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The Black Sheep Hardcover – May 2, 2007

9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 7–10—Fifteen-year-old Kendra, an only child, has grown up in a sterile and highly controlled Manhattan household. As she sees it, her distant parents, both bankers, are simply grooming her to assume their overprogrammed urban lifestyle. Frustrated, she enters and wins an essay contest that qualifies her to be a costar on a reality show, The Black Sheep, in which she changes places with a West Coast girl from a completely different type of family. The Mulligan household consists of a pair of aging hippies and their six children, one of whom is an attractive boy with a passion for saving threatened sea otters—a cause that Kendra quickly adopts. She discovers that it is difficult to be an amorous activist—and nearly impossible to find your true self—when you're being tailed 24/7 by a camera crew and a pushy producer. Light, predictable, happy-ending fare without much fizz.—Jeffrey Hastings, Highlander Way Middle School, Howell, MI
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Fifteen-year-old Kendra Bishop is so fed up with her boring, New York banker parents and their desire to turn her into a mini version of themselves that she writes away to the reality show The Black Sheep in hopes of trading her life with some other unhappy teen. Kendra is shipped off to Monterey to live with a hippie family devoted to saving otters, while their daughter, Maya, gets to live the cultured life she has always craved in Manhattan. A culture clash ensues, pushed to the max by the ominipresent producer, Judy, who is in charge of making sure there is drama (and if there isn't, she edits the footage). The story drags when it's about the otters, for whom Kendra develops a deep affinity. It picks up when Kendra and Maya's brother, Mitch, get together, break apart, and get together. This is all hilariously over the top (though it's unfortunate that Judy, the pushy producer, has a Jewish last name). The authors have the reality-show shenanigans down pat, and there are some sharp takeoffs of folks like Dr. Phil. Au courant. Cooper, Ilene
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 18 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion; First Edition edition (May 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1423101561
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423101567
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,355,718 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on April 25, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The only thing Kendra Bishop wanted from her parents was for them to accept her the way she is. Kendra is just not the workaholic, marathon-obsessed, art freak like her parents. She wanted them to notice her a little. But who knew that her wish would sort of come true, when a TV crew shows up on her doorstep, congratulating her for being picked for the new reality show Black Sheep, which takes two unhappy teens and then makes them live with the others' family. So now instead of just her parents noticing her, the entire world will.

But Kendra doesn't even know how she got selected. Okay, maybe she does, but it was only a mistake. She didn't mean to write a long letter about her horrible life and the bad way her parents treat her. She didn't mean to make them sound like they were crazy and then send it in to the show. She didn't mean to make her letter sound so dramatic, but that's the only thing reality shows thrive on--DRAMA. Of course her parents wouldn't go for it, right?

Kendra should already know to expect the unexpected, because now Kendra is on her way to Monterey, California, to switch lives with Maya Mulligan, who is tired of her spirit-loving, animal-saving, hippie parents. Now Kendra's new world is just too much to handle, living with Max and Mona, her new parents, a stealing ferret, and five kids. It's not exactly what she's used to.

To make matters worse, she meets Mitch Mulligan, the oldest son in the Mulligan family. The very hot guy that Kendra now has to live with, the guy that wants nothing to do with the show, since he thinks it is ridiculous, which also drags Kendra along with it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By LeaB on July 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I'm eighteen, and I greatly enjoyed this book. At first, I was a little uneasy about a novel starring a fifteen-year-old protagonist, but it definitely went above and beyond my expectations. The storyline is a bit predictable, yes, but much of YA is. However, I found myself connecting with Kendra and enjoying every minute of her story. I felt her joy and her embarrassment, as well as her disinclination to share her possessions (I'm an only child too). The reality show angle is pretty unique--this isn't your run-of-the-mill "One Summer I Met a Hot Guy and We Fell Into a Wuv so Twu" story. It's funny, it's interesting, and the characters are great to watch. It only took me a day to read, but "The Black Sheep" was definitely worth it.
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By Angie on June 23, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
The Black Sheep was completely unexpected, but I absolutely adored it! In a fit of anger, Kendra writes a lengthy letter to an upcoming TV show ranting about her parents' detailed plans for her life. Every second of her day is scheduled with some class or lesson to groom her into a banker like them, leaving no room for Kendra to explore her own interests. The worst part? They're not even around to see their plans put to work! When they're not working, they're running marathons all over the continent! Well, Kendra has been selected to switch lives with a teen from a hippie family, and soon she's the center of a huge controversy (or two!).

The Black Sheep was so much fun! I think I'm going to be a fan of these behind the scene type stories. I'm sure we all know that reality TV isn't totally real, and Kendra's story is no different. The producer twists just about everything Kendra says to get more ratings! Kendra wasn't exactly the most interesting person to begin with thanks to her parents' micromanagement, but Judy manages to cause quite the ruckus when Kendra gets involved in her host family's cause to save the Southern Sea Otter!

I do have the say that the plot of The Black Sheep did feel preachy in places. Kendra gets deeply involved in saving otters, especially when an exclusive golf course decides to move one of their holes right next to a cove where the little critters live. Luckily, I'm all about environmentalism and saving animals, so I loved it! However, I can see some readers feeling like they're being beaten over the head with the message to protect our oceans. It's a very large part of Kendra finding where her interests lie, and it's the catalyst for the romance.

I just really adored The Black Sheep.
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By Lynnea on February 3, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Kendra has had it! Her parents have only ever cared about themselves and training her mind. She has never been able to just do fun things that other kids get to do like swimming lessons and parties. She had music lessons and math camp and going to various art museums with her mother (otherwise known as Torture Day). She is just so picked on!!. Then the straw that broke the camel's back, they fired her nanny, Rosa, the only person that truly knew Kendra and let her be a child. So in her fit of anger she wrote a letter to Black Sheep the TV show and begged to be put on the show.

Fame is not all it seems when she opens the door to a "too happy" producer and two cameramen. She is whisked off to California to live with an actual family. She is going to have siblings and do all the fun things there are for kids. Her new family, the Mulligan's, couldn't be more different. First she has to share a room with a 10 year old, meals are eaten together with Everyone, and they have a ferret that likes to steal her stuff. The whole family is involved in the sea otter rescue at the local aquarium and Kendra is expected to participate. Things can only get better when Kendra finds a cause and a guy worth fighting for.....

This was a cute YA romance. Of course everything can and will go wrong and I always enjoy the end of the story when everything is made right and every ones feelings are taken care of. This story didn't disappoint. Girl likes boy, girl does stupid things hoping boy will like girl, girls misreads boy, everything blows up and hopefully girls can make it better (only in this story the everything blows up is taken on a public, national level).

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