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Harley's Ninth [Kindle Edition]

Cat Bauer
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $9.99
Sold by: Random House LLC

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On an unexpected trip home, Mim Malone learns to confront her own demons along the way. Learn more

Book Description

Sixteen-year-old Harley Columba knows that October 9th won't be an ordinary day. At 8:00 a.m. she stands on the pier and gazes at the Statue of Liberty, framed by the morning sun and the fading moon. This is the day her first art exhibit opens in a gallery in New York City. The day Harley and her friends will visit the Broadway set designed by her newfound father, the famous Sean Shanahan. The day she returns to her hometown, Lenape Lakes, New Jersey, in stifling suburbia—with Sean, who hasn't been back for 14 years.

The fact that it's the ninth also means that she's five days late. She and Evan were careless that one time, and she could be about to make a mess of her life. October 9th—Harley's ninth—promises to be a monumental day as Harley reexamines herself as an artist, a girlfriend, a daughter, and a person.

From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 10 Up—Two years after the events in Harley, Like a Person (Winslow, 2000), a worldlier but not necessarily more prudent Harley, now 16, is living a fairy-tale existence in New York City with her biological father, Sean, when another crisis erupts. Her period is five days late. Told in the space of one eventful day, the story follows Harley as she is forced to reexamine the very relationships upon which she has come to depend. Sean wavers between careless neglect and sage advice, her boyfriend is a rising rock star not ready to deal with the consequences of his actions, and her mother has basically disowned her. Also crammed into this one turbulent day are a pregnancy test, a newfound grandmother, several altercations, a breakup, and a gallery exhibition. Details are introduced and dismissed at breakneck pace. Only occasional glimpses of the old Harley reconnect readers to the emotional rawness of the first book. This segment in the teen's life includes many scenes that she refers to as a "time, long ago," creating disjointed flashbacks, and making it feel as though there is an installment missing. The primary connector is Harley's passion for her art and her ability to transform her circumstances in the face of adversity. In the end, she is neither pregnant, nor any wiser. True resolution is again elusive as seemingly significant details are glossed over in favor of a neat ending. This continuation of Harley's story should only find an audience with loyal fans.—Erin Schirota, Bronxville Public Library, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

First introduced in Harley, like a Person (2000), Harley Columba, now a senior and living with her biological father, wakes up excited; her first art exhibit will be opening at a New York gallery. The events of the day, which make up the book, then gradually unfold: Harley has several acrimonious confrontations in her hometown, she discovers the identity of her grandmother, and she worries about a possible pregnancy and fights with her boyfriend. Harley's narrative occasionally shines; the scene about buying a pregnancy test is especially funny. But the plot is burdened by coincidences and intrusive pauses to supply backstory, and secondary characters are both predictable and one-dimensional. It's Harley's description of the creative process that will interest readers, along with the question, Is she or isn't she pregnant? This sequel may pick up a few new readers, but the audience will probably be teens who loved the first book and want to know more of Harley's story. Lynn Rutan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • File Size: 476 KB
  • Print Length: 210 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0375837361
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (February 25, 2009)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000SEFF1M
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,741,032 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The one word that springs to mind when I think of Cat Bauer's books--both "Harley, Like a Person" and this sequel, "Harley's Ninth"--is "authentic." The characters are so human, so real, that they remain with the reader long after the last page is finished. And even more impressive, the books are emotionally authentic, which is to say "trustworthy." You can trust that Harley is a real teenaged girl, one who makes mistakes in judgment and who struggles with the conflicting lures of boyfriends (and sex) and developing her unexpected strength as a painter and a person in her own right. Harley's psychologically damaged mother, Peppy, and her abusive, alcoholic stepfather, Roger, are not pretty. But if you have ever known anyone like them, you know they ring true. Likewise her birth father, Sean, is achingly, frustratingly, touchingly genuine.

And while I'm at it, I'd like to say that none of the emotional or other abuse, or sex, in either of these books is exploitative or unnecessarily graphic. Ms. Bauer can write. She approaches sensitive material with an artist's eye. Her object is not to shock, but to illuminate. Here is Harley describing her aggressively oppressive home: "The atmosphere in my house in Lenape was a barrier that blocked access to the part of me that paints. My mother, Peppy, was a constant drizzle. My stepfather, Roger, was a thunderstorm. The only sunshine was my little sister, Lily: my brother, Bean, was more tornado than sibling. It was not possible to work with the weather in that house.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars What the heck happened? April 21, 2007
There is no way that these people are the same Harley and Evan I met in Harley, Like a Person. That book's characters were far more subtle, nuanced, and LIKEABLE. Harley still retains much of her likeability-- but Evan, hardly any of it. I looked forward to this book as I had loved Harley, Like a Person, but I thought this sequel was sloppily done all of the way through--it far too short, and it was incredibly unrealistic that everything that happened in it would have happened in one day. Harley, Like a Person, had a lot going on in it as well, but that made far more sense over the course of an entire year.

