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Sean Griswold's Head Hardcover – March 1, 2011

78 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“In a rather impressive feat, Leavitt manages to take a painful family crisis and make one girl's reaction to it genuinely guffaw-worthy, even adding a bit of romance for kicks. With her self-deprecating wit and nearly OCD organizational skills, Payton is positively endearing. Leavitt capably handles the issues of chronic illness with sensitivity, making this an insightful, humorous, and ultimately uplifting family drama.” ―BCCB

“Payton is likable and the writing brisk and amusing…Complex, significant issues are raised.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“A balanced proportion of comedy and gravity... refreshing and realistic without being overwrought with angst.” ―School Library Journal

“Leavitt tucks in lines like 'I don't do spandex. The devil wears spandex. And I doubt the devil's butt is as big as mine' while bringing her protagonist around to acceptance and repaired relationships... the formula is tried-and-true.” ―Booklist

About the Author

LINDSEY LEAVITT is a former elementary school teacher. She married her high-school lab partner and now lives in Nevada with her husband and three little girls. She is also the author of Princess for Hire.


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 640L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens (March 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1599904985
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599904986
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,579,287 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Lindsey Leavitt is a former elementary school teacher and present-day writer/mom to three (mostly) adorable girls. They live in a pink house in Las Vegas, Nevada. She is the author of the PRINCESS FOR HIRE trilogy, SEAN GRISWOLD'S HEAD, GOING VINTAGE, & THE CHAPEL WARS.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Fifteen-year-old freshman Payton Gritas is a straight-A student and basketball player with a great best friend and loving parents, but her world falls apart when she discovers her parents have kept a huge secret from her for months. Her father has multiple sclerosis. Payton is furious that her parents shared her father's diagnosis with her two older brothers but not her. She is also fearful about what MS will do to her father. Can he continue work as a dental surgeon? And what about basketball? He has played it his whole life, including on a college team, and taught the game to Payton, but MS is making it increasingly hard for him to play. And what if MS actually kills him?

Payton's drops out of basketball, which she feels too guilty playing when her father can't, lets her grades drop, and refuses to talk to her parents. As her silence drags on, her mother insists that Payton talk to the counselor at her school. Payton reluctantly agrees but struggles with the "focusing" exercise the counselor assigns. She wants Payton to choose something to concentrate on that she has no emotional investment in and write detailed reactions and feelings about this "focus object" in a journal in order to work up to eventually being able to face her feelings about her father's illness.

While ignoring a video in biology class, Payton is struggling to come up with a focus object when Sean Griswold, who has sat in front of her since third grade because his name appears before hers alphabetically, turns and remarks that he has trouble focusing on videos in class. Payton suddenly decides this is a sign. She should write about Sean Griswold. Specifically the part of him she knows best, his head, which has been blocking her view of the teacher for years.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Hannah @ Paperback Treasures on September 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I'd heard basically only great things about Sean Griswold's Head, and I loved the idea, so I was really excited to read this one. However, I was pretty disappointed. I still love the idea - the whole thing with the Focus Object is hilarious and adorable, and that ended up being what I most enjoyed reading about; Sean's head as Payton's Focus Object, how that turns into romance, etc. The romance is cute - I loved Payton and Sean together.

The writing is good, too. I was especially impressed by Payton's PFEs/journal entries - often, journal entries in books seem fake to me, but in Sean Griswold's Head, they're realistic, and Payton's voice is authentic and funny.

I know, this all sounds positive, and in the beginning, I did like this book, but after a while Payton got on my nerves. The characters are my main problem in this book. It's not that they're badly-written or anything like that, I just didn't like them as people. At times I could relate to Payton, but most of the time she annoyed me - she's so selfish and melodramatic! The way she reacts to finding out her dad has MS is strange - she doesn't think at all about how it affects her dad, just about herself. I didn't get Payton's character - at times she's the social-activist-type, then she's a normal teenager thinking about unimportant stuff. She's so patronizing of anyone who's different from her, making fun of Sean for riding his bike to school and hating Sean's friend because he only wears black. I didn't get why she made the decisions she made, and I just couldn't connect with her.

Jac is just as annoying as Payton.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tara Gonzalez on August 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Sean Griswold's Head is an adorable and hilarious contemporary with just the right amount of serious-ness and I wouldn't expect any less from Lindsey Leavitt.

Like with her MG books, Princess for Hire, Lindsey Leavitt manages to create a protagonist is relatable and flawed in the perfect way. I loved Payton and I thought her struggle with her father's illness and the way her family chose to deal with it was exceptionally done and I really felt for her. I thought her use of Sean Griswold's head as her focus object was awesome and certainly made for some hilarious situations. UH and the first page had her shopping for planners. The very first page. I am a planner addict. This girl is my new BFF, along with Anna from Anna and the French Kiss (I loveeeeee old French movies).

And speaking of Sean Griswold - I am absolutely in love. His character is adorable and his relationship with Payton reminded me a lot of my high school days - those cute, awkward conversations that you just want to dissect over and over again.

I thought the story and character development throughout Sean Griswold's Head was timed perfectly. It wasn't moving too slowly and it wasn't moving too fast. I felt like some of the side characters weren't fully fleshed out, but I didn't care enough about them to care about it, really.

Overall, I loved Sean Griswold's Head. Lindsey Leavitt knows how to write the funny, romantic, cute, yet serious very well. There were a ton of hilarious moments throughout the book and I'll definitely be re-reading it in the future. I recommend it to any fan of contemporary YA and anyone in need of a pick-me-up.
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