. I liked how they got to jump rope all the time and thought Jack and Maryanne were the coolest.

  14. Alicia says:

    Amandapea, I am SO with you. The feet comment was the only thing that stuck with me for like, 9 years, and I could not remember for the life of me what it was from.

    The cover totally made me squeal out loud in a silent computer lab.

  15. Carly says:

    You should really read Twilight. It looks horrible. Maybe only blog on a certain amount of chapters at a time since the thing is big enough to kill someone with.

  16. kristins says:

    I don’t remember this one, but I read “Sixth Grade Can Really Kill You” SOOOOOOOO many times!

    “School Mak me Puk!” 🙂

  17. Jennifer says:

    I totally loved these when I was younger! I don’t remember reading ninth grade blues or seventeen and in between but I loved this one and sixth grade can really kill you. You should totally recap that one!

  18. johnny buck says:

    I remember reading this one too. I mostly only remember thinking that Elsie was a horrible, horrible name for a character with weight problems.

  19. BadKat says:

    I loved this book, and I loved Diane. She was a sassafras like me. I always felt bad for Elsie, but I did like how the other girls liked her because she was smart. And hell, if someone tried to force a diet upon me I’d binge and hide food too! Besides, my mom would never think I was fat, even if I weighed 300 pounds.

    Hey, I agree! Seventeen and In-between is great! Elsie becomes all hotty-trotty! And her boyfriend wants some lovin’. Go Elsie, hot ass!

    And rather than going all sissy, she is totally proactive in her choices for birth control. Go Girl Go!!

  20. Eli says:

    Man I loved this book. And the sequels.

    @Becca…the woman’s name is Barthe. I’m not totally surprised she had a character w/a name like Craddock 🙂

  21. Debby Harry says:

    The main difference between this one and Blubber is that the girls see that they are mean in this one (perhaps in a slightly unrealistic way) whereas in Blubber almost no one reforms from their wicked ways and the bullied girl is just as bad as her tormentors are.
    No matter though — I loved both books growing up, as well as Fourth Grade Wizards.
    My sister and I were trying to remember if Elsie and Jack got it on in later books, and it seems they did. I always hoped Jack would wind up with Maryanne in the end.

  22. Amy says:

    I totally screamed when I saw this book- I remember it like I read it yesterday- and I’m 30! The sports car bit really stuck with me, maybe because I had not been in a sports car up to that point, and the first time (well, and every subsequent time) I saw one, I remembered that “a sports car only holds two” and poor, fat Elise could never ride.

  23. Dwanollah says:

    Mama has a sports car and it only holds two. Man, poor Elsie.

    And I started craving red licorice whips and hearing “As Tears Go By” the second I saw the cover!

  24. Hatsumomo says:

    I still have this book on my shelf! And its sort-of sequel, “Sixth Grade Can Really Kill You.” I haven’t read them in years, but I still remember them well.

  25. Jemgirl83 says:

    ihatewheat your blog rocks!! I used to love reading this book and all of the sequels. I always felt sorry for poor Elsie. If I remember correctly her new “diet” basically consisted of Elsie getting a thermos of chicken broth and a couple of carrots sticks for lunch. WTF!! No wonder she stole food from the other kids.

  26. MaggieCat says:

    “I liked the sequels too, although I always thought the name of Elsie’s boyfriend – Craddock – was ridiculous. Where did Barthe come up with that one?!”

    Craddoc explains in the book that his grandmother (who is very ill and adores him, and he’s her only grandchild) convinced Craddoc’s father to name him after her own father. Names can fall way out of use when you consider being named after a great-grandparent.

    For the record I only remember this because I just re-read How Do You Lose Those 9th Grade Blues? last week.

  27. Genevieve says:

    I freaking squealed when I saw you recapped this one. I first listened to The Rolling Stones because of this book- the early stuff, specifically “As Tears Go By”. I LOOOOOOVE this book. Hate Elsie’s mother. Never read the sequels and now I want to 😦

  28. JordanBaker says:

    I loved these books. Doesn’t Craddock ultimately ( in “Seventeen and In Between”) turn out to be kind of a douche who totally pressures Elsie to have sex, and then she (FINALLY!) wises up and gets w/ Jack?

