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Spotting for Nellie Hardcover – April 1, 2010


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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 8 Up—In this follow-up to Returnable Girl (Marshall Cavendish, 2006), two sisters are in a car accident while on their way home from a party. The younger girl, Nellie, suffers a traumatic brain injury while Claire, 16, is physically unharmed, but far from fine. Having been jealous of her sister's talent as a gymnast, she now feels that the accident was entirely her fault. The story is told from the perspective of Claire, her friend Sid, her friend and romantic interest Adam, and Nellie's brain, which is imagined to have a consciousness of its own. These characters have their own problems (though the brain remains resolutely cheerful), and the multiple voices sometimes crowd the narrative. Sid is living with her grandmother and pining for her older boyfriend, a soldier in Iraq. Adam, or "Fish," is a social misfit still coming to terms with his own family tragedy. And the brain chirpily explains why Nellie has to relearn how to use a knife and fork and can't remember basic words. Though the number of life lessons gives the novel a message-laden tone, the straightforward writing and quick pace make it a good choice for reluctant readers. Heavy drinking and plenty of sexual references are included.—Eliza Langhans, Hatfield Public Library, MA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Top-level gymnastics and the teenage years come across as comparably challenging and perilous in Lowell’s second YA novel. After a confusing prologue that introduces a gymnast sister but doesn’t make clear which one, the book offers up a compelling picture of high-school kids in a coastal Rhode Island town. Told in short chapters from different points of view, the story focuses on two sisters, Claire and Nellie, and the fallout from a terrible car accident related to underage drinking. In a nice twist, one of the viewpoints is that of “Nellie’s brain,” who narrates from the comatose state and as Nellie relearns motor skills, communication, and self-control. A clinical social worker, Lowell nicely captures the way teens talk, think, and contend with multiple pressures. Her dialogue can get didactic—“change doesn’t have to be bad, though. Maybe the trick is having faith that some good will come out of it”—but the main characters prove very appealing and the story’s moral clarity may actually help young readers make better decisions. Grades 7-12. --Abby Nolan
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Skyscape (April 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761455833
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761455837
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 5.1 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,920,452 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Hi,
I'm a child and family therapist, adoption consultant,
parenting expert, and also an author.
My first book, Returnable Girl, won several awards including VOYA, QUICK PICKS, and IRA Young Adult Choices.
Survival Meditations for Parents of Teens is now available in the
Kindle store,(!) along with my second novel, Spotting for Nellie.
I'm also hard at work on my next book, Parenting with Pam,
and soon-to-be launched podcast by the same name.
My passion is providing information by writing
and speaking about universal
experiences which all families share
in order to help kids and families feel like they
are not alone.

You can learn more about me
on my website www.pamelalowell.com
Thanks so much!

Customer Reviews

I read the book within a couple of days.
KTWILD
It was a good book and I followed the story pretty well.
merrysmurf
It teaches a great lesson about your family.
Kayla Kinzler

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Hollie on December 9, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Good story was very heartfelt and relatable for a teenage audience. Definitely worth your time and a lot of surprises and unexpected twists which is always fun.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By csweezy on July 20, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I found the storyline to be absolutely wonderful and well researched. Being one who suffered a TBI and rebounded, and a gymnast I thought the book was a great read and couldn't put it down.
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Format: Hardcover
In this slightly patronizing second novel by licensed clinical social worker Pamela Lowell, two girls are involved in a car accident after a night of heavy drinking. Sixteen-year old Claire emerges unscathed, while her younger sister sustains a brain injury and falls into a coma. Claire blames herself utterly; she was driving, and her guilt is further fueled by the jealousy she has always felt for elite-gymnast Nellie, the unquestioned Golden Girl. Add to the mix the responsible best girlfriend Sid, former social outcast and now romantic interest Adam "Fish," and a cast of lesser characters, including the sisters' perpetually puzzled but earnest parents, and you have a fairly compelling story. Narrated from several points of view, including the pluckily optimistic voice of Nellie's brain, this novel is interesting in spite of Lowell's occasionally preachy tone.
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By Michelle Crone on February 5, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Of sisterhood and facing hardship. The characters were believable, and their individual stories touched my heart. I would recommend this book for many age groups.
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By Emily Bossung on May 21, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very emotional and heartwarming story! A must read for any other teenager. It shows strength, courage, trust, love, and faith.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was an easy read. A good read for teenagers because the situations are things teens are dealing with every day.
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By Nina B on February 28, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was absolutely incredible!! 5 stars all the way!!! Take it from me, a 13 year old teen, this was AWESOME! I recommend this to teen girls who are mature... Thank you Pamela Lowell for this great book! (This book first caught my eye because of the gymnastics). The ending gave me chills...I love it!!!!!!
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By Amazon Customer on February 18, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Started reading this on a Saturday afternoon and finished it on Monday evening...couldn't put it down! Different points of view made it that much more intriguing.
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