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The Rise and Fall of a 10th Grade Social Climber Paperback – May 30, 2005


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Paperback: 290 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (May 30, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618555196
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618555192
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,819,242 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up–Mimi Schulman, 15, relocates from Houston to Manhattan the summer before her sophomore year. She rekindles an old relationship with her childhood friend, Sam, and bets him that she will infiltrate the "Coolie" group and win their favor. She promises to keep a diary of this endeavor. Chaos ensues when Mimi betrays her friends new and old and she must ultimately seek redemption from her peers. Though the theme of finding acceptance and fitting in is catchy and contemporary, the characters behave more like stereotypical wealthy people at least twice their age with no consciences. The plot also lacks a key element–Mimi's journal is essentially her undoing, but readers are privy to only very select portions of it. Too little time is spent on revealing some of its secrets and too much concentration is given to vapid details of early-morning cocktails and Hamptons excursions. Fans of Cecily von Ziegesar's "Gossip Girl" series (Little, Brown) who are looking for an edgier read may enjoy this book, but, laced as it is with excessive drinking and adult language, it would most likely appeal to older teens.–Jennifer Feigelman, Plattekill Public Library, Modena, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Gr. 9-12. After her parents separate, Mimi Shulman, a former New Yorker transplanted to Texas, returns to the Big Apple to live with her sweet, clueless dad. Enrolled at the exclusive, trendy Baldwin School, she makes a bet with a longtime friend that she will get the coolest girls in tenth grade to accept her. Much to everyone's surprise, the Coolies take Mimi in, and she records their secrets and her true feelings for them in a diary. Over time, she begins to grow fond of them, and so when the diary (which contains unflattering pictures) is leaked on the Internet, she suffers not only the humiliation of being exposed but also genuine regret for her actions. Readers who have seen the movie Mean Girls will notice the strong similarities in the descriptions of high-school girls' cliques. It's the detail, though, that makes this an irresistible read: clothing, parties, music, trends are all captured to perfection, although these specifics will date quickly. Get this on your shelves now, while it's sure to please. Debbie Carton
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
5 star
9
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See all 15 customer reviews
I would recommend this book to anyone, teen and adult readers alike.
A. Menning
This book is different from most teen fiction because most teen fiction books have unrealistic endings or the main character has amazing good luck.
Susannah Gilbert
Best friend Sam bets Mimi that she can't become friends with the cool Baldwin girls.
Teen Reads

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Claire Nicolay on August 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
I graduated from highschool quite a while ago, but this book was a very, very fun read. Mimi has that perfect mix of insecurity and confidence that creates an engaging main character, and allows for the development of poignant relationships with the people surrounding her. By the fifth page, I wanted to meet her. By the last page, I wanted to be her friend. I highly recommend this book!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Susannah Gilbert on May 8, 2005
Format: Paperback
I read this book and found it fascinating! I would recommend this book to all teenagers. This book is different from most teen fiction because most teen fiction books have unrealistic endings or the main character has amazing good luck. In this book, the reader can relate to the character. This book was also suspenseful. I could not put it down, it was a page-turner. It influenced and inspired me for my first year in high school. Like any girl entering a new school, I was worried who I would hang out with. I am more comfortable and not as nervous now that I have read this book.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Chelsea on July 16, 2005
Format: Paperback
I picked up this book because it looked like it would be more intriguing than my usual diet of teenage trash/chick-lit, with a little edge.

However, as I progressed through the book, I found myself predicting the ending, what would happen to the characters, et cetera. The journal Mimi is forced to keep is also a big part of the plot, but there is almost journal content in the book.