  29. BlossomJP says:

    I LOVED this book! And Sixth grade can really kill you… kristins, I’m with you, I’ll always remember “school makes me puk….” and then that kid was laughing at the grafetti and saying “puck puck puck a duck!” I don’t know why I remember that line so well, but my sisters and I STILL quote it all the time!

  30. upstatestruggler says:

    these were prolly my favorite books when I was a kid.

    I always loved that she used band names instead of making them up so that they wouldn’t ‘date’ the books. the best part is that the bands she chose have all held up after all of these years.
    I can’t think of any made up band names in other books off the top of my head right now, but you know what I’m sayin’.

    Barthe DeC, where you at now? most new ya lit mak me puk.

  31. Kristin says:

    I remember this book so clearly! I was chubby so I could sympathize with Elsie. Although when I got to the part about her not being able to see her shoes, I was relieved because I could see my shoes.

    Also loving the Elton John and Stones references. I’m still a fan!

  32. Sue says:

    OMG, I’m another one who looked at that cover and it was just SO familiar, it brought the whole book back! I’d forgotten it ever existed. That line about being able to see her feet also stayed with me all these years.

    It does seem to be a YA formula that the fat girl has to become thin, not just in SVH land, but everywhere. But I liked in this book how the girls accepted her before she got thin. Does anyone remember Marilyn Sachs’ “Class Pictures”? Great YA book, follows two friends from kindergarten through the end of high school. And of course Lolly, the chubby one in kindergarten, becomes a blonde beauty by high school.

  33. Liz says:

    See, it may be a Blubber knock-off, but does it involve a fried-egg Halloween costume? (I’ve wanted to be a fried egg for Halloween since I was like eight. Thanks, Judy Blume.)

  34. Amber Tan says:

    “See, it may be a Blubber knock-off, but does it involve a fried-egg Halloween costume?”

    Hee, Liz! I wanted to be a flenser. 😉

  35. Amber Tan says:

    “Elsie is the new girl at school, and everyone is horrified because she is really fat. The way they describe it, they probably mean morbidly obese. (Although she barely looks chubby on the cover.) ”

    If memory serves, Elsie had already lost some of weight before the slumber party at Jenny’s house which is the scene depicted on the book cover. Jenny was surprised to see that Elsie actually looked pretty with make up on. Also, Elsie’s Mom had lost a lot of weight after her divorce and was physically attractive despite being a totes bee-yotch. At one point Elsie mentions that her father used to refer to her and her Mom as “his two butterballs”. Nice. I’d have divorced his a$$ too.

    ETA: I *think* the slumber party was at was Jenny’s house but please feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.

  36. Amber Tan says:

    “Jack, the red-headed devil who is not a snitch, turns out to be one of Elsie’s best friends”

    I had a crush on Jack and was rooting for Elsie and him to get together in Seventeen and In-Between. 🙂

  37. Amber Tan says:

    “Does anyone remember Marilyn Sachs’ “Class Pictures”? Great YA book, follows two friends from kindergarten through the end of high school. And of course Lolly, the chubby one in kindergarten, becomes a blonde beauty by high school.”

    Sue — I do, I do! I totally loved “Class Pictures” and how Pat the studious girl who was popular in grade school deals with a) no longer being popular as a teenager and b) finding out that her Dad is not her bio-dad. Spoiler: Pat’s mom got pregnant at her HS prom and married someone named Eddie before Pat was born.

  38. Merrie says:

    The slumber party was at Diane’s house. I remember this because 1) I am a dork but 2) Diane’s counsins were there. It was the older one who had all the makeup the girls are playing with on the cover. I could never figire out who the other tree girls were — Jenny? Sharon? Diane? The cousins? Who is who?

  39. Amber Tan says:

    “The slumber party was at Diane’s house. I remember this because 1) I am a dork but 2) Diane’s counsins were there.”

