Anastasia Krupnik
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on December 15, 2004
I read "Anastasia Krupnik: Being ten is no laughing matter," by Lois Lowry, to assist my daughter with her 7th grade language arts assignment. The book was very well written and enjoyable to read.

The story is set in Boston, Massachusetts, where ten-year-old Anastasia is struggling with an identity crisis, eccentric parents, and the pain of growing up an only child in a secular household. Her father is an English professor who writes poetry and her mother is an artist who forgets to do the laundry, which is why they both wear socks that don't match. Anastasia writes a poem without rhyme or meter and reads it to her class, but her teacher doesn't appreciate modern poetry; she gives her an "F" and tells her to follow the rules when writing poems. She has an on-again, off-again crush on a boy who doesn't like her, a grandmother who can't remember her name due to the onset of dementia, and a baby brother soon to be born: even her goldfish "blurps" at her from within the confines of its bowl.

At one point Anastasia decides to become Catholic, so she can change her name, but she soon changes her mind when she learns that stealing cupcakes from her friend is a sin and she will have to confess her sins to become a Catholic. Anastasia chronicles the significant events of her life in a green notebook, listing things she loves in one column and things she hates in another. Sometimes the things she hates become the things she loves and vice versa. By the end of the story, there remains only one item on the list of things she hates - liver - but the list of things she loves is long. The story is told with humorous effect, even though some of the things that happen are sad.

There are a few troublesome comments about her teacher's anatomy and conversations between Anastasia and her parents sometimes show a lack of discretion, but all things considered, it is the tender account of a prepubescent little girl with a prodigious intellect and an eagerness to learn and grow. I wouldn't go so far as to call it a coming-of-age story, but it will definitely hold your little girl's interest and in a subtle way, let her know that she is not alone in her quest to overcome life's many tribulations. It even has a happy ending to boot.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on January 9, 2005
One of the major moments in my childhood came when I read that Myron Krupnik kept his poetry manuscripts in the crisper drawer of the fridge so they wouldn't burn in a fire. My father (also a poet, also an English professor) did the exact same thing. I vaguely remember jumping up and down on my bed and wanting to move to Boston.

Buy these for your child, even if you're not a poet. They're wonderful.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on January 20, 2003
This is a great book for kids. I wouldn't say it's the best in the series, but it is really well-written. It ranks right up there with the Ramona books by Beverly Cleary and the Fudge books by Judy Blume. I had never heard of the Anastasia books until recently, when I bought a bunch of them at a used bookstore. I wish I had known about them when I was a child. I would have loved them. The Anastasia books are great to analyze for character development, which I like to do because I am also a writer. Even her parents are great characters! The only thing that bothers me about this book is the way it deals with another race. Honestly, it enforces a stereotype that makes blacks look really stupid. So, if you are African-American, it may irk you. Even though it is sort of a mild slur, it did bother me a little bit, even though I am not black. Overall, though, it was a good book, and it really makes you want to read more of them.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on October 23, 1999
I first read this book at the age of eight, and over the years I collected each one as they came out. This was a series I read and reread. I am now saving these books for my daughter-who, by the way,I named Anastasia. Anastasia Krupnik is a wonderful character who will always warm my heart. Lois Lowry created a gem.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 30, 2013
This book was okay. I personally prefer more than one plot. Anastasia is a 10 year old girl who is struggling with her parents who are having a child. This book shows a young girl going through lots of changes. Some pros of this book are it is very relatable because Anastasia is a regular, 10 year old girl. Also, she has a younger sibling which is similar to me and many other kids. Lastly, overall the book Is a good difficulty level for 5th grade readers. Some cons of this book are Anastasia is sometimes very negative and wants to move out of her home. Another con is there is really only one plot. The last con is there is not enough characters in my opinion. I would recommend this book to other young girls who are around Anastasia's age.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 5, 2002
Coming from an intellectual, not quite mainstream family, the Anastasia books were some of the only books I read as a child in which I could identify with the protagonist's family. For that reason alone, I'd recommend these books to other children of intellectuals (both my parents are academics).
The books are also witty, intelligent, compassionate, and beautifully written--and the characters are incredibly well-crafted. Anastasia is, in her way, every bit as memorable as Beverly Cleary's Ramona. For that reason, I'd recommend these books to anyone.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 12, 2000
I must have been about 10 or 11 when I discovered the Anastasia books, a series of rollicking good classics that I still look fondly upon even now at 18. In this first book, Anastasia is a 10-year-old with an unforgettable deadpan and a baby brother on the way; and in each successive addition, she continues to tackle typical and sometimes atypical woes of preteenhood: moving to the suburbs, getting a job, climbing the dreaded rope in gym class, her short-lived modeling career, and naturally the opposite sex. Her sense of sarcastic humor is tempered with very youthful idealism, and above all, she's a real character - no strings attached. If you're a kid or parent who seeks a nice change of pace from overhyped soap-opera stuff like The Babysitters' Club or Sweet Valley Twins (are those guys still around at all?), does Lois Lowry ever have the answer for you! Along with this particular book, I extend the same recommendation to the others in the series - Anastasia Again!, Anastasia At Your Service, etc. And if you can't get enough of her baby brother Sam, check out All About Sam and Attaboy, Sam!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 24, 2001
Ten-year-old Anastasia Krupnik has a lot on her mind, and the easiest way for her to make sense of everything is by making lists in her private green notebook. Her current list is a two-columned page of everything she hates and loves. Some things can change sporadically from one column to the next--like her parents, babies (especially the one her parents are expecting; the same one she's nicknamed One-Ball Reilly), her name, her friends, and Washburn Cummings (the troublemaker she has a crush on)--, but others (like liver) remain the same: in the hate category.
This is a great book for 9 to 12-year-old girls. If you liked this one, don't miss any of the other Anastasia books: Anastasia Again!; Anastasia at Your Service; Anastasia Has the Answers; Anastasia on Her Own; Anastasia's Chosen Career; Anastasia, Ask Your Analyst; Anastasia at This Address; and Anastasia, Absolutely.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 19, 2000
In my opinion the 'Anastasia' series should be a treasured possesion in any book collection. I read 'Anastasia Krupnik' and 'Anastasia Again!' for the first time when I was 9, and have re-read them again and again. I liked them so much that I purchased copies for my own collection. Since then I have read as many Lois Lowry books as I could get my hands on, including the rest of the 'Anastasia' series. Anastasia Krupnik is a ten-year old girl with a lot on her plate, like falling in love, moving out on her own, converting religions and getting an unnecessary baby brother. It seems as though Frank, her goldfish, and her secret notebook (in which Anastasia stores her most private thoughts) are her only friends, what can Anastasia do! This book, although a little different, is a wonderful story for kids around the world.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 29, 2013
I chose this book at a bookstore sometime around 1988 or so because my parents refused to buy me any Sweet Valley books and because I liked the name Anastasia. This series was a favorite for years and since I have a cousin about the same age now, I've been rereading the books and they still hold up enough to share.

Though this is a children's book and the writing is not overly complex, the stories are mature enough to be interesting to an older reader as well. I particularly enjoyed Anastasia's parents, even more so when I read the books as an adult-- I thought my parents were great but if I had to choose fictional parents, it would have been the Krupniks, no question, and I hoped to be a parent like them someday.

It surprises me these books aren't better known. Definitely worth the investment.
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