Friday, December 23, 2011

What I Read on My Winter Vacation: Maudie and Me and the Dirty Book

Here we go, folks. Your guide to pretending you've read books when people ask.

Miles, Betty. Maudie and Me and the Dirty Book. New York: Avon, 1981. Print.
This is one of those re-reads I was talking about; in this case, a kids' book I haven't read since I was a kid. It's OK, but not as good as I remembered.
Summary with spoilers (highlight to read): An eleven-year-old girl struggles with the pressures of middle school, befriends a fat girl, and reads a book about puppies to first-graders. The children improbably launch into a not-very-graphic conversation about sex. The townfolk are scandalized. Except, as it turns out, not very many of them. In the end, everyone is popular, the narrator gets her first babysitting job, and every apparent catastrophe is really not a very big deal.

If you tell people you read this book, they'll think you're: Eleven. Or in touch with your inner smut-reading child.

Your informed opinion of this book is that it's: Fine. Worth reading if you're exactly like I was in the sixth grade — a good enough reader that it won't take that long, worried about popularity and fatness, eager to babysit.

And while we're talking about it, you know what's similar but better or worse? The Cat Ate My Gymsuit, by Paula Danziger, is like this book but better. Yadda yadda misfit, yadda yadda cool teacher, yadda yadda censorship — but the stakes feel higher and more significant. Plus, the kids are older and therefore cooler, obviously.



Genny said...

I actually read this book growing up. I can't remember why, but I'm sure it had something to do with the words "dirty book" in the title. I was (if I remember correctly) not too bad!

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