    Ah ha! Many thanks, Merrie! And you are NOT a dork — you are an invaluable source of information. So there! 🙂

  40. Kat says:

    OMG!!! Thanks so much for doing this one. I’ve been trying to remember the Title and the author for the longest time (ironically, I remembered almost everything else, including the cover).
    This was one of my absolute favorite books growing up.
    “Seventeen and Inbetween” was pretty good too, but there was a bunch of stuff about computers which I found really boring. I mostly just skipped around to any part that mentioned sex (hey I was like, 10 or 11). I do remember that this one girl Elsie new got pregnant, and after giving birth mentioned that she got an IUD so she wouldn’t get pregnant again. After reading that I immediately asked my mom what an IUD was and how it works.

  41. jms says:

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the flenser and fried egg references. I wanted to be a fried egg for Halloween, too. If I were to do it now, I wonder if anyone would recognize it as a Blubber shout-out?

    I’ve been wanting to reread Seventeen and In-Between for a long time, but there’s only like one copy in my library system, and I can never find it at the local used bookstore. I do own Ninth Grade Blues, but Seventeen is better.

    Anyone remember Helen’s skull t-shirt from Sixth Grade Can Really Kill You? I wanted one of those. And the fiberglass car? Never could figure out what that would look like or how it ran.

  42. Rachel says:

    I loved this book am an so glad you wrote about it because I couldn’t remember its name. The cover brings so much back.

    Does anyone remember another YA novel (I think it had a sequel) about a loner girl, her brother and mom whose name was Inez or something? And the girl and her brother always made alphabet burgers, and she befriended the fat girl down the street?

    I would love to remember the names of those books. I loved them!

  43. Rachel says:

    OK, mystery solved. It was called “Me And Fat Glenda,” by Lila Perl. I always forget how awesome Google is. 🙂

  44. Jamie says:

    Loved this book as a kid. It always kind of bothered me that Elsie was all skinny in high school though. Why couldn’t she have just been healthy and in shape? lol I know, I know, it’s a book so whatever.

    For some reason I feel like the girls started to not like either diane or the other chick or were annoyed by her and elsie was like jenny’s “favorite” friend. I could be confused though….

  45. Jo says:

    Wow, I’ve read “Sixth Grade Can Really Kill You,” but I had no idea there were other books with the same characters.

    I too, will always remember “School makes me puk.”

  46. KimmyMac says:

    girl Elsie new got pregnant, and after giving birth mentioned that she got an IUD so she wouldn’t get pregnant again. After reading that I immediately asked my mom what an IUD was and how it works.

    I think that was from the Judy Blume book Forever. Sybil, who was Erica’s(Kat’s bff) cousin was fat and got laid at least six times. That’s what the first line in the book states. I didn’t know what an IUD was either.

    I loved Judy Blume books, Here’s to you Rachel Robinson, Just as long as we are together ect. Even the “Adult” book The Summer Sisters was a fave of mine.

  47. KimmyMac says:

    The second I saw that book cover I totally remember this book even though I haven’t thought about it in years I love love love this blog. I’m 26 and I grew up with these books.

  48. Amber Tan says:

    “http://www.dwanollah.com/prehistoric/blather/singleYA.htm”

    OMG Dwanollah! You have amassed such an great assortment of Sweet Dreams covers and your accompanying commentaries are to die for! I urge everyone to run your “awesome size” butts over to Dwanollah’s blog pronto. 🙂

    In fact, Dwanollah, I’m so amazed that you have “Cute Is A Four Letter Word” that I’d beg you to marry me if I wasn’t already. Anyone who remembers Clara’s “Popularity Musts!” is A-OK by me! 🙂

    Also, I notice that you re-capped some teen prgenancy novels. While we’re all on the subject, did anyone here ever read Blossom Elfman’s books? She wrote several books re: teen pregnancy that I thought were very well-done. These are the books that I remember but I’m sure there are more!

    1) “The Girls of Huntington House” — about a maternity home for teenage girls told from their English teacher’s poit of view; takes place during the late 60s/ early 70s. The teacher’s interactions with the girls seemed really genuine and she became a more empathetic human being by the end of the novel. (Note: Elfman did work as a teacher in a maternity home.)

