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Li'l Mama's Rules: A Novel Paperback – May 6, 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 269 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; 1st Scribner Paperback Fiction Ed edition (May 6, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684846136
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684846132
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (148 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #435,366 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

In her second novel, Jackson presents another slice of African American life through the story of Madison McGuirre, known as "Li'l Mama," a name she hates. Madison lives by a set of rules, which she sometimes breaks. Messing around with unsafe sex is against her rules, but she does it anyway. At 30, she discovers that she is HIV-positive, and things fall apart. Then Chris Anzel, her first love, helps her to accept her fate. Madison leaves her teaching job with one rule: "stroke the mind." Set in Los Angeles in the world of education, this gripping story highlights the problems single women face in the 1990s. Essential for public libraries.?Fannette H. Thomas, Essex Community Coll., Baltimore
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Madison, nicknamed Li'l Mama, was raised in the projects, the daughter of a man and woman who never married. Madison rarely saw her father, and she is wounded by it. She maintains a list of dating don'ts that grows with each male encounter. Her first and true love, Christopher, makes a confession that upsets her belief in love and relationships. He becomes the second man in her life that she has given her heart to and failed to receive reciprocal love. The book takes a fatal twist when Madison learns that she is ill. This discovery causes her to search for answers to why she has behaved and lived her life as she has. Her father's physical and emotional absence caused her to define her self-worth by using her body to get the attention her father never gave. But, Madison's sickness forces her to make choices and decisions that are not self-destructive; she finally learns that the rules to follow are of things "to do." Her validation comes from within. Lillian Lewis --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

She is a very funny character.
Timeka
It's a story that will touch your heart and make readers wake up and personally examine their own lives.
Steph B.
I loved this book it made me laugh and it made me cry.
Kira Collins

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Nyse on November 25, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book is a tear warming book. It displays all the qualities of dating and love. Ms. Jackson the writer has produced a well written story that I believe every young adult and teenager should read. It deals dating, growing up without father and STDS. This book touched my heart dearly and as a teenager it also helped me realize that abstinence is the key. It also helped me realize that I should wait for true love. Words can not express how much this book has shown me. I will never forget Madison Maguire her character is a true role model. Ms. Jackson is a great write as well as a role model. njenkins1@hotmail.com
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Denise M. on September 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is the story about a 30 something African American woman living in LA in the 90's. Madison Maguire has brains, talent, looks and enough men to last her for a while. She has her rules concerning dating and it is a long and exhaustive list. Unfortunately, she left off her list the most important rule which ultimately causes her much heartache, disgrace and fear.
Interestingly enough, Madison's rules can be directly traced to her lack of relationship with her father. Her issues concerning her 'absent father' are at the root of many of the decisions that she makes concerning love, trust and committment. The interesting topic in this novel is how the author, true to form, depicts how the lack of fathers in the rearing of their children, particularly female children, has an impact on their lives. Research has often shown that women who grow up with the presence and love of a father are healthier individuals and are better able to have healthy relationships with men. The novel gives some insight into the effects that absentee fathers have on the lives of their daughters.
This is a very talented author who has the ability to tell a story in a manner which causes the reader to feel the characters. This quality was once again exhibited during the authors description of what was going on in Madison's head when she tried to end her life.
I did not know much about the novel however purchased it because I loved "Blessings". This novel tackled some very intense issues. I personally think this book should be required reading in high schools across the country.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 10, 2000
Format: Paperback
I really loved this book. Excellent. She has done it again. Blessings was just that for me but Lil Mama's Rules really ruled. I had every emotion pulled out of me while reading this book. I laughed with an old friend and cried with one too. I really felt like I knew this character. I really felt like at times I WAS this character. A wonderful read with alot of twists and turns. Good plot. Great ending. I adore Sheneska Jackson. I have three words for her YOU GO GIRRRRRRRRL!!!! You keep writing and I will continue to give you my unwavering support financially and by reviewing your work so you will know what a fan base you have and it starts right here. God Bless
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Chandra Manning on May 5, 2000
Format: Paperback
I absolutely loved this book. As an English teacher, it's good to get away from the classics once in a while and this was a great detour from the common. From the very beginning I was totally enthralled by the main character Madison. I could see a lot of her in me, like her wit, tough exterior, and her teaching profession. Her sassy attitude kept me laughing because she sounds just like one of the girls. I chose this book because I wanted something light-hearted, but boy did my reaction change. A little way passed the midpoint, I found myself in bed -- bawling (of course I can't say why--YOU MUST READ IT FOR YOURSELF!). This book is for real--the characters, the conflict, the relationships. If you want to laugh, cry, and review your spiritual beliefs--READ THIS BOOK. It's been passed around my friends the last couple of weeks and people have truly been touched.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 5, 1998
Format: Paperback
I first heard about Ms. Jackson's books through a friend and after reading Caught Up In The Rapture, I bought L'il Mama's Rules which I couldn't put down. I saw alot of myself in Madison in terms of having bad relationships with men but no matter what happened she always stood strong. She also became the "Emotional Rescuer" of the family because she helped to take care of her sister Serena, a bright fourteen year old with Tourette's Syndrome as well as her mother, an emotionally distant woman who always thought she knew what was best for her children although her ulterior motives were selfish to say the least. Sadly enough, when she has a second chance with Chris Anzel, she discovers that she is HIV Positive and realizes that life is too precious to hold on to past bitterness and anger and manages to re-establish a relationship with her father and discovers that in life, there are two sides to every story. A hot new novelist for the African-American Literary Scene.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By MapleBrownEyes on June 3, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book was definately a wake up call for me and for many of my friends. Sometimes we do things in our lives that we later on regret and can not change. This book was like a look into the future of what could happen to so many black females who are faced with so many of the issues presented in this book. Although fiction I can truly say that I have learned from Madisons mistakes. What made this book so realistic is that the issues presented are things we deal with or can deal in our everyday life, especially since we live in such a sexually free and 'woman power world'. It really opened my eyes and it will do the same for you. You won't be able to put it down because Sheneska Jackson has the talent of making you feel right there and making you feel like you know the characters personally, the difference is that we can change our actions now. BELIEVE ME IT'S WORTH THE READ....
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