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Odessa Again Library Binding – May 14, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 3-5-When fourth-grader Odessa Green-Light gets mad at her toady little brother, Oliver, and stomps on the floor of her attic bedroom, she is shocked to find herself in the same spot exactly 24 hours earlier. The next time she stomps on the floor she finds herself exactly 23 hours back in time. Once she realizes she has unique time-travel capabilities, she employs her powers to go back and right the supposed wrongs in her life, such as when she forgot to study for a quiz, or when she had unexpected flatulence in front of the boy she liked. As the hours tick downward, however, Odessa wonders if she is wasting her powers on selfish changes. Perhaps she can find a way to rehyphenate her divorced parents, or help her brother or mother in ways that really count. Odessa's relationships with friends, family, and her elderly landlord are built upon nicely as she matures with this realization. Though no explanation is given for the inexplicable time travel, the story flows well and will be relished by readers who have ever wished they could go back and fix events that have just occurred.-Michele Shaw, Quail Run Elementary School, San Ramon, CAα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Odessa Green-Light’s life has been tougher since her parents’ divorce. Her dad is remarrying, and Odessa, her mom, and little brother, Oliver, have to move to a new house. At least Odessa gets to bunk in the attic, but once there, she has a surprising experience. She falls through the attic floor and goes back a day in time. At first, this just seems weird. Then Odessa begins to see the possibilities that come with reliving a day—if you can change things for the better. Of course, Odessa—and readers—soon sees that changing the past comes with consequences for the future. And not always good ones. The story runs on familiar themes: the desire to have parents reunite; an annoying sibling; the possibility of a first boyfriend. While the time-travel aspect adds another dimension (pun intended), it is laboriously explained, and even then doesn’t always add up. Still, this Groundhog Day redo for the younger set does pose some intriguing questions about what’s important in life and whether you want the power to make other people’s decisions for them. Grades 4-6. --Ilene Cooper --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Library Binding: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books (May 14, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385907931
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385907934
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)

More About the Author

Why don't you have a bio section?

Because I hate writing about myself.

But wouldn't that be easier than answering a whole bunch of FAQs?

Maybe. Probably. Go on...

So where are you from?

I'm from Los Angeles, but now I live in San Francisco. Except for the summers where I go back to Los Angeles in search of the sun.

What are you doing when you aren't writing?

Laundry, usually. Sometimes dishes. And I really like to walk near the Golden Gate Bridge.

Why don't you run instead of walk?

Running is hard. And I'm sort of lazy.

Have you ever had a real job?

Yes. Of course I have. I've waited tables, worked with adolescents in foster care, read the slush pile at a publishing house, and fact checked for a movie magazine. I also worked for FRONTLINE on PBS and Peter Jennings at ABC. I went to law school, which I know doesn't count as a job, but hey, that was a lot of work.

What's your writing day like? Do you stick to a routine?

I like to write in the mornings. Sometimes that means I have to get up really early. I try to write 700 words a day -- about three pages. I know there are lots of writers out there who can write way more than that. I know this because writers like to tell you about how many words they've written on FACEBOOK. So I try not to look at FACEBOOK when I'm writing. And anyway, I've learned that 700 words are about all I'm good for on any given day, and if I write more than that I usually end up getting rid of most of it later.

What, are you lazy or something?

I already told you I'm lazy. But seriously, 700 words are a lot of words. 700 of them, to be precise.

Where do you get your ideas?

From someplace inside my head.

That's not really an answer.

Yes, it is. And it's as honest an answer as I can give.

Are your books autobiographical?

Not really. I'm not adopted, I've never told a lie that sent someone to jail, I've never built a house or had a brother go to war. But there are always things in my books that come from my life or from the lives of the people around me. It would be impossible to make up everything.

Why do you write young adult fiction?

Because I was a young adult when I fell in love with reading and I can remember how books made me feel back then. How they provided both comfort and escape. That might make me sound like a shut-in, but I wasn't. I was just open to the experience books offered, probably more open than I am now as an adult. And I like writing for that sort of audience.

What exactly is young adult fiction?

Lots of people have thought long and hard about this question and have had many intelligent things to say about voice and how YA books can't spend too much time on adult characters, etc. I don't have anything to add to the debate except to say that YA should be a place to go in the bookstore or library if you are looking for a coming of age story, no matter how old you are.

Do you have a favorite book?


Don't be coy, what is it?

To Kill a Mockingbird.

How come there aren't any vampires or wizards in your books?

Hmmmm... good question. Maybe I should write about vampires and wizards.

No, you shouldn't. You wouldn't be very good at that.

Thanks for the vote of confidence.

Did you wear a Soupy Sales sweatshirt when you were seven?

Does anybody even know who Soupy Sales is?

That's what the Internet is for. Don't avoid the question.

I'm sorry, is this really a Frequently Asked Question?

No. But, c'mon, tell us anyway.

Yes, I did. But I'm trying to portray myself as someone who wasn't a total loser. So maybe you shouldn't bring that up. And it also makes me sound ancient, which I'm not. Yet I had a Soupy Sales sweatshirt. And I loved it. It was yellow. And really soft.

You're right. It does make you sound like a loser. Especially when combined with your earlier answer about escaping into books.