If Ms. Bauer writes a third book about Harley, I sincerely hope she still has the talent to make it more like her first book than her second.
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More About the Author

Catherine "Cat" Bauer (born July 27, 1955 in Greenville, South Carolina) is the award-winning author of contemporary novels featuring the young protagonist, Harley Columba, and is known for her unique and honest voice. Publishers Weekly said, "Bauer creates a witty and resilient narrator in...Harley Columba... Readers will be rooting for this sympathetic heroine." In the Thomson Gale biography, the authors noted that: "Readers and reviewers often found the strength of Bauer's novel in the authentic voice of its heroine, Harley.[1] Patricia Morrow, for example, in Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA), remarked that 'Harley's voice is true to the experience of many young people,' and that 'Although the outcomes are not unexpected, they do not follow any formulas.'"[2]

Ms. Bauer is the oldest of five children. She was born on an Air Force Base where her father was stationed in Greenville, South Carolina. According to family lore, she was struck by ball lightning while sleeping in her bassinet during a thunderstorm. She spent the first five years of her life in Kearney, New Jersey in the same three-family house as her paternal grandparents, and her summers at the Bauer family property [1] on Bodin Lake [2] in Upstate New York. Her grandfather was the foreman of Kearfott [3], where her father was also an engineer.

When she was nearly five years old, her grandparents relocated to Montreat, North Carolina, while her immediate family moved to Pompton Lakes, New Jersey, a small, suburban town in North Jersey which Ms. Bauer has fictionalized in her novels as "Lenape Lakes" -- "only forty-five minutes outside of New York City, if there's no traffic, although it may as well be four zillion light-years away since no one from here ever goes there." Ms. Bauer learned to read and use the slide rule before she went to kindergarten, and began writing books at the age of six. She showed musical ability at a young age, and played the clarinet, piano, violin and guitar, and was also active in the theater.

Ms. Bauer graduated with honors from Pompton Lakes High School in 1973.[3]

After a brief marriage to her high school sweetheart, she moved to the West Village in New York City, and studied acting with Stella Adler and the National Shakespeare Conservatory.

She later moved to Los Angeles, California to pursue an acting career, and was active in the LA theater scene as both an actress and a playwright. She was a close friend and student of the late Don Richardson[4], whose former students also included Grace Kelly and Anne Bancroft. Ms. Bauer assisted Mr. Richardson with his book "Acting Without Agony," and it was in his workshop that she met her future husband, television director, James Quinn[5], noted for one-hour episode shows such as Law & Order. During this period, Ms. Bauer lived in the hills of Los Feliz.

In July, 1993, Sassy published her first short story, Run Away, which was the inspiration for her first novel, Harley, Like a Person. Under the working title of "Zee," that effort was the recipient of the very first Sue Alexander Most Promising New Work Award given by the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI)[6]. Selected from manuscripts submitted for individual critique at the SCBWI Annual Conference in Los Angeles, the award is given to the manuscript deemed most promising for publication. Another in the list of "firsts," Ms. Bauer's winning entry was critiqued by Walter Dean Myers, the first-ever Michael L. Printz Award winner, a prize which recognizes excellence in young adult literature.

Ms. Bauer later changed the title of her first novel to Harley, Like a Person, which was originally published in 2000 by Winslow Press, a boutique publisher that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2002.

John Lennon's life and work were major influences on Ms. Bauer, and her novels are peppered with references to the former Beatle. For example, Harley Columba was born on the anniversary of John Lennon's death, December 8, while her parents were attending a memorial concert in his honor.

In 2004, Holly Bolstad of White Bear Lake, Minnesota, won her state Level I Letters About Literature[7] competition, a national reading-writing contest sponsored by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, together with Target Stores, by writing to Cat Bauer about how Harley, Like a Person had affected her life. To enter, readers write a personal letter to an author, living or dead, from any genre -- fiction or nonfiction, contemporary or classic, explaining how that author's work changed the student's way of thinking about the world or themselves.[8]

In April, 1998, Ms. Bauer moved to Venice, Italy, where she lives today on the Grand Canal. She is presently divorced.

Ms. Bauer was also a regular contributor to International Herald Tribune's Italian supplement, Italy Daily, writing about the art, culture and architecture of Venice. Her popular blog, Venetian Cat - Venice Blog [9] has been featured in the Financial Times Arts & Weekend Magazine [10].

On May 27, 2004 the Honorable Prudence Carter Beatty signed an Order reverting all rights to Harley, Like a Person to Ms. Bauer. That book was republished in a slightly different form in 2007 by Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc., New York, together with a companion novel entitled, Harley's Ninth, which takes place all on one day, October 9th, John Lennon's birthday.


Booklist Top Ten Youth First Novel
American Library Association YALSA Best Book for Young Adults [11]
Two-time Winner American Library Association YALSA Popular Paperback for Young Adults [12]
American Library Association YALSA Quick Pick [13]
New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age
Bookreporter Top Ten Teen First Novel
Book of the Year - First Place YA Fiction - ForeWord Magazine [14]
Oregon Young Adult Network Book Rave [15]
BookSense 76 Pick Top 10 Teen Book[16]
Teen People Book Club Selection
CosmoGirl Book Club Selection
Selected Adoption-Related Book No. American Council on Adoptable Children Awareness Guide
Winner - SCBWI Sue Alexander Most Promising New Work Award
Harley, Like a Person ISBN 978-0-375-83735-7
Harley's Ninth ISBN 978-0-375-83736-4


Sixteen - Stories About that Sweet and Bitter Birthday, edited by Megan McCafferty
Lines in the Sand, New Writing on War and Peace
Time Out Venice: Verona, Treviso and the Veneto Time Out Guides


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