Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tween Tuesday: Trauma Queen by Barbara Dee

Tween Tuesday is a weekly mem hosted here at GreenBeanTeenQueen to highlight great reads for tweens!

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Genre: Contemporary/Humor

Release Date: 4/19/2011

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About the Book: Marigold has spent her whole life being embarassed by her mother. Sure, kids are always embarassed by their parents, but for Marigold, it's different. Her mother is a performance artist, which means she's always doing crazy things in public and on stage-embarassing things like wrapping herself in saran wrap. In fact, the last performance caused such a problem that Marigold is starting over at a new school yet again. She's trying to maintain her friendship with her BFF from her last school and make friends at her new one, but her mom isn't making it easy. Even worse, she's signed up to teach an improv class at Marigold's school! Now Marigold has to keep her mom away from her new friends and try to save herself from any more trauma.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Barbara Dee knows how to write for tweens. She has the middle grade mindset down perfectly! Marigold is easily embarassed by her mom-what tween couldn't relate? But take that times ten and you have Marigold's embarassment. Sure, we see that some of the stuff her mom does isn't bad and she's actually quite good at teaching improv, but Marigold refuses to see that. Like most tweens, she needs to discover for herself that her mom is fun instead of hearing it from her friends.

The story took a bit to get going since the first part of the book spends a lot of time giving us backstory on what made Marigold have to move again. The author does a great job balancing this backstory with what's currently happening. So while the story may take a bit to get to Marigold's mom teaching at school, it's never boring. It's also a quick read and one I'm sure tweens will devour.

I also love that Ms. Dee has a knack for writing fun, eccentric characters. Tweens are often so self concious about everything and it's great to see characters who have fun and make tweens think twice about caring what everyone around them thinks, what's popular, and what's fun.

There's a bit of a romance between Marigold and a boy at school and Marigold has to deal with a mean girl who thinks she runs everything. I love the way that Marigold learns to stand up for herself and I hope she gets other tweens to do the same. I was cheering for her!

Trauma Queen is a cute tween novel with some deeper issues. It would be a great mother daughter bookclub read, since a lot of the story is based on Marigold's relationship with her mom. If you need a good tween novel, check out Barbara Dee!

Book Pairings: This is Me From Now On by Barbara Dee, Surviving the Applewhites by Stephanie S. Tolan


  1. I love eccentric characters! They are the most fun to read and watch! Thanks for the review!

  2. This sounds like a cute read! I may have to ILL it from my public library since it looks like they don't own it. Thanks for the review!

  3. I have been looking at Barbara's books for my school library!

  4. So looking forward to reading her latest novel!

  5. Thanks so much, everyone! If you read TRAUMA QUEEN with your daughter, or in a mother-daughter book club, please let me hear how it goes!

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