Well, if it helps, I was also a really good athlete. In fact, I was voted athlete of the year in 1983. Not nationally or anything. Just at my school.

No, that's not really helping.

Well, I also played the electric bass.

Now you're talking. That's cool. Were you in a band or anything?

No. I gave it up after a few months. But I did play it once in public dressed up in a chicken costume.

Okay. I think we might be done here.

You sure? Isn't there anything else you want to know about me?

If I think of anything I can just email you my questions, right?

Right. You can always send me an email to: info@danareinhardt.net

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By kindred spirit VINE VOICE on July 23, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Odessa and Oliver are very sad when their parents decide to get a divorce. Odessa was especially unhappy to be moving into a new house. The Land Lady assured her she would love it here especially the attic. Of course Odessa's mother took a lot of convincing to let her sleep in the attic but she was able to get her to see she was too old to share a room with her brother "the toad". Odessa is in the 4th grade and 9 yrs old. She discovers that when she jumps in the middle of the attic floor she is transported back in time 24 hrs. Doing this she was able to change the outcome of things gone wrong. After a few times she sees that each time it is an hour less so she had better choose how she uses these time travels.

I consider this a children's fantasy book, there is nothing dark or witchcraft involved it's rather like Alice in Wonderland or The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. In that sense it is appropriate for the ages intended 8 to 12 yrs. Odessa does some wrong things and some mean things with the time travel. She is dead set in stopping her father from getting remarried. I have one issue with the book that conservative parents need to take note of. I am simply stating a fact some parents will want to know, not pointing fingers. While they stay at Dad's house his wife to be Jennifer lives with her father before marriage and there is a scene where Odessa goes into "Dad and Jennifer's Bedroom". Kids may not pick up on that but I did and its not the example I feel best for 8 to 12 yr olds to think is best. I know it happens all the time and many children reading the book will be in the situation. There are also a group of families who would not choose this for their young children to read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tina Says VINE VOICE on June 4, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
My previous Dana Reinhardt reading experiences have all been positive, her work fitting into the young adult category I enjoy.

Odessa Again was another enjoyable read, with this book aimed at a little bit younger crowd- tween readers.

Reinhardt creates characters that are believable and human, while incorporating some fantasy aspects in her novel. Odessa is upset that father is remarrying. Re means to do something again, but her dad isn't marrying her mom again. Instead, he is marrying Jennifer, his girlfriend. Odessa and her brother Oliver are still hoping for life to go back to how it used to be. Instead time continues to march on, bringing with it changes.

Except sometimes time doesn't march on. It seems that Odessa has found a way in which to go back in time and re-do some of the mistakes she has made with friends, at school, with her brother. Odessa's opportunities at time travel are limited, so she has to make the most of her chances to go back and re-do her mistakes.

Reinhardt is a gifted writer. Not only is there the main plotline focusing on Odessa and the struggles she is facing by coming from a family with newly divorced parents. But, Reinhardt includes a little bit of subtle education as Odessa is a bit of a wordsmith, loving to use new and unfamiliar words.

I'm not someone who enjoys time travel in books, yet there was still enough realism in this novel to appeal to me, and enough fantasy for my daughter who loves these types of stories.

Reinhardt has written another winner, a book that I will be buying for my school library and recommending to many of my tween readers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Maggie Knapp on June 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Wouldn't it be neat to have a "do over" for a bad day? Odessa Green-Light finds a ritual that allows her just such magical second chances. She uses it to erase an embarrassment with a cute boy, make an apology, fix a bad haircut, cheer a neighbor, and mend a rift with her father's new fiancée. She even tries to help her annoying little brother. She can see there are a finite number of times she can use the "do over" gift, and the book comes to a satisfying conclusion just as the magic is used up.

What I liked: lots of humor; interesting, non-stereotypical characters. Odessa is smart. I loved the illustrations by Susan Reagan
What bothered me a bit: Odessa is in 4th grade and she and her friends are already into lip gloss and liking boys. The consistent emphasis on who you like and who you "like like" seems more fitting to 5th or 6th graders, IMHO. No need to encourage it in 9 and 10 year olds.

Suggest this to middle school fans of Wendy Mass's 11 BIRTHDAYS (also about do-overs). ODESSA AGAIN is a great book for 5th and 6th graders, if they can get past the fact that Odessa is younger.
About me: I'm a middle school/high school librarian
How I got this book: checked out from the public library
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Cheryl Stout TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Odessa Green-Light is a typical fourth grader. She's nine years old (almost ten you know), has a toad of a younger brother named Oliver, has a best friend, a crush on her math partner, and her parents are divorced.

Odessa, Oliver and their mom move into a new house and by accident Odessa finds she can go back in time for "do-overs."

"Odessa Again" tells the engaging tale of what Odessa chooses to do with her new powers, using them first for her own gain and then starting to help others.

I thought the characters were pretty true-to-life, not always perfect and not always making right choices.

This book is marked for readers ages 8 - 12 years old and I think that is pretty darn close. The book feels age appropriate to me. There are some discussions about divorce that are handled well. There is mention of makeup and crushing on a boy, which is probably for the higher end of the age bracket but there's nothing out-of-line.

I think young girl readers will really enjoy this tale.

Also, there are charming illustrations scattered throughout by Susan Reagan.
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