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Drowning Anna Hardcover – Bargain Price, October 1, 2002

4.6 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, October 1, 2002
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Opening with the attempted suicide of 15-year-old Anna Goldsmith, Mayfield's (I Carried You on Eagles' Wings) intense novel unspools at a breakneck pace. Succeeding chapters alternate between the first-person narrative of Anna's only remaining friend, Melanie, entries from Anna's diary (which Anna is clutching when her mother discovers the girl unconscious) and third-person viewpoints of Anna's mother and father at the hospital as they wait for their daughter to come out of a coma. Melanie's perspective and Anna's entries dovetail as they recount the escalating cruelty of their classmate Hayley Parkin. Hayley at first befriends smart, attractive Anna, who is new to the school, then turns against her. The author wisely leaves the cause for the rift a mystery, choosing instead to examine Hayley's subtle machinations: a trip here, an insult there, always out of sight of the teachers. Readers witness the dwindling of Anna's self-esteem (a few graphic scenes describe Anna cutting herself), the tenuous friendship forming between Anna and Melanie, and the insidious ways that Hayley buddies up to Melanie to undermine Melanie's loyalty to Anna. Structurally, the shifting viewpoints detract from the drama; Adele Griffin's recent Amandine does a more effective job of portraying the psychological claustrophobia that results from adolescent power plays. Nonetheless, Mayfield's drama will keep the pages turning. Ages 10-14.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 7-10-Anna Goldsmith, 13, moves with her family from London to a northern town. Beautiful and an ace student, she is praised by her teachers, given a violin solo, and assigned to play center fielder in hockey, displacing Hayley Parkin, who is her first and seemingly devoted friend. What Anna doesn't know is that Hayley is an adept manipulator and all of her classmates live in fear of her. First she draws people in to learn their sensitivities and secrets, then launches whisper campaigns against them. Once she has totally isolated her victim via social ostracism, she launches physical attacks. When Melanie Blackwood, who really wants to be Anna's friend, gradually gives in to Hayley's pressure, Anna begins to cut herself. Upon discovering this activity, her well-intentioned but all-too-busy parents call on the teachers for help. A few superficial changes take place, and the adults work to set the "personality clash" to rights. But Hayley is just getting started. Although the vocabulary is simple, this book is complex in structure. The first chapter is told in present tense via an omniscient narrator as Anna sets in motion what will be the climax of the plot. The next chapter features Melanie reminiscing about how all of this started. Anna, who is comatose through most of the book, speaks mostly through her diary entries and letters. The shifting narratives contribute to a compelling story that will strike a chord with many young teens. Published as Blue in the United Kingdom, this book should reach large numbers of readers here as well.
Cindy Darling Codell, Clark Middle School, Winchester, KY
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • ISBN-10: 0786808705
  • ASIN: B000FILLA0
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 4.7 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,543,832 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Tina on December 24, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Anna, a teenager moves to a new location, new school and tries to make new friends. One of them is Hayley who comes on strong at first. Then slowly, Hayley starts turning on Anna and starts making her life a living nightmare. Through all of this, Melanie, another friend hovers between the two never knowing how to deal with the situation.

I absolutely loved reading this young-adult book. While I felt, at times, frustrated, mad, sad and scared, this story, told from the point of view of Melanie was so solid and well told.

While we can feel Anna's increasing depression at the way Hayley is treating her, I found it interesting to view the character of Hayley - clearly some kind of psycho in the making. It is scary to think that these things (bullying) actually happen to our kids.

While I thought the author did a good job of fleshing out Anna's parents, they really only appear towards the end of the book, clueless as to why Anna would try to commit suicide. This also scares me - that parents seem not to know what is happening with their kids anymore.

Melanie is probably the least fleshed out for me. She comes across as weak and extremely vulnerable - which apparently she is.

This book is a gem. I wish they had these types of books when I was growing up!

Buy it.
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Format: Hardcover
The book Drowning Anna is definatly an excellent book it kept me turning the pages. This was the first book i read by Sue Mayfield and i truly think shes a incredible author. This book really helps people understand that no matter what if people are bullying u and bringing u down or have turned there back on u there is no reason to blame it on yourself..always be true to yourself
there were moments i have to say where i cried in the book because it got so sad..but this book is definatly a must read!!
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Format: Paperback
Sticks and stones will break my bones but... Anna Goldsmith knows the rest. And she knows it's a lie.

It started with Hayley Parkin, who befriended Anna when Anna moved to Melanie's school. Everyone loved Hayley but they were also afraid of her. Hayley was the sort who would be your friend one minute and make fun of your clothes the next. Of course no one told Anna that. So when her best friend suddenly starts ignoring her, spreading rumors about her and turning their classmates against her, Anna can't figure out where she went wrong. She tries to appease Hayley, but nothing seems to work. The only one who's skeptical of Hayley's actions is Melanie, who's been burned before by Hayley's slick form of cruelty. Melanie is caught in a bad place: she wants to be liked, which means staying on Hayley's good side, but she also knows exactly what Hayley does to people. No one has all the answers, until Anna attempts something drastic. In a series of letters and memories, we see Anna's true self: strong and resilient on the outside but a total wreck inside.

Think you know your friends? Think again. You know Anna, Melanie and Hayley, and you hate what they do. The author never lets you forget how real the characters are. Despite this, much of the book is melodramatic, emotionally flat and unfulfilling. The reader sees too much pain, too many malicious actions and soon becomes desensitized to it. It's tearjerker television converted to book format. A better picture of strength through cruelty is Laurie Halse Anderson's brilliant SPEAK.

--- Reviewed by Carlie Kraft
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Format: Paperback
Completely moving and it is an eye opener as well. Our 'jokes' may be hurtful to other people and we should be sensitive and responsible enough when using the power of words. It is true that pen is mightier than sword, and pen is a lot sharper and inflicts deeper wounds. You can only push a person so far. Very, very cunning way to inform teens on bullying. Must read.
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A Kid's Review on January 6, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Drowning Anna written by Sue Mayfield is a book I read for my English 4 class. My view on Drowning Anna is, it was a very good book but maybe hard for some people to relate to. The book is about a young girl names Anna Goldsmith who moved from London to a middle school in Yorkshire and became really good friends with a popular girl by the name of Hailey Parker. Hayley Parker was very popular and decided to take Anna under her wing and become really good friends with Anna then one day for no apparent reason Hayley turns her back on Anna and makes her life a complete misery. It hurts Anna so much that Hayley pushed Anna to attempt suicide with her mean comments and actions. Hayley was so good at lying that everyone would believe her over Anna even her teachers. This book had different parts to it, some parts of Anna journal, parts of her friend Melanie telling the story of what kind of things Hayley would do to Anna. And a part of her parents ways and how her mom was never happy with anything. Anna was such a happy girl until she moved to that little town in Yorkshire and met Hayley Parker, then she just turned into a young girl who absolutely hated her self and couldn't stand to live anymore.

Drowning Anna was an awesome book but was very hard for me to relate to. I definitely think it's a great book and everyone should take the time to read it!
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