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Janna Mauldin Heiner has commented on (21) products.

Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek by Maya Van Wagenen
Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek

Janna Mauldin Heiner, November 19, 2014

Maya Van Wagenen may be the bravest teenaged girl I have ever encountered. After coming across a book of advice for girls, written in the 50s and purchased by her father at a thrift store, Maya decides to see if anything in the book remains relevant. Though Maya describes herself as "socially awkward" and hangs out with a handful of "misfits and oddballs" at a tough border-town school, she takes on the gutsiest social experiment an 8th grader could imagine. She spends an entire school year practicing the advice in a book written 60 years earlier--right down to wearing skirts to school and gloves and a hat to church. In the two-thousand-teens.

But before you get the idea that this was just a silly stunt--not all of the book's advice is dated, and Van Wagenen is not so awkward as to be oblivious when it is. She is just very, very courageous and very committed. And over the course of the year, she learns some of the ways in which courage and commitment--and kindness--can change the world.

I picked this book up on a whim. I read it in a day. It's insightful, well-written, and deeply touching. I'm going to give copies to every young adolescent girl I know--and every boy, too, that I think might look past the female protagonist and recognize the astonishing boldness and life-changing message it carries. A perfect book for mother-daughter book clubs or those run by teachers.

For me, 8th grade was in 1979, and even at my age I will not soon forget this book.
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(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)



Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek by Maya Van Wagenen
Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek

Janna Mauldin Heiner, November 19, 2014

Maya Van Wagenen may be the bravest teenaged girl I have ever encountered. After coming across a book of advice for girls, written in the 50s and purchased by her father at a thrift store, Maya decides to see if anything in the book remains relevant. Though Maya describes herself as "socially awkward" and hangs out with a handful of "misfits and oddballs" at a tough border-town school, she takes on the gutsiest social experiment an 8th grader could imagine. She spends an entire school year practicing the advice in a book written 60 years earlier--right down to wearing skirts to school and gloves and a hat to church. In the two-thousand-teens.

But before you get the idea that this was just a silly stunt--not all of the book's advice is dated, and Van Wagenen is not so awkward as to be oblivious when it is. She is just very, very courageous and very committed. And over the course of the year, she learns some of the ways in which courage and commitment--and kindness--can change the world.

I picked this book up on a whim. I read it in a day. It's insightful, well-written, and deeply touching. I'm going to give copies to every young adolescent girl I know--and every boy, too, that I think might look past the female protagonist and recognize the astonishing boldness and life-changing message it carries. A perfect book for mother-daughter book clubs or those run by teachers.

For me, 8th grade was in 1979, and even at my age I will not soon forget this book.
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(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)



Shopaholic to the Stars (Shopaholic) by Sophie Kinsella
Shopaholic to the Stars (Shopaholic)

Janna Mauldin Heiner, November 13, 2014

Bex is back! This time she's in Hollywood hoping to break into a career as a stylist. Red carpets, film stars, limousines--Becky is right in her element, and completely out of her league. As she trains her eyes on the Big Time, all hell breaks loose in her peripheral vision. Her best friend is in crisis, her father is on a mysterious errand, and her husband Luke has about had it with the bodyguards she's hired. And she's going to turn and take a good look at the situation, really she is, but just now she's about to be discovered and she can't let that chance pass her by, can she? Of course not!

It's true, Sophie Kinsella's _Shopaholic_ books are the kind of pink-covered girlie novels I usually pass up. Normally I don't pick up much of anything that has a picture of lipstick or high heels on the cover. But Kinsella is genuinely funny and a better wordsmith than your average chick-lit writer. And Becky's clueless myopic goodheartedness is as endearing as ever.

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Every Last One by Anna Quindlen
Every Last One

Janna Mauldin Heiner, May 1, 2014

Anna Quindlen's writing is so simply beautiful so thoughtful, so gently evocative, it's easy to get lost in the quiet movement of this story and the everyday details of her main character's inner and outer worlds. As a mother, I sifted through the details of Mary Beth Latham's children's lives along with her, looking for clues to their worries and problems, seeing the same things she did, missing the same things. I took comfort in her awareness, was distracted by what she noticed. Like her, I was looking elsewhere, the real problem still just a shadow in my peripheral vision, when the story took a horrifying turn. Even that was rendered by Quindlen in a quiet voice, in small scenes and small details, even as the hugeness of it began to sink in.

What happens after is the exquisitely rendered human response to incomprehensible pain, and how we go on--at first, because we have no other direction in which to go; and then because we become aware that there are reasons for going on.
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The Old Country
The Old Country

Janna Mauldin Heiner, March 22, 2014

Gisella lives in the old country, where nothing is quite as it seems, where forests are full of enchantment and superstitions are worth living by. When her brother is abruptly called away to war, it falls to Gisella to hunt down the fox who has been stealing chickens from the family's coop. Armed with her bow and her grandmother's strange warnings whispering in her ears, she sets out determined to kill the fox. But when she forgets her grandmother's words and stares too long into the fox's eyes, she finds herself in the fox's body! As war escalates and danger increases, Gisella negotiates an ever more unfamiliar world as she seeks to return to her own body. In this strange and starling short novel, Mordicai Gerstein explores civilization and wildness, magic and war, and the nature of being human.
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