    2) “A House for Jonnie O.” — about a pregnant 16 year old who decides to keep her baby and rents a house with a bunch of other young single moms. Things don’t turn out so great (her roomies have a wild party, the police are called, all of their kids are taken by CPS, etc.). I forget how it ends but I think Jonnie re-evaluates her future and gets it together for the sake of her newborn daughter.

    3) “The Sister Act” — about two teenage sisters living in Venice, CA. Molly (the elder) is smart and studious and has Big Plans to get out of Venice, especially because her family is so dysfunctional. Her dad left them or died and her mom pampers the younger sister so much that a lot of things fall on Molly’s shoulders.

    Sharon, the younger sister is beautiful but not very bright. In fact, Sharon’s almost illiterate and lacks self-esteem; she acts out by banging lots of different guys and gets pregnant. She convinces some dude who’s not the baby daddy but seems nice to marry her and she has the kid.

    Basically Sharon is a a mess and keeps lying to her new hubby re: the baby’s paternity. She also gets her Mom and Molly to lie for her. Major Drama ensues when Sharon leaves the baby with random sketchy people that she met at the beach and then goes home to attempt suicide in order to lure her husband back. Her Hubby (who catches on that he ain’t the baby daddy) ends up leaving Sharon for good due to her shenanigans and CPS takes custody of the baby.

    As always, responsible Molly tries to help her sister get her life back together then realizes that what Sharon really needs is a big steaming cup of Grow The Fuck Up. Molly refuses to help Sharon anymore. Also, while all this stuff is going one, Molly starts uni and moves out of the family home to co-habitate with some hawt math-genius guy who’s almost four years older than she. They break up at the end but remain friends and she leaves home (Venice) permanently.

    4) “The Strawberry Fields of Heaven” — about a commune that practices free love shortly before the turn of the 19th century. A family of four (i.e. mom, dad, daughter, son) joins and is initiated into the ways of the commune. The parents are all down with the sexual play ’cause their marriage has been faltering and they’re looking for some spice. But the teenage daughter who is a virgin falls in love with a boy not much older than she and wants to get jiggy with Her True Love.

    However, the leader of the group lusts after the daughter and decides that he should “initiate” the daughter so he forbids her to get it on with Her True Love. (Srsly, this guy gets to decide who sleeps together, which is A Very Culty Thing. Charles Manson did this with his Family’s orgies). Ultimately Head Dude rapes the daughter and the family is torn usunder and leaves the commune. Note: This isn’t really a YA title.

    “I think that was from the Judy Blume book Forever. Sybil, who was Erica’s(Kat’s bff) cousin was fat and got laid at least six times. That’s what the first line in the book states. ”

    KimmyMac, you’re correct. Erica makes some statement to the effect that no one ever knew Sybil was pregnant ’cause she was so big. BTW, does anyone have any recommendations re: more recent fiction re: teen sexuality & pregnancy? The ones mentioned so far are primarily from the late 60s and early 70s.

  49. Amber Tan says:

    Oh, and I found out what an IUD was from news reports re: the Dalkon Shield lawsuit during the 1970s. [My parents weren’t big on censorship, IYKWIM. In fact, Mom told our local library that I had permission to borrow anything that I wanted. I heart my mom. 🙂 ]

    I also recall watching an episode of “Gimmie A Break” (1981-1987) in which the eldest daughter Katie was hospitalized due to problems with her IUD. Nell had to break the news to Katie’s strict police-chief Dad that his little girl was sexually active.

    To this day, the idea of using any kind of IUD freaks me out.

  50. Laura says:

    Ohhhhhhh my god, I remember this book. I was fat in school and I remember feeling better about my own life because even though I got teased all the time by my classmates, my parents loved me and never treated me the way Elsie’s bitch of a mom did.
    I also remember the part with the clothes being pinned up, and Elsie being able to see her shoes. I strained for years to see my own shoes after that, and I was really jealous of people who could see theirs and just take it for granted.

  51. BadKat says:

    I have an IUD, it is really no big deal. They have come along way since the Dalkons!

    The books I remember reading most as a kid were the books with pregnancy and sex. Which is why I do not remember very many SV or BSC books. They were just not dirty enough for me 😉

  52. Amber Tan says:

    “I have an IUD, it is really no big deal. They have come along way since the Dalkons!”

