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on November 16, 2001
This was one of the best books that I have ever read. I had to read this book for a school project and I did not really want to do this book but it was that or some [...]book. So I chose this book. THis book is about girl named Marcy who has the most horrible life that anyone could imagine. Her father is abusive, she is a dork at school. She has had quite a few acne attacks. She is very smart but she hates school because of gymclass because she is very fat and doesnot like changing into her gymsuit. The only good thing is that her best friend is the most popular girl in school but only because thier moms are on the PTA together. That all changes when she gets a teacher named Ms. Finney who makes school fun and makes lfe better for marcy. One day Ms. Finney got suspended for no t sayindg the Pledge of Alligence but only because the principal and everyone else did not like her teaching methods. They dispised her. Because she was weird. The rest is all history and you will have to buy the book from Amazon.com because they have a great price. P.S. The old cover was way better. Where she was sitting on the green porch. Because the book did not have anything to do with a cat. So that was a stupid cover idea.
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on February 23, 2000
THE CAT ATE MY GYMSUIT By Paula Danziger
I had just read this book a year ago, when I was in seventh grade. I really liked "The Cat ate my Gymsuit". I thought it dealt with a lot of real life problems that most teenagers deal with. It was about a girl in seventh grade named Marcy, who was overweight, had a lot of acne, and had barely any friends. In gym class she made up excuses why she couldn't play gym, because she didn't want to change in front of everyone else, because she thought she was fat. She also hated her dad because he always made fun of her, and makes her mom cry. Until one day at school, their class had a new teacher who turned Marcy's life around. But the other teachers didn't like her teaching method and try to fire her. The students try to fight to save her. This was a really good book. I would read it again if I could. I would also recommend this book to be in classrooms everywhere!
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on October 17, 1999
"The Cat ate my gym suit" by Paula Danzinger, was a fabulos book.The book was full of laughter and real events happing today in Amerca. Some parts of the book were a bit exagerated but very true. In the story, a young girl named Marcy Lewis feared she was too fat and ugly to get a boyfriend went on a long rollar coster of events that changed her life. Marcy was having problems at home, hre dad verbally abused both her and her brother. Marcy's mother never defended her in fear that her and her husband may end up in a fight, although she did not aprove of this type of behavior.The only people Marcy felt she had left that she could talk to was her friend Nancy and her younger brother Stuart, until Ms. Barbra Finney, her new English teacher came along. Ms. Finney helped Marcy relize that her life has a perpose and that she shouldn't be afraid to express herself around others. Marcy's new self- confidence not only landed her a boyfriend, named Noel but also a date to the dance. Then when Marcy thought her new found life at school was headed on the right track, the unthinkable happend Ms. Finney was suspended from her work. When Marcy decided to stand up for Ms. Finney her mom was behind her all the way but ofcourse her father was not, which caused friction at home. Marcy too was suspended. Things didn't turn out the way Marcy or Ms. Finney would have like them to, but in the end Marcy used her new knowledge to keep her head up high and not be ashamed, and so he did woth out Ms. Finney. I would recommend this book to a girl my age most definatly or even a teacher whose up for a good laugh and some sad moments. Over all this was an awsome book and i rate it 4 stars!
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I read this book over fifteen years ago, and remember it as vividly as yesterday.
Marcy is a well-rounded protagonist, and not just literally. However, as a teenager, she sees herself -- her self-image -- as one of her biggest problems.
There is SO much more to this story than Marcy's grey sweatshirt!
She is lucky enough to not only have a supportive (albeit kinda weak-willed) mother, an adoring little brother, good friends, and a teacher who teaches her about SELF-esteem.
I came across this title when looking for Paula Danziger and hope to find grown-up books by her. If I *can't* find any, though, I will happily reread all the kids' books again. Absolutely delightful -- I would have done well with a Ms. Finney if I'd been so blessed.
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on March 29, 2000
This is the book to read. It was written by Paula Panziger. the book is about this thirteen year old girl name Marcy, she feels bad and has low self a steem, because her parents tell her she's fat and ugly. Suddendly, things become better for Marcy. Their was this new teacher at Marcy school whose name was Ms. Finney. she was an new English teacher and Marcy and her fellow students thought she was great. She didn't teach, act, or dress like a normal teacher. Ms. Finney only taught stuff she believed in and thought to be true. One morning during the pledge Ms. finney didn't believe in one of the lines so she told the class how she felt. The Principal found out and fired Ms. Finney. All the kids were really angry with their principal Mr. Stone for firing Ms. Finney. They thought she was the best teacher because she made them all feel better about the selfs and all of the things she taught them. The kids decided not to let her go without a fight. If you want to find out what happen to Ms. Finney, you'll have to read the book. "The Cat Ate My Gymsuit" I highly recommend it.
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on September 8, 2011
I read this book for the first time when I was about young teen in the mid-1980s. I loved it, though I thought even back then it felt a bit dated. Taking into consideration the historical and social climate of the time (early 1970s), this book deals with broader themes of self-esteem, trust, friendship, belief in one's values and the courage of one's personal convictions. For these reasons, the book can be a very valuable tool for Middle Schoolers. IMO, elementary school children might be too young to grasp some of these themes.

