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Dreamland Social Club


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Juvenile (May 12, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525423257
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525423256
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,285,822 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Altebrando provides exceptional depth in both the setting and the motley cast of Coney Islanders, teen and adult, living and dead....The result is a memorable tale of personal growth and acceptance that will make teens eager to join a Dreamland Social Club of their own."--Kirkus Reviews (star), Best Teen Books of 2011
 
"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

Tara Altebrando is an author of books for teens and adults. She lives with her husband and young daughter in Astoria, Queens.

More About the Author

Hello there! My latest young adult novel, THE BEST NIGHT OF YOUR (PATHETIC) LIFE is on sale now. This follows on the heels of DREAMLAND SOCIAL CLUB, which was picked by Kirkus Reviews as one of the Best Teen Books of 2012.

In addition, you can find adorable repackaged Kindle versions of my first two young adult novels, THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS and WHAT HAPPENS HERE, in the Kindle Store.

Up next, a collaborative YA novel that I wrote with Sara Zarr. ROOMIES (Little Brown) will hit shelves in December!

After that, my middle-grade novel debut, THE BATTLE OF DARCY LANE, comes out in May (from Running Press Kids).

I'm right now writing the book that will follow that! (Or I am supposed to be!)

I grew up on Staten Island, NY, and currently live in Astoria, Queens, with my husband and two young daughters. For more about me visit www.taraaltebrando.com.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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See all 15 customer reviews
I really liked that the plot.
Sarah Woodard
They are human being just like us even though some have weird things in their life, but it is pretty interesting once you get to know them.
DeafVampireAngel
The characters in this novel were very unique and often outspoken.
Brittany Moore

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Pliscou on February 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Tara Altebrando's DREAMLAND SOCIAL CLUB is a fascinating read from its intriguing start to its satisfying conclusion. Partly a delicately spun coming of age story, part mystery, part romance, it succeeds on multiple levels. At its core is a sympathetic young protagonist, skillfully rendered and with plenty of nuance - keeping it real. The exotic array of secondary characters is brought to vivid life with Altebrando's sure, subtle writing. No less a character is the setting itself: gritty, fantastical Coney Island, and it's given the weight it deserves. It would be hard to end this book without yearning to experience it for oneself.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Erin on February 14, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is one of those stories that I have trouble reviewing because I didn't love it or hate it. I admittedly picked it up because the description hinted at something fresh and mystical -- a girl discovering her mother's past as a mermaid in Coney Island? Yep, that hooked me too. But the discription is misleading; it's not so much literal as it is suggestive of possibilities; the "club" itself really isn't a big part of the book, although you would think it would be. The story is very somber, and while our loner main character does find a group of friends, they all maintain a distance between each other that never made me feel like they were truly close; rather, they were more like outcasts thrown together who just wanted to get through high school. I also thought the main character wasn't believable as a 17-year-old and seemed to act and think as if she was 3 years younger. The writing didn't impress me, but it did intrigue me at parts. I considered stopping serveral times. If you have other books on your list, I'd check them out first.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By N., The BookBandit on August 11, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Jane's used to moving around and never settling down in one place for too long. But when she and her older brother Marcus inherit a house - the same house their deceased mother grew up in - from the grandfather they've never met in Coney Island, Jane's intrigued by the idea of getting to know who her mother was, and more importantly, who she is without her mother.

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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was looking for something set in Coney Island. When I encountered the high school with second generation side show freaks I thought....this is not believable. But as I read on I found myself involved in a story that dealt deftly with the past/present dichotomy. There was lots of Coney Island history and much about the difficulty accepting change. As someone who wishes the Dodgers never left Brooklyn and that Steeplechase was still open the whole question of development was very relevant. And the characters, freaks or not, had depth that pulled me in as a reader. I didn't want it to end.
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By DeafVampireAngel on June 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover
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. When I said "freak", I mean like a person you have never seen before. A person you doesn't look like normal people. To me I wouldn't care and I wouldn't call them freak. They are human being just like us even though some have weird things in their life, but it is pretty interesting once you get to know them. The only thing I would to do is go to the circus, I have never been to the circus before in my life and that is the truth. There are some character that are pretty interesting in their own ways and I would so love to meet Leo aka Tattoo Boy. He sound cute to me in this book. :)
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Format: Hardcover
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 spectacular for me to like it, and it was just that - spectacular.

Dreamland Social Club is weird and quirky and kooky, and I loved it. The main character, Jane, is trying to figure out who she is, who her mother was, and how this strange closed-off place (Coney Island) fits into the mix. It was so much fun watching Jane find herself through memories of her mother and also through old relationships and friendships of families from Coney Island. The setting of Coney Island is, I think, what makes this book so quirky. It's not just New York City, but a specific place - a place that conjures up notions long before the reader starts reading and it was fun to take my preconceived thoughts and see how they were worked into the novel.

Watching Jane grow into herself and accept herself was by far the most enjoyable part of the novel. And the minor characters who helped Jane along the way were just as kooky as Coney Island. This novel is full of characters that you won't soon forget. Fans of Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King will enjoy for sure.
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