    Yes, they sure have, BadKat! Of course the FDA only started performing safety tests *after* the Dalkon Shield mess. [eye roll] It’ s very reassuring to hear about positive IUD experiences, especially as I’ve never used one myself. I do have several gal pals who adore their Mirenas although two had to have theirs removed due to really bad cramping.

    Alas, since I haven’t ‘birthed no babies’ and had problems getting a properly fitted diaphragm, my GYN doesn’t recommend the Mirena for me. Plus any BC involving hormones, no matter how miniscule the amount, makes me go Carl-The-Orderly. 😉

    “They were just not dirty enough for me”

    Hee, BadKat! You might not remember very many SV or BSC books, but I’ll bet you can quote Mickey Spillane and Michael Korda novels by heart. 😉

  53. Courtney says:

    I LOVED this book. LOVED it. I will always remember “I can see my feet.” I was just thinking about this book the other day. Now I’m waiting for you wrap up Tiger Eyes in order to remind me how badly I “hoped” I had scoliosis…at least, I think it was Tiger Eyes?

  54. LimeGreenTriumph says:

    Deenie had scoliosis. Tiger Eyes is the one where Davey’s dad was murdered at the 7-11 he worked at and they moved to New Mexico for a year after his death.

  55. WickedWonder says:

    I loved “Nothing’s Fair” and all it’s sequels. If I learned nothing else, I learned that it’s okay to visualize your male best friend naked. Also, seeing your shoes is a BFD.

  56. Minx says:

    Oh man, I can’t believe you did this one! I still remember so much of this book distinctly, and it seemed like no one I knew had read it.

    I also remember the “I can see my shoes” part, and it was kind of funny because in this book it was good because it meant you were thin–but I think there was a part in the first Taffy Sinclair where Jana said she could see her shoes and it sucked because it meant she was flat-chested. (If it wasn’t Taffy Sinclair, it was The 7 1/2 Sins of Stacey Kendall, since both of those books had a boob obsession.)

    Rachel–I love you for mentioning Me and Fat Glenda! I always remembered the main character’s parents, how her mom was called Inez and did batik and the bathroom was purple and black and looked like a bordello, but could not for the life of me remember the rest of the book.

  57. Dwanollah says:

    Aw, Amber Tan, you made my day, baby! And we can carry on with Internet Footsie, since both of us are already married…. 😉

    LGT, I just re-read Tiger Eyes last week (for a possible paper), and I’d forgotten how awesome Judy Blume is at saying so much in so little space.

    If Jessica Wakefield was to use birth control, would she go for the IUD, or the pill? I want her to go on the pill and gain 40lbs, but I’m just bitter that way….

  58. Sue says:

    I’m so glad that Amber Tan and Dwanollah both remember “Class Pictures”! Dwanollah – GREAT recap of the book! I had never heard of the rest of them (or the ones in Amber Tan’s latest post), but I’m really enjoying your take on them! Looking at that cover of “Class Pictures” brought it all back – but I forgot a lot of Pat’s story (the grandmother, the bio-dad) until you mentioned it. Mostly what I remember is Pat’s huge crush on Mr. Evans, and “Lolly had become a beauty.” Man, why do specific lines just stick in your head like that?!

  59. Lin says:

    Loved this book when I was a kid! I, too, identified with Elsie…I was the “fat kid” growing up…hey, I’m still a manatee but whatevs. This book is still under my bed at my parent’s house. I pulled out my box o’ books just a few weeks ago when I was there for Easter and saw this very cover….when I first read this book as a kid, I put my friend’s names on all the girls on the cover. I was Elsie. Its still written on the cover to this day.

  60. Jessa Fields says:

    Thanks for doing this book–like everyone else, I remembered everything after looking at the cover. Also, throughout my pregnancy, as my feet slowly disappeared from view, I totally thought of poor Elsie.

  61. Annie says:

    omg!! i really loved this book too! wasn’t there something about twizzlers? thank you thank you for recapping this book.

