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The Manny Files Hardcover – March 7, 2006

22 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-8–Third-grader Keats Dalinger is thrilled when his parents hire a male nanny for him and his three sisters. Matthew, the manny as he wishes to be called, quickly wins over Keats. Fourth-grader India and three-year-old Mirabelle also delight in his comical antics and unconventional attitude. Not so with seventh-grader Lulu, who is horrified by the babysitter's eccentric behavior. She begins recording everything he does in a secret diary dubbed The Manny Files. Keats is worried, since Lulu's earlier complaints led to the firing of previous caregivers. In addition, Keats faces problems at school. His teachers constantly compare him to brainy Lulu, and a classmate constantly taunts him. When Lulu finally presents her evidence against the manny in a mock family trial, Keats leaves his fears and shyness behind and quickly defends him. Their parents consider the evidence and present a ruling that pleases everyone. A gentle background story hints at the developing relationship between Matthew and the children's Uncle Max, which gives the family something else to celebrate. This book not only portrays loving family relationships, but also shows how to deal with bullies through self-acceptance and an understanding of human nature. Whether read for entertainment or for beginning a discussion on bullying, this book will find a wide audience.–Linda L. Plevak, Saint Mary's Hall, San Antonio, TX
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Gr. 6-9. The latest in a long string of nannies for the Dalinger family turns out to be a man (nameless until the very end), who makes creative lunches and wears costumes when seeing the kids off at the bus stop. Older sister Lulu, who records the manny's various endeavors in a notebook, is convinced that his peculiarities will oblige the kids to seek analysis when they're older. Main character Keats, on the other hand, is awestruck by the manny's many talents and quickly bonds with him, as do the other members of the family. Eventually, however, Lulu calls for a family trial, which puts the manny's future with the Dalingers in doubt. The story is both warm and funny. Keats' encounters with his teacher, Ms. Grant; the manny's mention of things he plans to do "next year" (being Sarah Jessica Parker's personal shopper); and the subtly presented but growing relationship between Matthew (the manny) and Keats' beloved uncle Max add both depth and delight to the family story. Cindy Welch
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 and up
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (March 7, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 141690039X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416900399
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 1 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,689,892 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Tatiana on March 5, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Eloise wishes she had the Manny. Christian Burch's book is a delightful romp with the babysitter we all wish we'd had. Reading this book aloud to my kids (ages 16, 13, 10 and 5)at the dinner table, everyone found something hilarious about the exploits of the Dalinger family. If some of the allusions are a bit beyond some young readers, the discussions such questions elicit add to the enjoyment. From Liberace to clothes valets, the kids asked about things and subsequently we all appreciated the book a lot more.

Adults will also surely enjoy this read and wish that our lives had a little more time to live as vividly as the Manny.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By TAGalong on July 19, 2011
Format: Paperback
I picked this book up at the library, and before beginning to read, I checked the reviews on amazon. I like to see what others have had to say, and was thrilled that all 15 people who took the time to review the book gave it a five star rating. I couldn't wait to begin what looked to be a hilarious, not-to-be missed book. What a disappointment.

Other than the Manny himself, the characters were cardboard and uninteresting. While parts of the story made me smile, none of it was worth laughing aloud. I have read many middle-age books (as a teacher and a parent, I'm always looking for ones worth sharing), and have thoroughly enjoyed Michael Buckley's Sisters Grimm series, J.K.Rowling's Harry Potter books, Brandon Mull's Fablehaven series, Lene Kaaberbol's Shamer series, Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games series, and many others. This book seems to have been written with the purpose of promoting tolerance, which is, of course, a good thing. But I found the story boring and the characters flat.

More than one reviewer commented that he or she personally knows the author. I wonder if several of the others do too. Not the worst book I've read, by far, but definitely not a 5-star story.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Richard Traverzo on April 27, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I read this book in a day, it was so funny that I couldn't wait to read the next page. I wish I had a Manny growing up, it took me years to remember to be interesting (Read this book and you'll understand what that means). I would recommend this book to anyone who needs to understand the word family. This guy neds to write another book!!!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By S. G. O. on August 25, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I am a psychotherapist and an avid reader. The author's aunt sent me a copy of The Manny Files to see what I thought about it. My husband and I both read it and loved it. It is such an entertaining and well-written book that we purchused 6 more copies to send to family and friends, children and adults. The author captures and describes the childrens' feelings accurately and with a lighthearted touch. It is very uplifting, so it is also perfect for people who are ill or recovering from surgery. We even have a copy for houseguests to read. So far, EVERYONE has said what a great book it is. No one can believe this was the author's first book. We can't wait for his next book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on April 1, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is what every realistic fiction fan has been waiting for: a story about Mary Poppins, male version. Funny, gross and sad at different times, this book can induce giggles, groans or tears, sometimes simultaneously. Knowing the author and a couple of the characters personally just enhances the experience of the book, giving it a whole new level. Such a good book. Can't wait for the movie and the sequal.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By grrlpup on September 8, 2006
Format: Hardcover
It was refreshing to read a kids' book in which the parents were not fuddy-duddies or oppressive or bland nonentities. Yes, it's the manny who brings a lot of silly fun to the kids' lives, Mary Poppins style, but the parents aren't above enjoying it. The family dynamics bring a warm, loving note to the book, too. A family hasn't been this comforting and engaging to read about since the Anastasia Krupnik books, or before that, Elizabeth Enright's Melendy family.

The innocent voice of the eight-year-old narrator has a few bobbles-- things an eight-year-old really would have known, like the word "finances"-- but for the most part, it's the voice of a real kid who just happens to like clothes valets and penny loafers. According to Keats, the world pretty much revolves around Keats, and the narrative remains at his level. The book is delightfully gay, playing on a particular gay culture like "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy," but like that show it is completely devoid of preaching about being gay. It's a celebration of the characters as individuals and of the fun and the challenges of being a kid.

One of the best books I've read this year.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Catalina Jimenez on April 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover
i am 16 and i LOVED this book. Keats was a curious little guy and it was fun to share the experience wtith him wether its the tradegdy of having a family membor dying or dealing with other siblings. He is such a great charector!!!! The nanny is also very delightful. I love that he was gay though i kind of suspected though.Plus keats acted like it was no big deal,that he was gay which is how everyone should act. Trust me i would rate this book like a 1000000 on a scale of 1 to ten. Its not only for kids i would recomend this book to adults also. BUY IT!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michele Lee on September 22, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is the first book that my daughter who is 11 has ever willingly finished. It was one of the choices for her required reading over the summer. She read it aloud to us at night and the book is laugh-out-loud funny. I caught my husband (who is also not a reader) reading a few chapters ahead after she went to bed one night. I was so happy when I just noticed that the author has another book. Can't wait to read that one!
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