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Flashcards of My Life Paperback – March 7, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-7–Like many teens, Emily has tons of friends, thinks her parents are totally uncool, and wishes for a boyfriend. For her birthday, Aunt Chester sends her a set of blank cards called Flashcards of My Life. Each card has a label like Friends, Kiss, Identity–different topics to spark some writing. Emily starts on the cards and, in the process, readers learn about her. Her best 24-hour friend, Sandra, doesn't like her school friends, Sarah W. and Sarah J., leaving Emily stuck in the middle. The girls all have crushes on different boys and there's the constant swirl of rumors of who likes whom. The story is full of early teen angst–being uncomfortable in one's body, not sure why parents act like they do, crying over the smallest things. The style and language are aimed at younger readers; however, some of the topics make the story a better fit for older readers. For example, the girls think their gym teacher is a lesbian because of her roommate's picture on her desk. The font appears to be handwritten, and numerous doodles, charts, and diagrams adorn the pages. An entertaining but hardly earth-shattering look at junior high life.–Diana Pierce, Running Brushy Middle School, Cedar Park, TX
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Gr. 5-8. During the course of five weeks, Emily fills out a set of journaling cards entitled, "Flashcards of My Life." Each card has a journal-entry prompt, such as "Friends," "Kiss," or "Things That I Hate." Using the cards, Emily chronicles the familiar ups and downs of junior high, which may seem small to adults but are monumental to some kids: juggling friends who don't like each other; wondering if Andrew, her crush, will return her affection; and dealing with her nosy, embarrassing parents. Emily turns to her flashcards in moments of crisis (when her friend Sandra reveals she's been hiding a secret boyfriend) and times of joy (when Andrew kisses her). Readers will be attracted to Emily's appealing "handwritten" pages, decorated with heart and flower doodles, as well as to her young, innocent voice and chatty, confidential tone. A good little sister to high-school favorites such as Meg Cabot's Princess Diaries books. Jennifer Hubert
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 870L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (March 7, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316166766
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316166768
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #693,480 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Here are some things I have learned:

Using comics can be a fun way to tell a story.
Revising is surprisingly satisfying, but not always easy.
Some things are fun to look at, but not fun to own.
Listening is important.
Everyone has a story.
Inspiration can be fast and fleeting.
Remember to pay attention.




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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Armchair Interviews on January 16, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Oh, those awkward days of junior high! Friendships teeter-totter, crushes make you crazy and your parents really just don't get it at all. For her birthday, Emily receives Flashcards of My Life--Cards All About You a type of journal on small cards.

At first it seems kind of lame, but then Emily really gets into it, stirring up her creative juices and spilling her juicy secrets (ohmigod, wait till you read the kiss card!). The cards give Emily a place to really explore how she is feeling and discover new insights about herself.

Emily is totally authentic about her feelings and her self doubts. She struggles with the popular girls ("the Sarahs"), with crushes on boys and with her family, but through it all she writes her insights and feelings, carrying us along with her. The best touches to this book are the illustrations. Emily doodles in her journal and provides us with a real sense that she is just a regular kid we can all relate to.

This book is great for a middle schooler or someone in junior high who could use a laugh and a reminder that others feel the way they do. It is also a great read for adults who want/need a reminder about just how tough it is to be in the "tween" years.

Armchair Interviews says: The book is full of laughs but also gives hope about surviving those tough times when it feels like nobody understands.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By anonymous on April 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover
i just finished reading this book, and it is ah-mazing!! i have been looking for a novel that wouldn't be too kiddyish, but not too mature and gross (lol). i spent all of my time for the past two days reading this book, because it's soooooo good! i can totally relate to emily and her feelings and experiences. and it has such a great ending!! i recommend this book to any tween/ young teen who is looking for a great book to relate to!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on March 22, 2006
Format: Hardcover
FLASHCARDS OF MY LIFE is a great book, not just for it's story (which is a cute, funny one!) but because of the pictures and illustrations. This art was done, in fact, by the author herself, which means 1) she's so totally multi-talented; and 2) I'm so totally jealous!

Emily is a pretty typcial young teen. She has plenty of friends, most specifically--Sandra, her 24-hour friend, her best friend, the one she tells everything to; Becca, her best-friend runner-up, the one she tells almost everything to; and Sarah W. and Sarah J., two girls she hangs with, but mostly just at school. The Sarah's don't mix well with Sandra, though, so it's a balancing act of friendship.

Emily also has a set of pretty normal parents. Her mother stays on the narrow road of dieting by making only desserts with nuts in them, since she's allergic. Her dad, though a good guy, is still totally oblivious to her mom's moods, which ends in alternate "I'm ignoring you" =slash= "we're giddy in love" weeks at Emily's house.

Add to that the social dynamics at school, the crushes of Emily and her friends, and the endless demand of trying to figure out what to do, what to say, and how to act, and life is pretty complicated. But thanks to her Aunt Chester (yes, Chester is a nickname, and no, she's not really Emily's aunt), Emily now has a new way of figuring out life--a birthday present containing FLASHCARDS OF MY LIFE. Cards with headings such as Friends, Food, Love, Kiss, Clothing, etc. that Emily can fill in herself, any way she chooses. And as she does so, she comes to realize that, all in all, her life is pretty good. And we, the reader, realize that it's also pretty darn funny.

Aimed more towards the younger teen or pre-teen set, FLASHCARDS OF MY LIFE is a laugh-out-loud, quick read that will leave you with the feeling of having just read a good story.
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Format: Hardcover
Emily is a typical junior high student with typical problems. Her parents are really weird. Half the time they are at each other's throats ("Sometimes I just wish they'd get divorced like normal parents") and sometimes they are so lovey-dovey that it makes Emily feel ill. Her school days are spent negotiating among her various friends: Sandra is Emily's best friend, but she'll hang out with Becca only if Emily is there, too. Then there are the two Sarahs, who are friends with each other and with Emily, but not with Sandra or Becca --- you get the picture.

To top it all off, Emily has a crush on Andrew, who may or may not have a crush on her, and Sandra has been acting really weird lately, too. What's a girl to do? And how is she supposed to finish her schoolwork or start a new weekend job when she has so many more important things to worry about?

Emily has a tendency to obsess over the small things in her life --- and she's aware of it since she includes "obsessing" first on her list of hobbies. Good thing for Emily, she has a journal in which she can go on and on about her worries, her hopes, and her many emotional highs and lows. ("I'm an emotional super bouncy all --- bounding all over the place at top speed and never quite knowing where I'm going to end up.")

When Emily receives a set of blank cards called "Flashcards of My Life," with headings like "Kiss," "Friends," "Regrets" and "Denial," she's reluctant to bare her soul on paper. Soon enough, though, Emily fills her cards with funny, smart and surprisingly thoughtful reflections on her life's crazy ups and downs.

Emily does have a tendency to be long-winded about some of her problems, and at times she seems hopelessly self-absorbed.
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