Rennison, Louise. 2002. Dancing in my Nuddy-Pants: Even Further
Confessions of Georgia
Nicolson. New York: HarperCollins.
This book is
the fourth in a series written by Louise Rennison about a teenage girl named
Georgia Nicolson. Georgia tells her lighthearted story in diary form beginning
in November to February. She, being a teenager, uses some funny language
as many teens do. This makes her a very realistic character but at first that
may make it difficult to understand to what she is referring. Booklist says about
it, “Most of the fun stuff comes from the language, of course, and once again a glossary is provided for those who don't
know their "conk" (nose) from their "bum-oley" ("quite literally their bottom hole").” She refers to breasts as nunga-nungas,
Angus the cat being able to impregnate the neighbor’s cat as “trouser snake addendum,” and her Dad as “Loonleader.” The language helps to set the lighthearted tone of the story. Rennison tells
this coming of age story in a new and interesting way.
The plot of
the story is told in a diary that relates a series of events that occur to Georgia at school, home, and with her boyfriend,
Robbie the Sex God. Hornbook says about the plot, “Fans won't care that
this time around there's (incredibly) even less plot than usual; their only complaint may be that this is the final book in
Georgia is a free spirit who is into snogging with the Sex God (kissing her
boyfriend). Georgia calls her friend Jas and tells her that she is dancing in
her nuddy-pants, “I danced for ages round the house in my nuddy-pants. Also,
I did this brilliant thing-I danced in the front window just for a second whilst Mr. Across the Road was drawing his curtains.”
She is unashamedly self-centered. She says, “Still, I can’t think
of everyone else. I am not God. I
have enough to worry about thinking about myself.” When she worries about
school, she is worried not about school work but whether she fill have enough time to do her nails, foundation, and eye stuff.
Even with all that Georgia is a likeable character.
dealing with a guilt involving a situation of being torn between being attracted two young men at the same time. In the beginning of her journal she tells that she kissed Dave the Laugh even though she is going out with
Robbie who is in a band called The Stiff Dylans. She considers it a bit promiscuous
and refers to it as a “brilliant display of red-bottomosity.” She
feels a certain degree of jealousy when Dave the Laugh begins to go out with Ellen.
This theme of growing up with liking two people at the same time is a common theme that young people can relate. The
ending will satisfy readers that Georgia is contemplating making Dave the Laugh her new boyfriend after breaking up with Robbie.
Chbosky, Stephen. 1999. The Perks of Being a Wallflower. New York:
Pocket Books. ISBN: 0671027344.
of age story is written in journal form. Kirkus Review says, “Aspiring filmmaker/first-novelist Chbosky adds an upbeat
ending to a tale of teenaged angst--the right combination of realism and uplift to allow it on high school reading lists,
though some might object to the sexuality, drinking, and dope-smoking.”
It starts out
with Charlie, the main protagonist, writing to a stranger after hearing a girl talk about this person to a friend of hers. Charlie is worried because he is about starting high school. He begins by telling about how he felt when his friend Michael committed suicide. The tone and plot of the story is set with this revelation as the reader wonders about Charlie’s
mental stability that he chooses to write to a stranger and when he says, “I don’t really remember much of what
happened after that except that my older brother came to Mr. Vaughn’s office in my middle school and told me to stop
crying.” He reveals further, “Then, I started screaming at the guidance
counselor that Michael could have talked to me. And I started crying even harder. He tried to calm me down by saying that he meant an adult like a teacher or a guidance
counselor. But it didn’t work and eventually my brother came by the middle
school in Camaro to pick me up.”
tells about the unique plot of the story, ‘Though he begins as a friendless observer, Charlie is soon pals with seniors
Patrick and Sam (for Samantha), stepsiblings who include Charlie in their circle, where he smokes pot for the first time,
drops acid, and falls madly in love with the inaccessible Sam. His first relationship ends miserably because Charlie remains
compulsively honest, though he proves a loyal friend (to Patrick when he's gay-bashed) and brother (when his sister needs
an abortion).” Unrealistically, nothing bad seems to happen to the young people who use drugs.
Near the end
of the story we discover what Charlie meant when he wrote in his journal, “I
want you to know why my mom is guilty. I should probably tell you why, but I
really don’t know if I should. I have to talk about it with someone. None one in my family will ever talk about it.
It’s just something they don’t I’m talking about the bad thing that happened to Aunt Helen they wouldn’t
tell me about when I was little.” Charlie goes into a catatonic state when he remembers being molested by his Aunt Helen
when he was little.
In the epilogue Charlie writes his final letter and updates the reader on his progress and what happened. He receives support from his family. He
says, “The time it started to feel like everything was going to be all right was the time when my sister and brother
stayed after my parents had left.” Charlie becomes philosophical and looks
at the causes and effects of behavior on the people in his family that made them the way they were. The reader is left with
the feeling that Charlie has resolved some major issues and will really be okay.
Garden, Nancy. 1982. Annie on My Mind. New York: Farrar Straus
Giroux. ISBN: 0374303665.
of age story written more than twenty years ago is about two young girls who are homosexual.
Liza, the main protagonist, tells the story in flashback. She relates
the story of her last year in a private high school and the special relationship she develops that year with a girl named
Annie who is from a public school.
sad mood is set from the beginning of the story when the reader realizes that something has happened to split these two girls. The story begins with the words, “It’s raining Annie.” creating a feeling of sadness. As the story unfolds Liza is
trying to write Annie a letter after being unable to correspond with her because of some feelings or situation that happened. She hasn’t written to Annie for several months and seems torn between not contacting
her and contacting her. The story is unclear why Liza hadn’t written other than guilt may have prevented her.
The character who
tells the story is seventeen year old, Liza. She is very self-assured and plans
to go to Massachusetts Institute of Technology after graduation. Her family lives
very comfortably and she along with her brother Chad attends a private school. Annie,
on the other hand lives in a poor part of New York. She has a beautiful voice
and her personality and interests are different from Liza’s. Neither girl has a very close friend until they meet each
The plot of
the story is about a problem some young people experience when they discover their sexuality is somewhat predictable
but at the time it was published was groundbreaking. It is about Annie and Liza
and how their relationship develops and the conflicts that happen because of it. Liza
had never thought of herself as being gay but she is attracted to Annie. Annie
has known this about herself due to a friendship with a girl when she was younger that had gotten somewhat physical. Their feelings for each other continue to grow.
Liza shows this when she says, “Have you ever felt really close to someone” So close that you can’t
understand why you and the other person have two separate bodies, two separate skins? I think it was Sunday when that feeling
of the story happens when Liza volunteers to feed her teachers’ cats while they are gone two weeks at spring break. She and Annie spend every day at the house. Just before the teachers get home they
get involved physically and are discovered by a student and Mrs. Baxter, a pious woman who works at the school. Mrs. Baxter catches Liza and Annie and discovers that the two teachers are gay. Liza is expelled and relieved
of her position as student council president. The two teachers eventually get fired. After her hearing, Liza gets reinstated
at the school and finishes her year there.
This book realistically
portrays the feeling of family members and community members about the issue of homosexuality.
Liza lies to her mom about the true nature of the relationship the girls had.
Liza says after she lied to her mom about how physical the relationship had gotten, “The relief on Mom’s
face was almost physical. I hadn’t been aware that she’d looked older
when I first came in, but now she looked herself again.”
At the end
of the story Liza contacts Annie. She remembers her last conversations with her
teachers. Ms. Widmer had told her, “ Don’t punish yourselves for
people’s ignorant reactions to what we all are.” While Ms. Stevenson said, “Don’t let ignorance win,