Customer Reviews: All Mixed Up! (Amy Hodgepodge, No. 1)
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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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on July 10, 2008
As a teacher, I am so grateful to the authors for providing my students with such dynamic reading material. My students immediately identified with the characters and they began to have spontaneous conversations about the issues presented. I am always searching for books that respect a child's perspective as well as their feelings and questions. This series does all three! It is challenging growing up, no matter who you are or what you look like. Finally, a series that addresses these real concerns with humor and love.
Thank You.
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on August 27, 2008
My daughter is 8 years old and she loved this! Our children absolutely need to be taught about acceptance these days. What's been done with Amy Hodgepodge that makes it extra special, is that they also learn other lessons on top of acceptance. Good job!
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on February 5, 2009
The Amy Hodgepodge series is a wonderful (and necessary) contribution to kids lit! My daughter and nieces (and nephew) now have a heroine to love and follow that looks like them. We look forward to reading ALL of the Amy Hodgepodge books.
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on October 28, 2011
Amy Hodges has been schooled at home all of her young life. She has spent most of her time at home with her parents, grandparents and her best friend and dog, Giggles. Her family culture is African American, Caucasian, Japanese and Korean. Amy has learned a lot from them. When her father gets a new job at a hospital in Maple Heights, Amy feels it's a good time to go to school for the first time and make some new friends. She finds its not easy being the new kid. But when she meets Lola and her friends, Amy feels school is pretty cool. Not only does she make new friends, she learns that they are just as diverse as she is, and she learns to celebrate and embrace her differences, talents and culture.

Wayans and Knotts have done a great job of introducing young readers about the different cultures and backgrounds that we all come from. This delightful story of change, friendship and embracing our differences is a wonderful tool that can be used by parents and teachers.
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on July 8, 2008
I love the Amy Hodgepodge books! I'm so thankful for this modern series where being multiracial is the norm. :-) And the storyline is truly universal. Amy is going through the usual angst of starting a new school, trying to fit in and make new friends (took me right back to my own grade-school years like it was yesterday). I love the way the story is written in the first person ~ Kim & Kevin did a great job of capturing the spirit of a fourth-grader, and it really draws kids in. Even my four-year old boy who has sworn off all things "girlish" wanted to hear more of the story (!). The A.H. web site is fun too. :-)
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on December 10, 2012
This is for a 10 yr home schooled girl who is brilliant plus a beautiful voice, so story was very appropo! Her home schooling will continue thru out her life since she will be moving out of the country before too long and feel viewpoints of all types of schooling to her advantage.
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on July 10, 2014
I stumbled across the <i>Amy HodgePodge</i> children’s book series (2008) while browsing the gift shop at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles. The cover clearly advertised what book one was about: a black girl and a white girl picking on a mixed girl. Gee, where was stuff like this when I was eight?

Multiethnic and tri-racial, shy Amy Hodges has to adjust as both the new girl in town and as an ex-homeschooler now attending Emerson Charter School. Unlike Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan) in <i>Mean Girls</i> (2004), Amy is shunned by her more popular classmates for looking a bit strange. With the help of some cool new friends – other strange-looking outcasts – Amy builds self-confidence.

The outcast’s experience is something of a theme with black author Kim Wayans, who also played the part of a concerned religious mother in the drama <i>Pariah</i> (2011), a story about the “coming out” of a lesbian teen. It’s unclear whether Wayans work at all reflects her personal experiences, reactions to her interracial marriage with white co-author Kevin Knotts.

From a homeschooling perspective, too much about the story was left unsaid. Amy insists on attending school, but it’s never made clear why. Feelings of claustrophobia? Desire to socialize with kids her age? Boredom? We’re never told. And I was puzzled as to why her parents chose to homeschool in the first place. I was purposely sheltered from the cruel racist world, and I’ve met many mixed kids who’ve voiced opinion that they wish they’d been home educated as well. If this was Amy’s parents’ reason, I would’ve expected them to be more sensitive to the bullying and isolation she experienced at school.

From a race perspective, it was nice that Amy presents the readers with details about her family in such a matter-of-fact way. That’s how I remember life being for me: I was normal, the default setting. It was the other kids who were abnormal, until I was informed otherwise, as Amy is by her rude classmates. It’s rather difficult to believe that such a racially-integrated crowd could be so intolerant. Back in the 1980s, I was snubbed by more racially-homogenous groups of black, white, and Hispanic kids. Amy of the 21st century is snubbed by a blond singer and her backup, one black girl and one Asian girl. Yes, there are people of every race who decry miscegenation but promote living together as God’s children in harmony, but that’s the kind of attitude that I’ve found more often in adults. Racially-aware children tend to gravitate towards those who are more like themselves, and that means mixed kids often have an advantage over the pure bred “Other.”

Despite being teased, Amy cherishes her heritage. This is what I appreciated most about All Mixed Up!: the heroine doesn’t feel as though she has to choose from among a long list of possible identities. She’s comfortable being Japanese, Korean, African American, and white…all at the same time. Unfortunately, in the actual narrative, her English Hodges-ness takes a back seat. The authors never mention her paternal grandfather or white ethnic heritage, which is likely also mixed. However, I’ll postpone judgment on that point since I haven’t read the rest of the series.
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on August 9, 2008
Wow! If only I had books like this told from a multi-ethnic perspective when I was growing up! As a person of mixed race myself, I appreciated how easily relatable this character's true-to-life experiences are. Unlike the one-dimensional characters in most children's books, Amy is a charming character children of all ages and races can identify with. As a former teacher I would've loved to have had this in my library. As a stay-at-home mom I plan to get the set for my own kids and give it as a gift to other mixed race children to learn about the beauty of multiculturalism from someone just like them.
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on July 7, 2008
I loved this book! Everything from the artwork to how the authors were really able to get inside of a child's heart and deal with all the issues that they have to deal with when it comes to being "different." Amy is such a sweet character, my six year old adores her and my 8 year old neighbor next door does too. They really enjoy reading all about her and her friends! Especially Rusty, although the book is skewed toward girls, I know boys would enjoy it as well.
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on March 20, 2012
As the mother of a young multi-racial child (Black, White, Native American and Japanese) this book has helped her to accept herself and heritage, this book shows all young girls that it does not matter your backround. I liked the fact that this was not another black and white character, but one with many aspect. God bless the authors for recognizing there are more than monotone characters or people out there.
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