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Solving Zoe Hardcover – Bargain Price, April 21, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Solving Zoe is funny, fast-paced, smart, and totally absorbing, with a twist of intrigue that will keep you reading past bedtime. Barbara Dee's a terrific writer." -- Frances O'Roark Dowell

"...this vivid middle-school novel offers readers plenty to think about." -- Booklist

"Zoe's reactions are believable, and readers will follow along as she gains confidence and tries to figure out what she wants and where her passion lies." -- School Library Journal

A Girls Life magazine Top 100 Must Read!

About the Author

Barbara Dee is the author of the tween novels Just Another Day in my Insanely Real Life, Solving Zoe (2010 Bank Street Best Children's Books of the Year), This Is Me From Now On, and Trauma Queen. She lives with her family in Westchester County, New York. You can visit her on the web at www.BarbaraDeeBooks.com.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 640L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books (April 21, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416961283
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416961284
  • ASIN: B00CF6J62A
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.8 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,102,357 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Barbara Dee's fourth novel for tween readers, TRAUMA QUEEN (Aladdin MIX/Simon & Schuster) was published in April, 2011. She's thrilled that Discovery Girls magazine calls it "a laugh-out-loud look at family and friendship" and that Girls Life named it a "Must Read." Barbara is also the author of JUST ANOTHER DAY IN MY INSANELY REAL LIFE (Publishers Weekly starred review), SOLVING ZOE (2010 Bank Street Best Children's Books of the Year), and THIS IS ME FROM NOW ON. You can visit her on the web at www.BarbaraDeeBooks.com.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on April 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Gold Star Award Winner!

Zoe is eleven years old and has been going to the same school all of her life, Hubbard School.

This school isn't a regular school, but one for extraordinary students. Zoe's older sister and brother both go there, as well. Her sister is an amazing actress/singer and her brother is a math champion. Ever her little brother, Spencer, goes to pre-school there.

Zoe is having problems figuring out how she fits into the scheme of things at the school. Her grades are slipping and she and her best friend, Dara, are growing apart. Enter in a new student named Lucas. Lucas is weird, but he's also a code-reading genius. He takes a liking to Zoe and through some time spent together, Zoe finds out that she has a
code-reading gift, too.

I really loved this story about growing up and finding where you belong. I actually believe that we go through this process many times in our lives. Even when you get older you may find yourself at loose ends and have to find yourself all over again. I have been going through that process recently since I now have an empty nest.

Anyway, this story is great. The characters are very lovable and you wish they were your friends. Zoe's family is supportive and loving but can be annoying also, especially the two brothers. I found that to be very realistic.

If you want a good book that will both interest you and entertain you, then pick up SOLVING ZOE by Barbara Dee.

Reviewed by: Marta Morrison
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By middle school mom on May 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover
As a the mother of a middle school student, I like to read what my daughter is reading. I read Solving Zoe, and I absolutely loved it! I thought the characters were terrific, and I raced through the book the first time because I had to know how things were going to turn out for them. I loved the ending, but I don't want to write too much about it because it was very original and imaginative and I don't want to spoil it for anyone else. Then I read the book a second time, much more slowly, figuring out the codes that are found throughout the text -- fascinating! I think this book would make a fabulous gift for a middle schooler, and I very much recommend it!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. Hoffman on May 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Although this book is for teenagers I found it fascinating as an adult.
Barbara Dee's descriptions of her characters and their motives and thoughts were quite insightful and beautifully written.

The subject of the origin of codes and cyphers and the behavior of lizards was extremely interesting.

I think it is wonderful to be able to recommend this book to my teenaged grandchildren because is entertaining and educational.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Redlady on November 28, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Solving Zoe by Barbara Dee is an entertaining look at middle school life through the eyes of Zoe, a 12 year old girl who is in 6th grade at a private gifted school in New York. Zoe follows in the footsteps of her gifted sister who is is the drama queen of the family and usually gets the main parts in the school plays and her brother who is a math Olympiad genius. Zoe is figuring out how she fits in to the school and amongst the other kids including a distancing relationship with her long time best friend Dana. A new friendship develops with a boy new to the school, Lucas. He is different and many of the other kids don't like him. Lucas is a cryptanalyst and is able to decipher ciphers and hieroglyphics. Zoe finds his private notebook and is able to decipher some of the ciphers Lucas has written. This takes the story down a different path in which Zoe in which Lucas challenges her to be real and true to herself. He may go about it in a way that causes Zoe even more trouble at school and with her classmates. Zoe is responsible for pet sitting lizards and she learns that she must follow her own instincts when problems arise. There are many lessons Zoe learns along the way and I like that she learned that being different and not fitting in has its benefits. Zoe learns that it's important to be true to yourself and follow your instincts even when other kids challenge you to be the same as they are so that they will accept you. It takes a lot of maturity and strength to stand up to the "popular" crowd.

Solving Zoe is a wonderful example of middle school fiction at its best. The story is funny, entertaining and the characters are drawn with a depth and complexity that don't make them just superficial characters.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Minnie Mankita on August 19, 2009
Format: Hardcover
If you've ever had a very best friend in the whole wide world whose name came to be synonymous with your own but from whom you have grown apart, then you will be able to understand Zoe.
Zoe gets temporarily suspended from school because the mundaness of her classes leaves her so bored and disengaged that she spends her time doodling and developing her own color-number theory instead of paying attention. Then, to make things even worse a pet she was entrusted with watching almost dies.
Zoe is devastated. She feels that no one understands her -- not her family, or the kind but eccentric teachers at her school for gifted children -- only her best friend Dara could help. But where is Dara now that it's the worst day in Zoe's life. Where is Dara?
Dara's interests have broadened. She has landed an important part in a school play and has consequently developed other interests and friendships.
Zoe is left feeling jealous, betrayed and lost, like she has waded out from the shallow comfortable usualness of her life into the deep waters of change where she has been abandoned: unable to stay afloat on her own.
But out of hardship there is growth. By learning to trust in her own intuition, Zoe discovers herself. In an unsuspected relationship with another sixth grader, a brilliant boy who she at first thinks is just weird, Zoe realizes that she has superhuman powers of perception. She can see patterns in all sorts of things allowing her to decode cipers, codes and even an ancient Mayan glyph that has heretofore never been translated. And it is by trusting her own intuition despite being scolded by the animal's owner for having hyper pre-teenage sensational feelings that she realizes that she must act immediately and take this animal to the vet and in so doing she saves its life.
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