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Looking for Alibrandi Paperback – May 9, 2006


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (May 9, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375836942
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375836947
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (123 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #641,375 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Seventeen-year-old Josephine Alibrandi is no stranger to conflict. If she's not caught between her strict single mom and her even stricter grandmother, then she's trying to choose between wealthy good boy John Barton and working-class bad boy Joseph Coote. Josephine is always in trouble with the nuns at her Catholic school (who everyone calls "penguins because of them wearing wimples and all that Sound of Music gear") because she fights with native Australian kids over her mixed Australian/Italian heritage. Just when she thinks her situation couldn't possibly get more complicated, her mysterious, long-lost biological father comes back and Josephine must decide if it's worth getting to know this person who abandoned her and her mother. But through it all--including a startling revelation from her grandmother and the suicide of a close friend--Josephine manages to hold on to her sense of humor, as in this reflective moment: "I could have been a model for Hot Pants. Except that when I finally put my glasses on, reality set in. Hot Pants would have to wait."

Award-winning Australian author Melina Marchetta has created a strong and sassy role model in Josephine, whom girls with growing pains on both sides of the Pacific will love. With its accurate and insightful portrayal of a young woman's coming of age, Looking for Alibrandi will have female teens waiting eagerly for Marchetta's next novel. (Ages 12 and older) --Jennifer Hubert --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Although this involving novel is set in the author's native Australia, American readers will feel right at home, thanks to the charismatic, outspoken narrator, 17-year-old Josephine Alibrandi. A scholarship student at a tony Catholic girls' school, Josie is aware that she is different from her affluent "Aussie" classmates: she's illegitimate, and she's closely tied to her Italian immigrant community. She feels periodically rebellious against her classmates' snobbishness, against the nuns' authority at school, against her community's mores. Even so, Josie clearly regards the women in her lifeAher single mother, her grandmother and even some of the nunsAwith affection as well as exasperation. Josie has less experience dealing with guys until senior year, when three members of the opposite sex complicate her world. Her father, who has not previously known of her existence, arrives on the scene unexpectedly, and she can't help feeling drawn to him. She also becomes involved with two boys her own age: the upper-class but desperately unhappy John Barton and the wilder, iconoclastic Jacob Coote. The casting or plot may sound clich?ed, but the characterizations are unusually insightful and persuasive. In articulate, passionate prose, Marchetta weaves the intricate web of Josephine's relationships, juxtaposing her revelations about her family history against current crises (these include John's suicide). If the author loses momentum at the end, straining for tidy closure, she does, simultaneously, leave open new doorways for her heroine. Ages 14-up.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 123 customer reviews
The ending just in general was good, though, and fit really well.
Jude
Even though i wished it would end differently i really loved this book and i insist that people should read this book.
Sarah Fellig
In short: Melina Marchetta has written an unforgettable story with touching characters, a tight plot, and great wit.
Steph

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By "efstathis" on April 4, 2003
Format: Hardcover
For as long as she can remember, seventeen year old Josephine Alibrandi has believed her life to be anything but fortunate. Born to a single impecunious mother from a strong Italian background, Josie has never met her father and doesn't fit in at her elitist Sydney Catholic school on account of her scholarship and inability to conform. She also refuses to embrace any part of her heritage, including her grandmother. However, to make her existence even more of a nightmare, she is constantly reminded of these factors by arch- nemesis "Poison Ivy." Not only is Ivy her superior as school captain, but she is also after the charming, white-collar, extremely wealthy, John Barton. The very same man Josie believes she is destined to be with.
Just when Josie thinks her life couldn't possibly become anymore convoluted, she is finding herself more and more attracted to blue-collar bad boy Jacob Coote. And what does her fathers reappearance after a seventeen year absence mean for her? Not to mention having to bear the burden of a thirty five year old secret, her Nona's been keeping, after mistakenly stumbling across it. Will this new information threaten to make her feel more estranged from both her family and heritage than she already does, or will it bring her closer to them. And will she be strong enough to cope when tragedy strikes so close to home? That is all of course without even contemplating the stresses of her upcoming HSC.
Set in Australia in the 1990's, this book is a turbulent ride of self-discovery, which deals with themes deemed extremely topical in today's modern teenage society. Not only does Marchetta build realism through creating strength within her characters, she further authenticates them by making their struggles identifiable to a majority of teenagers.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By "mmagee83" on February 17, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book was given to me when I was 16 from one of my Australian relatives, and has become one of my favorite books of all time. Although it's been four years, I still pull it out often to read again. Looking for Alibrandi is a fantastic coming of age book, and for people like me who have a soft spot for this genre, it will make it to the top of your list. The feelings and characters in the book are completely genuine, and the events feel so real that you will alternately be cheering and crying (as clichéd as that sounds!). I would definitely recommend this book to any teenage girl, no matter where they are from.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Steph on April 12, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book is a testament for those people who admit that there are no unique premises anymore, only unique ways of telling them. Coming-of-age stories are tough because they can be a rather indistinguishable group with only the author's voice as the discriminant. Thank God Melina Marchetta's got one hell of a voice in this novel.

I'll admit that when I started reading this story, I thought it would be one of those formulaic, nothing-special tales about an obnoxious girl who goes to school, is in the middle of a family feud with her foul-tempered relatives, and through a series of unlikely events, falls "in love" with some bland boy whose only attribute is his good-looks. The beginning chapter, where you get to see a firsthand example of Josephine's cheekiness, didn't help in deterring my theory. But then... well, as they say, then it's all history. I got engrossed in the story. Josephine Alibrandi is sassy and sometimes too spoiled for her own good, but she's a fun character to read about. You find yourself laughing at her thoughts (not because they are petty but because they are truly funny) and you find that you can relate to her. This is especially true in the parts where you see her friends and the two boys who're special to her.

The part I liked best of this story, though, was the family aspect of it. Josephine's family is from Sicily and their culture shines through in many ways. I was amazed by the "family secrets" subplot, which was very cleverly crafted and contributed to the depth of this book in many ways. The relationships in the family are tested and we get to see what lies underneath the surface, what makes the family members the way they are, and what put everyone in the less-than-perfect predicament they're in when the novel begins.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Bellissima on October 24, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Looking for Alibrandi is my favourite book ever. This interesting book is filled with romance, hardships, lovely experiences and discoveries. Josephine desperately wants to be emancipated, and through her search for liberation, she becomes a more matured and beautiful lady. She gets to know her grandmother better, and grows closer to her mother. She also comes to know of her "long lost" father, Michael. At first she pretends that she does not want to get to know him better, but one incident brought them closer together. I especially like the part about her relationship between Jacob Cooste and John Barton. This book is so touching that I cried so many times when I read it. I really like the way the author writes it. It has definitely helped me improved my english. All in all, this book is a page-turner. (:
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By NorthofCB on December 6, 2003
Format: Hardcover
If one reads any of my other book reviews it is not hard to tell that I have a flare for the unusualy, but the novel was one that I enjoyed never-the-less. I think it is so universal because everyone can relate to Joe's problems and situations. We have all have trouble choosing a boyfriend or girlfriend, and we have all had problems with family from time to time. I think the real beauty is how she deals with her father in the novel, something I was touched by and can relate to personally. A must read.
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