Story summary: this book is about an English teacher, Ms. Finney, who treats her students like young people who have the ability to think for themselves, rather than as mindless drones. Her non-traditional teaching methods of combining improv, group therapy and playing games are effective and perfect for grabbing the attention of the bright middle schoolers in this book.

The major conflict in this story lies in the relationship between the administration's old ways and this young teacher's "radical" newer ideas. This includes Ms. Finney's manner of dress, her use of the title "Ms." and her refusal to say the Pledge of Allegiance which were all considered controversial in this school's conservative, pre-woman's lib climate. The teacher-administration relationship closely mirrors that of the main character, Marcy, in her own struggles to stand up to her oppressive father.

A great read which goes beyond the story; the reader gets to see the transformation of many of the main characters in surprising ways.

Caution: as a parent be prepared to explain terms like "sex fiend" and lax rules regarding underage drinking/smoking to your child.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon April 12, 2012
I sort of get where the appeal is here. I get it that the idea is for the reader to identify with the heroine's "teen angst", but everything is so mild there's not much there, there. There's also not a lot of insight and the character development is pretty predictable, so I'm not persuaded that a reader will get much from the book apart from the thrill of recognition. That may just be that what was borderline outrageous in 1974 isn't quite so shocking and upsetting now, or that we don't value earnestness as much now as we used to.

That said, sometimes validation and the encouragement that you are not alone is what a teen reader needs and wants, and is enough. So, I sort of think of this as a "problem" novel, where the problems are pretty mild. And, I certainly think there is room for teen problem novels where the problems don't include vampires and werewolves, and the book never once describes a pair of shoes by brand name..
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon September 4, 2003
THE CAT ATE MY GYMSUIT is a young adult novel directed towards females, though males who read the book with an open mind may find they enjoy it as well.

The story is told from the perspective of Marcy Lewis. Marcy Lewis is thirteen, in the ninth-grade, and thinks she looks like a blimp. Marcy has a father who yells a lot and usually doesn't have many kind words to say. Marcy does well in school, but is very shy and bashful. Then one day Marcy's class gets a new English teacher, Ms. Finney. Ms. Finney is unlike any teacher the students have ever had: she doesn't dress the same as the other teachers, she doesn't act the same as the other teachers, she doesn't teach the same as the other teachers. However, Ms. Finney's unorthodox teaching methods and strong beliefs eventually lead to her suspension. Finney's suspension causes the students to plan a rebellion and Marcy becomes one of the leaders. The turmoil at school leads to greater tension at home and Marcy has to decide whether to support Ms. Finney or agree with her father and, "Learn to play by the rules."

While reading THE CAT ATE MY GYMSUIT, I couldn't but help compare the book to the movie DEAD POET'S SOCIETY. There are some major differences between the two pieces, yet there are also some striking similarities. Anyone who has ever seen DEAD POET'S SOCIETY can appreciate the central message that is conveyed and the story that is told in THE CAT ATE MY GYMSUIT. Both pieces have a lot to say about the impact that one good teacher can have upon a student's life. Teaching really is a noble profession.
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on February 24, 2000
THE CAT ATE MY GYMSUIT By Paula Danziger
I had just read this book a year ago, when I was in seventh grade. I really liked "The Cat ate my Gymsuit". I thought it dealt with a lot of real life problems that most teenagers deal with. It was about a girl in seventh grade named Marcy, who was overweight, had a lot of acne, and had barely any friends. In gym class she made up excuses why she couldn't play gym, because she didn't want to change in front of everyone else, because she thought she was fat. She also hated her dad because he always made fun of her, and makes her mom cry. Until one day at school, their class had a new teacher who turned Marcy's life around. But the other teachers didn't like her teaching method and try to fire her. The students try to fight to save her. This was a really good book. I would read it again if I could. I would also recommend this book to be in classrooms everywhere!
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on April 13, 2005
This story takes place in the present, at a middle school The reason why this story is important is because It's about a awesome teacher at a middle school. The reason why I think It's important is because it's a teacher losing her job.

The book is mostly about a teacher named Ms. Feeney losing her job because she did not do her pledge. And now her students Joel, Nancy, Marcy are really trying their best to help her get her job they are fighting for her. They are getting suspended for what they are doing, and they really don't care.

In my opinion the book the cat ate my gym suit was a wonderful book. I really loved it. Its now one of the best books I ever read, the good thing about it is the way the kids act about their teacher being fired and how they fight for her. I would really recommend this book because It is a very cool and awesome book.
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