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Dreamland Social Club Hardcover – May 12, 2011
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2016 Book Awards
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"This is a wonderful book, a story of secrets and memory, of terrible loss and hard truths, nighttime adventures with a boy who comes this close to kissing you... and how a girl finds her own path to belonging."--Judy Blundell, National Book Award winning author
"Altebrando makes the bizarre, sensational and sad story of Coney Island seem vital and urgent--whether you have ever been there or not. An entirely strange, wonderfully romantic, and surprisingly political tale"--E. Lockhart, author of The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks
"Altebrando conjures a boardwalk fantasia of mermaids, dwarves, bearded girls, contortionists, and beautiful tattooed boys. This charming, sea-salty book stays with you like a half-remembered dream--the kind you wish would never end."--Natalie Standiford, author of How to Say Goodbye in Robot
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Never really fitting in any place she's lived, Jane sets out to start a life of her own in Coney Island. A life where she tries to retrace her mother's steps in the hopes of finding her own. But she finds a whole lot more than just herself in Coney Island. In her own attic she's found Coney's past. In her basement, she's found a (practically) brand new vintage wardrobe that belonged to her long gone grandmother Birdie.. And at school she found a group of people who seem vastly different on the outside, but just like her on the inside that she calls friends. But above all these things, Jane's found Leo, a beautiful tattooed boy who will change her life forever.
Dreamland Social Club, written by author Tara Altebrando, is an unforgettable read that will transport readers back in time to Coney Island's past while closely examining the happenings and politics of today. Well developed and well written, it's a realistic book that feels a lot like fantasy. There's something magical about this book. Readers will be able to see the famed Wonder Wheel, to hear the lapping waves upon the shoreline, and even taste the piping hot knishes Jane and Leo love.
Altebrando excels at painting a beautiful portrait. Instead of just telling her audience she shows us. It's amazing how seamlessly she combines Coney Island's past and present by interweaving facts, rides, and various happenings.Read more ›
Jane's lived a lot of places, but none of them were like Coney Island. Her classmates at Coney Island High range from the typical (the interchangeable pretty girls, the quiet kids and the loud ones, et cetera) to the not-so-typical (the bearded girl, the contortionist). The first student who talks to her is Babette, a no-nonsense Goth girl who happens to be a dwarf. She only comes up to Jane's waist, but she's as fierce as a pack of wolves. Altebrando's writing allows readers to picture Babette immediately:
"Her ears were pierced more times than it seemed an earlobe could sustain. Her charcoal-lined eyes were a fierce turquoise, the color of an ocean near the equator. [...] The goth's tiny black T-shirt had a white silhouette of a girl's profile, with teardrops falling from her eyes. For a second Jane felt like that girl; she wanted to jump into the shadows of the shirt."
While her older brother Marcus seems to have no problem fitting in and finding friends, Jane feels more like an observer at first. While watching the way other kids interact at school and watching the old films she finds in her grandfather's home, she becomes intrigued by the culture and history of Coney Island.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is pretty interesting and not bad. Sometime I wonder what is like to meet a person who a freak in circus or whatever. Read morePublished on June 17, 2013 by DeafVampireAngel
I was slightly hesitant when going into Dreamland Social Club; Having just finished up two amazing contemporaries, I knew that Dreamland Social Club was going to have to be... Read morePublished on August 8, 2012 by Sash & Em: A Tale of Two Bookies
First off, I love the cover of Dreamland Social Club. It's bright, eye-catching, and features a mermaid... Read morePublished on March 15, 2012 by Sara
A truly wonderful tale full of freaks of all kinds. I received an ARC of this from Shelf Awareness a while back and it took a while for me to get to it in my TBR pile. Read morePublished on January 16, 2012 by Joni Thomas
Despite the fact that I find clowns to be a bit terrifying, I find carnivals (and circuses) rather interesting, especially the shady ones. Read morePublished on August 17, 2011 by Khy
I really enjoyed Dreamland Social Club. It had a strong cast of characters, a plot that slowly unraveled a mystery, and amazing writing that engaged me the whole time. Read morePublished on June 29, 2011 by Sarah Woodard
Jane and their brother have inherited a house on Coney Island from the grandparents they have never met. They have never really stayed in one place to long. Read morePublished on June 9, 2011 by Brittany Moore