Saturday, April 17, 2010

Book Review: My Darling, My Hamburger by Paul Zindel

Somehow I missed this book when I was growing up, and I don't really know how frankly.

This is the story of two best friends, seniors in high school, Liz and Maggie. Liz is glamorous and beautiful and has a boyfriend, Sean. Maggie isn't as pulled together, is a little more bookish and reserved. Liz sets her up with Dennis, a friend of Sean's. As Maggie starts feeling a little more confident and her relationship with Dennis gets off the ground, Liz starts to spiral out of control. Her bad home life with her controlling,mean step-father and non-entity mother pushes her into getting more involved with Sean, until she's in trouble.

It's amazing how Mr. Zindel was able to get into the heads of two teenage girls so accurately. While in some ways this book does have some Afterschool Special themes and lessons (which I normally don't like), it does handle it fairly, not manipulatively. And the ending was realistic. I think most readers will identify with Maggie. She was a very good friend. While initially she was the lucky one, to have a beautiful popular girl be her friend, in the end she was a better friend to Liz, even with the consequences. That's the true lesson (not the potential bad consequences of sex, which superficially seems to be the lesson) of this novel,and that's what I just loved about it. In our lives, we will be in situations with friends where we have to make choices, and Maggie proves a good model to all young women.
This review is a part of Kid Konnection, hosted by Booking Mama, a collection of children's book-related posts over the weekend.
It also finishes up my Shelf Discovery Challenge, yay!


Christina T said...

I've never read this book either but it sounds good. I have a feeling that the title would have kept me from reading it as a teen. I don't know if I'd enjoy this with the "after school special" theme but I might give it a try some time. Great review!

Julie P. said...

I missed out on this one too. I still want to read it, but I haven't gotten there yet. Don't forget to link to the wrap up SD challenge post so you'll be in the running for some prizes.

Alyce said...

I haven't read this book, and am vaguely familiar with the title (because how can you forget a title like that?).

Congrats on finishing the challenge!

Jeane said...

I heard of this book before, but never really knew what it was about. I just thought it had a funny title!