I did like this book, because while it was predictable, it was enjoyable and I spent the better part of a day engrossed in Mimi's "rise and fall."
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By V-D on October 7, 2005
Format: Paperback
i was really surpised by this book. it was referred to me through a friend so i took it on vacation with me and read it. it was really great, i think that every teenage girl should read it, it holds a lot of lessons you can learn. the only thing i didnt like was the ending, i thought it would have been a little different. but overall i would recommend it.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Aaron Goldberg on May 30, 2006
Format: Paperback
I'm twice the age of the target audience (and male) but I devoured this in a single sitting. Best debut since Goodbye Columbus. I forever have a window into the soul of the teenage female (and i like the view!). Laughed so loud I disturbed my Brooklyn neighbors. It's the antidote to "Kids". Highly recommended for all ages and genders!
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By Kingham's Kids on May 12, 2009
Format: Paperback
Have you ever wanted more than anything to fit in with the popular crowd? This is how Mimi Schulman felt when her parents got divorced and forced her to move all the way from Texas to New York City. She will do all it takes to get to be friends with all of the most popular girls in school. In the book The Rise and Fall of a 10th Grade Social Climber, by Lauren Mechling, it takes you along with Mimi as she experiences all of the things that high school has to bring her. It all starts out with her old friend from elementary school, Sam Geckman. He takes her to one of his schools parties, and points out to her the popular and the non-popular people. She studies what they where and how they talk, and decides that she wants to be exactly like them. Sam and Mimi end up betting whether or not Mimi can get into the popular group by the end of the semester. Part of the best was that Mimi had to keep a "coolie diary". The "coolie diary" was a diary that Mimi wrote in every day to record her interactions with the popular group: Lily, Pia, Jess, and Vivian. I would rate this book a 9 because it shows how you can go from the bottom of the popularity scale all the way to the top, and then back again in just a matter of weeks. This book is realistic fiction.

I think that the author, Lauren Mechling, did a great job writing this book. I think this because she made it very realistic, it's not just another one of those books when everything turns out perfectly and happy. That is not how things work in real life. And even though the popular group is pretty and rich, they have flaws too. Mimi realizes that even though you are popular you are a real person with real problems. I would recommend this book to middle school students. It is a little inappropriate for younger kids, but it is at a perfect level for middle school. I really enjoyed reading this book, and I hope that other people will too.

~THW
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A. Weaver on May 23, 2006
Format: Paperback
If you like the Gossip Girl Series, then you will love this book.

MimiDeals with being the new kid at her new school in New York after her parents get divorced and she moves from Texas to live with her father. Follow her on her journey as she gets picked up dropped and picked up by the "A list" girls in the tenth grade.

Like I said, its similar to Gossip Girls, both are great reads for girls in thier mid to upper teens.
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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Teen Reads on June 28, 2005
Format: Paperback
High school is not easy for anyone, but it is especially difficult for Mimi Schulman, who leaves her mother in Houston to live with her father in New York. He is falling apart after the collapse of his marriage to Mimi's mother. Mimi had spent most of her teenage years just trying to blend in, and now she must learn the new rules to be accepted by her peers at the Baldwin School.

Best friend Sam bets Mimi that she can't become friends with the cool Baldwin girls. Mimi accepts Sam's bet, but soon finds out that the cool girls at Baldwin are very different from the blonde all-American types in Texas. At first she is just being friendly to Pia, Jess, Viv, and Lily because of the bet. She soon finds out that these rich, popular girls have secrets and family problems much worse than her own. Mimi eventually feels the bonds of real friendship forming and then the stakes become much higher. Her entire friendship is based on lies and deception. How would she ever face her friends again if they found out?

Lauren Mechling and Laura Moser are the authors of THE RISE AND FALL OF A 10th-GRADE SOCIAL CLIMBER. Lauren grew up in Brooklyn, New York and graduated from Harvard College. She writes a column for the New York Sun. Laura grew up in Houston, Texas, and graduated from Amherst College. She is also the author of a biography of Bette Davis. Lauren and Laura became friends 10 years ago when Laura shared her acne medication with Lauren in a restroom. They now live near each other in Brooklyn.

Every teen knows the feeling of wanting to belong and struggling to find their true identity. Thus, readers will quickly identify with Mimi Schulman and the richly drawn characters in THE RISE AND FALL OF A 10th-GRADE SOCIAL CLIMBER.
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