Start reading Brett McCarthy: Work in Progress on the free Kindle Reading App or on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Enter a promotion code
or gift card

Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

To view this video download Flash Player


Brett McCarthy: Work in Progress [Kindle Edition]

Maria Padian
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $8.99
Kindle Price: $7.69
You Save: $1.30 (14%)
Sold by: Random House LLC


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition $7.69  
Hardcover $13.75  
Paperback $8.09  
Top 20 Books for Kids
See the books our editors' chose as the Best Children's Books of 2014 So Far or see the lists by age: Baby-2 | Ages 3-5 | Ages 6-8 | Ages 9-12 | Nonfiction

Book Description

Brett McCarthy lives for vocabulary words, soccer, and her larger-than-life grandmother, Nonna. Unfortunately, Brett’s got a big mouth she can’t seem to tame and opinions she can’t keep to herself. And she’s obsessed with the moment she became redefined and went from good student, bestfriend-to-Diane to twice-suspended, friendless, and deadest meat in Maine. Soon her world has turned upside down, and she’s not sure where she fits, what she should do, or how to make right what she, and her big fat mouth, have made wrong. Brett’s fresh and funny voice will keep readers laughing out loud at her plights, groaning in sympathy at every misstep, and rooting for her as things go from bad to worst ever possible.

A Spring 2008 Association of Booksellers for Children New Voices Pick

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

Editorial Reviews


Starred Review, Publishers Weekly, March 3, 2008:
"Forceful and heartwarming, this coming-of-age story examines what happens when old friends are outgrown and loved ones are no longer there to lean on."

Review, Parade, June 22, 2008:
"[A] hilarious coming-of-age story."

About the Author

Maria Padian has worked as a news reporter, an essayist for public radio, a press secretary for a U.S. congressman, and a freelance writer. An avid tennis player, gardener, skier, and hiker, she is also the mother of two teenagers, who provide countless inspirations and insights for her writing. A graduate of Middlebury College and the University of Virginia, she has also attended Oxford University and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. She lives with her children, her husband, and their Australian shepherd in Maine, where she is at work on a new novel. To learn more about her, visit

Product Details

  • File Size: 247 KB
  • Print Length: 290 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0440240557
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (May 11, 2008)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00199RHGQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,077,983 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars
5.0 out of 5 stars
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
Share your thoughts with other customers
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too March 11, 2008
Normally a decent student, a star soccer player, and responsible only daughter, Brett McCarthy isn't exactly sure what is going wrong. First she is suspended, then earns unlimited lunchtime detentions with the middle school principal, and then she is suspended again. It is enough to freak anyone out.

To complicate matters, Brett learns that her long-time best friend is not only dealing with divorcing parents, but has also lost her mind and decided to try out for the cheerleading squad. With her friends deserting her, Brett turns to her grandmother, "Nonna," only to suspect something fishy is going on with her and some medical situation.

Brett is an extremely likeable teen dealing with a crazy middle school year. Typical adolescent problems are creatively mixed with Nonna's kooky schemes, a lot of chocolate brownie baking, and a plan to resurrect an old lighthouse. One adventure after another holds the readers' attention and keeps this story moving quickly.

Debut author Maria Padian has something for everyone in this book. Brett's father, an English professor, provides countless poetry references for just about any situation. Brett's own love of vocabulary shows up as she introduces a new word with each chapter. And with 45 quick-read chapters, readers are bound to increase their personal vocabulary whether they want to or not. There is no shortage of humor. I found myself chuckling plenty. Padian doesn't shy away from heart-rending emotion, either. Be sure to have a tissue or two close at hand.

Reviewed by: Sally Kruger, aka "Readingjunky"
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Define-itely August 8, 2008
At first I thought I was getting a fairly typical -- though very knowing -- young adult novel about the trials of middle school friendship, but the story grew on me, and I found I couldn't put it down. A compelling plot, a creative first person voice, and depth in the relationships, particularly as the story of Brett's grandmother Nonna evolves. The building of chapters around Brett's vocabulary lessons is not corny: it begins and ends with the concept of (self) definition in a satisfying, theme-building way.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't Let the Cover Fool You January 25, 2009
A truly human story about a girl struggling to find herself as she embraces the obstacles of adolescence, family, and life in her own strong, unique, and unexpected ways. Brett is smart, witty, and obsessed with words. And don't let the Catcher-in-the-Rye-esque cover fool you, this is a story of trial, tribulation, love, and hope. For anyone who has every wondered how we become who we are, how we manage to constantly redefine ourselves and our relationships in an uncertain world, this is beautiful place to start.
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A compelling tale. September 7, 2008
Maria Padian's BRETT MCCARTHY: WORK IN PROGRESS tells of an eighth-grade corner kicker in Maine whose prank makes her become a juvenile delinquent and a loser. Brett has to figure out how to survive when everyone is changing, many are now against her, and nothing is easy. Middle school leisure readers will find this a compelling tale.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?

More About the Author

Maria Padian is an author of young adult novels as well as a freelance writer, essayist and former broadcast journalist. Her first novel, "Brett McCarthy: Work in Progress" (Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2008) was chosen by the ALA and YALSA as one of the Best Books for Young Adults in 2009 and also received a Maine Literary Award and Maine Lupine Honor Award. Her second novel, "Jersey Tomatoes Are the Best," was published by Knopf in March, 2011. A third novel for young adults, "Out of Nowhere," will be published by Knopf in February 2013.

A graduate of Middlebury College and the University of Virginia, she has also attended Oxford University and the Bread Loaf Writers' conference. Along with being a passionate, life-long reader, she is an avid gardener, tennis player, nordic skier and coffee drinker. She makes her home in Maine with her family and their Australian Shepherd.

To learn more about Maria and her books visit


There are no discussions about this product yet.
Be the first to discuss this product with the community.
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Look for Similar Items by Category