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Peeled Hardcover – May 1, 2008


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 620L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Juvenile; 1 edition (May 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399234756
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399234750
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #240,849 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The orchard-growing community of Banesville, New York, is known as The Happiest Town in the Happy Apple Valley. But the sleepy town is stricken with hysteria and fear after a series of spooky happenings, and then a death occurs near the abandoned Ludlow House. As Pen Piedmont, the editor of the local paper, publishes fear-mongering headlines, high-school reporter Hildy determines to find the true story behind the incidents and settle her community’s growing unrest. Although there are several puzzling incidents at the story’s center (Is there a plot against Banesville’s citizens? If so, who’s involved?), readers will be most drawn by Hildy’s growing excitement, relayed in her own strong, witty voice, as she learns from a cantankerous, demanding mentor what it takes to be a journalist. Hildy’s romance with a fellow student feels underdeveloped, and the object of her affection is a bit too good to be true. But Bauer’s gleeful wordplay, her sure sense of setting, the details of newspaper life, and the many colorful side characters make this a pleasurable read that may encourage teens to consider deeper questions about family farms, urban sprawl, and the many who profit from public fear. See the adjacent column for more novels about aspiring young journalists. Grades 6-9. --Gillian Engberg

Review

Bauer introduces a feisty, funny teenage heroine who stays true to her mission and herself ... Highly entertaining. -- Kirkus Reviews

[Hildy's] crisp, declarative narration, subtly emulating a journalistic style, sings with tart humor and quixotic purpose. -- Horn Book

More About the Author

"I had moved from journalism to screenwriting when one of the biggest challenges of my life occurred. I was in a serious auto accident which injured my neck and back severely and required neurosurgery. It was a long road back to wholeness, but during that time I wrote Squashed, my first young adult novel. The humor in that story kept me going. Over the years, I have come to understand how deeply I need to laugh. It's like oxygen to me. My best times as a writer are when I'm working on a book and laughing while I'm writing. Then I know I've got something." Joan's first novel, Squashed, won the Delacorte Prize for a First Young Adult Novel. Five novels for young adult readers have followed: Thwonk, Sticks, Rules of the Road (LA Times Book Prize and Golden Kite), Backwater and Hope was Here (Newbery Honor Medal). Joan lives in Darien, CT with her husband and daughter.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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See all 21 customer reviews
The writing is excellent, the characters are great, and the storyline is fantastic.
And Another Book Read
Hildy stays true to her commitment to the town and her dream to be a great journalist as she struggles to overcome obstacles and expose the truth.
TeensReadToo
Hildy knows that it's up to her to report the truth, but with no one talking, doing that may just be a problem.
Erika Sorocco

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By K. Fournier on May 28, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Peeled, the latest from Newbery Honor winner Joan Bauer, has a most enticing cover. As soon as I saw it, I wanted to read this book.

Hildy lives in a small town in upstate New York with an apple-based economy. Hildy fits in her ambitions to be a journalist between her duties on the family farm- baking, picking and giving tours to elementary school kids. The big festival every year is around harvest time. She is the best writer for her high school newspaper, "The Core" (see the theme here?). When freaky things start happening at the old Ludlow house in town, Hildy knows it's bunk, but isn't sure how to prove it.

Hildy always uses the 5 W's in her questioning (who? what? when? where? why?) and her friends (including cute science geek Zack) to arrive at the truth, and doesn't skip over the hard parts. She's determined and gutsy, and doesn't even back down when the articles she prints start to make some grownups angry. Hildy is a strong female protagonist and this book would be great for kids interested in journalism or creative writing. There's nothing offensive or romantic in here, so this would work for even upper elementary readers.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By M. Lee on February 5, 2012
Format: Paperback
As a mother who screens everything her very precocious twelve-year-year daughter reads, I've been finding it even more necessary now to read everything listed as "Young Adult" before said child does. There are so, so many great books out there that are wonderful for teenagers, but the gap between 12-going-on-13 and 16 years old is quite a gap, and I'm beginning to think publishers may want to start listing their books like they do in the movie industry. 12-going-on-13s like to read about high school - but not all that is described in books about high school kids are quite appropriate for 12-going-on-13s! This is especially true for cutely-drawn manga literature, but also true for recommended award-winning books. This is the primary reason I fall back on the classics like "War and Peace," which said daughter is actually really enjoying. Happily, I found "Peeled" by Jane Bauer to be an excellent book set in a small-town high school, and so was delighted to recommend it to said child. Her review of "Peeled" follows:

[ Hildy Biddle is a sixteen-year-old reporter for her high school newspaper, The Core. Unfortunately, the big story is about the old Ludlow house ... and its ghost. But as the "ghost" grows more and more violent and the people more and more scared, can The Core get to the bottom of the mystery? Or will Banesville, New York become a haunted theme park??

[ My favorite characters were Minska and Lacey. I really liked how Minska always stood up for revolutions and changes for the better. I also liked how Lacey was really sweet and nice and actually cared about the little people in the world.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Erika Sorocco on May 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover
There is nothing more that sixteen-year-old Banesville High School junior, Hildy Biddle, wants, than to be a serious, hard-hitting journalist. Someone who breaks the big news before anyone else. Interviews countless people on a quest for an unsuspected scoop. But, as much as Hildy loves her hometown of Banesville, New York, the little apple harvesting town can't exactly be called a hotspot for news. In fact, some of the biggest stories have involved the Apple Blossom Queen, farmer's market scandals, and hotheaded city officials. That is, until the story of a lifetime drops right into Hildy's lap.

For decades people have embellished and spread rumors about a ghost that supposedly resides in the old Ludlow house. A ghost who is evil, has murdered people in the past, and is determined to kill again. Many in Banesville have believed these stories; Hildy has always written them off as rumors. But when controversy revolving around the old Ludlow house, and a ghost begin to resurface, Hildy knows that she has to be on the case. As the top reporter at her high school's newspaper, Hildy is aware that the responsibility of writing and publishing the facts for readers is up to her; therefore, she's determined to solve the mystery, and put it in writing for the world - or, at least all of Banesville - to see. But when you're sixteen-years-old, not everyone is interested in taking you, or your quest for journalistic integrity, seriously; especially when you're up against a local newspaper like The Bee. Anyone with a brain knows that The Bee, along with its publisher and editor, Pen Piedmont, is a farce. The stories are fabricated, blown out of proportion, and more often than not, completely inaccurate. Unfortunately, much of Banesville relies on this fodder for their information.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Teen Reads on July 24, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Rumors of a haunted house ignite the curiosity of teen reporter Hildy Biddle. She starts investigating the story only to have her school newspaper shut down. What Hildy uncovers and how she overcomes the obstacles that would have her silenced are at the core of Joan Bauer's new book, PEELED.

Bauer regularly writes about adolescents who work. Her Newbery Honor book HOPE WAS HERE is about a teen waitress. RULES OF THE ROAD features a young shoe salesperson. PEELED ambitiously takes on the subject of investigative reporting and responsible journalism.

The book is set in the community of Banesville, which has an economy almost entirely dependent on apple growers. Several bad harvests have the farmers and the town struggling. The mayor keeps promising a community redevelopment project without providing any details. The ensuing conflict --- pitting town farmers against the forces of commerce with an inevitable showdown against a bulldozer --- has a hint of melodrama some readers may have encountered before.

The story's villains --- a turban-wearing psychic, a muckraking journalist who goes by the name of Pen Piedmont, and an unscrupulous mayor --- are also stock characters from melodrama, as is the mysterious "haunted" house at the center of the controversy.

It is the other characters in the novel --- the "good guys" --- who make PEELED worth reading. Hildy's plucky heroism puts her in the company of other teenage sleuths. What makes her unique is her methods of investigation and reporting. Her extensive research and interviewing techniques provide excellent models for effective and responsible investigative journalism.
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