  62. Amber Tan says:

    “And we can carry on with Internet Footsie, since both of us are already married….”

    Awww, that’s so sweet, Dwanollah. And kinky in a virtual way. 😉

    “If Jessica Wakefield was to use birth control, would she go for the IUD, or the pill?”

    She might be an Ortho patch kind of gal. If she takes up smoking, she might develop blood clots or something. That would certainly give the ghost writers fresh fodder for the re-released series.

    “Oh no, to gain the big weight she’d have to go on Depo! It would probably also make her go “Carl-The-Orderly””

    D@mn right, BadKat! I gained 20 lbs. in 3 months (srsly). Shoot Jess up for a couple of cycles and then let her try to squeeze into that size 6 cheerleading uniform or the “sleek black mono-kini” that Bruce Patman totes dug.

    Then again, Depo might actually improve Jess’s personality. Didn’t someone here once compare Carl and Jessica, demonstrating how similar they are in terms of sociopathy?

    “Lolly had become a beauty.”

    OMG, Sue! Yes, I remember this line too. It’s probably the “frozen pancakes” moment of Class Pictures.

  63. Sarah C. says:

    Minx,

    In Starring Sally J. Friedman as Herself by Judy Blume, the bathroom in their house in Florida was also black and purple and reminded Sally’s dad of a bordello. Or am I imagining this? It seems like such a coincidence for two YA novels to have this detail.

    There were multiple Fat Glenda books, right? I think I remember one about a fashion show at the mall.

  64. Minx says:

    Was that from Sally J. Freedman? Shoot, I’m getting my YA books mixed up now. I’m going to end up finding them all so I can re-read them. The batik part was definitely in there, though. I actually never knew there were follow-up books to Fat Glenda until I read it on this site, and now I need to read them, too!

  65. Amber Tan says:

    “Starring Sally J. Friedman as Herself by Judy Blume, the bathroom in their house in Florida was also black and purple and reminded Sally’s dad of a bordello. Or am I imagining this?

    You’re not imagining it, SarahC. Sally also says something along the lines of her mom not allowing her to use talcum powder in the bathroom because of the color scheme.

  66. Kat says:

    KimmyMac, you’re totally right, it was “Forever”. Somebody did get pregnant in “Seventeen and Inbetween” though didn’t they? Or am I totally just imagining that?
    Anyway, I love my IUD, I’m too young (22) to remember the Dalkon Shield Fiasco, I’ve only read about it.
    I definitely think Jessica Wakefield would use the pill as her BC method. I see her as one of those girls who figures she doesn’t have to use condoms anymore as long as she’s on the pill, and then ends up with a crapload of STDs (I knew a lot of girls like this in high school).

  67. Redstar says:

    I LOVED this book – was this the one where the cute redhead on the front (diane?) was worried SHE was getting fat and her mom was like, you’re only 98 lbs, you’re perfectly healthy. I’ve never forgotten that line, so I must have weighed more, I bet, because I think then I felt fat!!

  68. Sara says:

    oh my gosh, I loved this book too, but even moreso I loved “Sixth Grade Can Really Kill You.” if I remember correctly there was a part in that book where the main character and her friend were looking at a Van Halen album cover and her friend said she just wanted to run her fingers through Eddie Van Halen’s chest hair!

  69. Pammy says:

    I’ve only just found your blog today, and have been reading for hours! I just wanted to say that I loved this book, and I am still to this day terrified about my pants coming down; plus our teacher, at about the time I read this, told us it had happened to her.

  70. jasmine says:

    i red this book in 5th grade it is a good book i hope evrebody like this book it is good because elce shiane and elce sister are relly good caricters so i hope you like it $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$******************************************************************************************************************************$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$********************************************************************************************************************************************************8

  71. jasmine says:

    i red this book in 5th grade it is a good book i hope evrebody like this book it is good because elce shiane and elce sister are relly good caricters so i hope you like it !!!!!!

  72. Lynn says:

    Nah, for it to be a ripoff of Blubber, Blubber would’ve had to be a good book. Okay, okay, that was probably unfair of me but…Blubber just really pissed me off. Sorry to any fans of the book. 😦

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s