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Suite Scarlett Paperback – May 1, 2009


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Series: Suite Scarlett (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Point; Reprint edition (May 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0545096324
  • ISBN-13: 978-0545096324
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #702,262 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 8 Up—The Martin clan is an unusually eccentric family, even by New York City standards. Scarlett's parents own and run the Hopewell, a small, rundown, historic hotel in the heart of the city in this novel by Maureen Johnson (Scholastic, pap. 2009). According to family "rules," upon turning 15, each sibling is given a hotel suite to care for, along with any guests booked into that particular room. By the luck of the draw, Scarlett's first "client" is Mrs. Amberson—a former actress and world traveler with a penchant for running other peoples' lives and an amazingly egocentric view of the universe. By the time the woman is finished with the Martins, every member of the family will have experienced a life changing and positive event. Jennie Stith's little girl voice seems a tad young for Scarlett, and her breathy delivery becomes wearing after a while. This, coupled with the book's implausible plot and minimally developed characters makes it a marginal purchase.—Cindy Lombardo, Cleveland Public Library, OH
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* The Hopewell Hotel, 75 years ago a stylish Upper East Side haunt, has fallen on hard times. Its proprietors, the Martin family, have let the last remaining employee go, and now it’s up to the four children, Spencer, Lola, Scarlett, and Marlene, to keep things afloat. Enter one Mrs. Amy Amberson, a flamboyant, mysterious guest, back in New York after a long absence, with some clandestine motives. Mrs. Amberson is to occupy the Empire Suite, just today entrusted to Scarlett as a “present” on her fifteenth birthday (a family tradition), for the entire summer, and keeping her happy will test Scarlett’s ingenious mettle. What follows is some utterly winning, madcap Manhattan farce, crafted with a winking, urbane narrative and tight, wry dialogue. Beneath the silvered surface, Johnson delivers a complex sibling relationship. Like the Hilary McKay’s Casson quartet, first introduced in Saffy’s Angel (2002), these siblings are bound by tender, poignant connections, all the more real for the absurdity of their circumstances. We can only hope that they, too, return for more intrepid adventures. Grades 7-12. --Thom Barthelmess --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

Maureen Johnson was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Like a lot of people who end up writing books, she was always reading. This paid off in the end, but also resulted in her not playing any sports, so she is spectacularly uncoordinated, and is easily injured by harmless household objects, like endtables.

She studied writing and theatrical dramaturgy at Columbia University. Before she could spend all her days writing, Maureen served up hamburgers in the company of mad scientists and talking skeletons in New York, tended bar in Piccadilly Circus, nervously worked alongside live tigers in Las Vegas, and once got mixed up with the entire cast of a major West End musical.

Maureen lives in New York City, and when she is not writing, spends her time in a relentless pursuit of the perfect cup of coffee. If you know where it is, get in touch with her at once.

Customer Reviews

The book has an original, fresh plot and is very well written with characters well-developed.
Shania
I've been wanting to read this for a long time, I've read a couple of Maureen's books before and I've either really liked or loved each one.
Vintage Bookworm
It's a quick and fun read, and I'd recommend it to just about anyone, especially those looking for a funny book.
Valerie

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

60 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Little Willow on April 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Welcome to the Hopewell Hotel. We offer clean suites, delicious food (sometimes burnt), free entertainment (that the owners don't know about), and service with a smile.

Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson has family values. Rather, it values family: The Hopewell has been passed down through the Martin family for generations. The current owners are struggling to keep it going, and their children readily pitch in to help. Well, "readily" is relative - no pun intended. There's Spencer, the oldest at nineteen, an actor skilled at comedy and pratfalls; Lola, a recent high school graduate whose rich boyfriend can give her everything she wants - except that which matters most; Scarlett, the Suite's sweet protagonist; and Marlene, the youngest, who has no problem saying what she likes and what she doesn't. On his or her fifteenth birthday, each Martin gets a suite to care for. The book begins with Scarlett turning fifteen, getting assigned the Empire Suite, and finding out just how tight things are getting in the hotel. "We'll get by," her father says. "We always do."

And they do. I really enjoyed the family dynamic in this book. Spencer and Scarlett are close, as are Marlene and Lola. They all get along, but Scarlett's bond with her brother is stronger than that with either of her sisters. Thus, a large part of Scarlett's story also belongs to Spencer. He put a culinary scholarship on hold to pursue his acting, and his parents gave him a year to become a working actor or buckle down for school. With that year almost up, Spencer is anxious for something to come his way that pays him (to make his parents happy) and challenges him (to make him happy), so he's thrilled to when he gets the opportunity to be in a production of Hamlet. Spencer has such a good heart.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Liv's Book Reviews on August 15, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I've never been a huge fan of Maureen Johnson's. I know, it's a crime. It's just that none of the books of hers that I've read have made much of an impression on me. I do admit that she's a good writer and has some great story ideas, but out of the books I've read so far, I didn't really like them enough to say that she's one of my favorite authors. But, I think that may have changed after I read this book. While reading I thought to myself; this must be the kind of Maureen Johnson writing that has made people fall in love with her. It's really good! She's witty, precise, clever, funny, and her whole writing style made this book completely enjoyable to read. It's got nice flow and has enough little quirky things to it that nothing ever gets boring. I'm definitely understanding what people like so much about Maureen. I'm a fan now. Besides the writing, there were, of course, other elements that I liked about the book. I really liked the reality of it all. Maybe not the reality of the plot, because I have a feeling that that part was meant to be not so real and more funny and captivating, but I really liked how the author was able to write about the setting and the characters so that it felt as if you were there and you knew them. I've been to New York once, like five years ago so I don't really remember a ton, but from reading this book I was able to understand the whole dynamic and feel of the city which was cool. I'd love to be able to go and spend a week or two among the crazy hecticness of New York. It seems like it would be a really cool place to live. And besides the setting, the characters were completely awesome. They each had some interesting personality trait that made them unique. I also liked how the cute guy in this story had things wrong with him! Yay!Read more ›
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By The Compulsive Reader VINE VOICE on April 18, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Every 15th birthday in the Martin family is special. It is at this age that each of the Martin children has received suites in the family's Hopewell Hotel that they are responsible for. And on her birthday, Scarlett receives the Empire Suite, along with its new permanent guest, Mrs. Amberson. Mrs. Amberson is unconventional, exasperating, and demanding, and Scarlett resents that because of her, she can't get a regular summer job. But when Mrs. Amberson saves Scarlett's brother Spencer's show, a rendition of Hamlet, from certain disbandment, and insists on being a part of it, Scarlett doesn't quite mind so much. It would certainly bring her a lot closer to Eric, who is very good looking and just happens to be a part of the cast...

Suite Scarlet is quirky, fun, and oh so hilarious. Johnson's trademark engaging writing style, subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) humor, and intelligent lexicon will not fail to captivate readers once again. It's wonderfully refreshing to read about siblings that actually like each other, but are every bit as dysfunctional as the next family. The dynamics between Scarlett and Spencer especially are a delight to read, and their characters are wonderfully pragmatic and expressive. Mrs. Amberson is a sort of insane and intriguing enigma whose eccentricities and antics add just the right amount of pizzazz to the plot. Throw in each of the carefully presented details, from avid descriptions of Scarlett's family and friends, and crazy theatrical catastrophes, to bits of trivia from throughout the lives of the Martin family, and you have a comprehensive look at Scarlett's life, forging a connection between reader and protagonist that you won't want to sever...and you want have to; a sequel is already in the works. The release of Suite Scarlett has only reinforced Johnson's status as one of the top YA authors out there today.
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