Dare to be, M.E.! / Anne C. LeMieux ; illustrations by Marcy Ramsey.
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- ISBN: 0380974967 (hardcover)
- Physical Description: 226 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.
- Edition: 1st ed.
- Publisher: New York : Avon Books, c1997.
Justine and Mary Ellen's friendship changes when they enter junior high and Justine becomes worried about fitting in with the right crowd.
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|Subject:||Friendship > Fiction.
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Bulimia > Fiction.
School Library Journal Review
Dare to Be, M. E.!
School Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Gr 5-8ÂIn this sequel to Fruit Flies, Fish, and Fortune Cookies (Morrow, 1994), Mary Ellen looks forward to her best friend's return from a year in Paris with her family. However, when Justine arrives home at the end of the summer, she seems different. She's understandably upset with her father who stayed in Paris with his new girlfriend, but she's also preoccupied with her appearance and continually makes negative comments about herself. As the two girls enter middle school and jostle for places in the social pecking order, it takes Mary Ellen a long time to recognize that her friend has more than the normal amount of adolescent angst and even longer to act upon that knowledge that she might have an eating disorder. Once Mary Ellen confides in their gym teacher, and Justine begins therapy, her recovery seems miraculously assured. LeMieux's breezy writing style is better suited to the small problems of the previous title, which centered on a broken mirror and the possibility of subsequent bad luck. This book's treatment of bulimia fails to engage readers, perhaps because the characters are so sketchily presented that their inner lives never become vivid. In fact, the stock characters of school nerd, snotty flirt, insipid hanger-on, etc., soon become irritating and their interactions with Justine and Mary Ellen extremely predictable. Deborah Hautzig's Second Star to the Right (Greenwillow, 1981; o.p.) or Steven Levenkron's Best Little Girl in the World (Warner, 1989) deal more successfully with the subject of eating disorders.ÂMiriam Lang Budin, Mt. Kisco Public Library, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Dare to Be, M. E.!
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Gr. 5^-7. The characters in Fruit Flies, Fish & Fortune Cookies (1994) return, and Mary Ellen must help her best friend through a bout with bulimia. When Justine returns from Paris, her parents have recently split up, and she is having trouble finding a place in her old life. Mary Ellen slowly comes to realize that Justine's obsession with food and dieting is masking a bigger problem. The intensity of the book's issue, bulimia, is diminished by a text that is badly in need of cutting. The writing can also be cliched: "Mary Ellen, if you didn't get involved, you might lose your best friend forever--the worst way." Still, the story does bring the issue of eating disorders to the forefront, though some may object to the rather easy way in which the problem gets resolved (Justine goes to a therapist). A better choice for a slightly older audience is Leslea Newman's Fat Chance (1994). For larger collections or where the first book is popular. --Ilene Cooper