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The Secret Life of Amanda K. Woods Hardcover – April 21, 1998


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR); 1st edition (April 21, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374367027
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374367022
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.3 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,357,575 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This National Book Award finalist, set in 1950s Wisconsin, centers on an 11-year-old girl's coming of age. PW called her transformation "less dramatic than a butterfly's metamorphosis, but just about as impressive." Ages 10-14. (Oct.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-6AWhen her best friend, Lyle Leveridge, moves away, Amanda is convinced that she will never be happy again. Growing up during the 1950s in rural Wisconsin, she feels isolated and lonely. Her older sister Margaret is far too pretty and smart to be an ally, her mother holds herself aloof from the community, and her father is distant. Gradually, Amanda's luck changes-she makes a new friend, gains a French pen pal, does better at school, and forges a closer bond with her father. Despite some lovely moments, the slow-moving plot and lack of drama in Amanda's situation will discourage most readers. The writing sometimes sparkles but mostly drags. Many of the events strain credibility (the pen pal comes to visit despite Amanda's explicit plea not to; her father suddenly finds courage to disagree with his snobbish and controlling wife). Also, the cultural references (Pat Boone, Patti Page, Come Back, Little Sheba) will be meaningless to most young people. Cameron has written many excellent books for children, but this one has neither the voice nor the verve needed to succeed.ACyrisse Jaffee, formerly at Newton Public Schools, MA
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Ann Cameron has worked in publishing, as a university teacher and as a camp cook on a Mayan dig in Belize where boa constrictors climbed into the thatch of the roof to hunt mice at night. Ann has written a number of books for children and those for Transworld's Corgi Yearling imprint feature a small boy called Julian: JULIAN, SECRET AGENT, JULIAN, DREAM DOCTOR AND THE JULIAN STORIES.

Customer Reviews

If you want to read it, the book will be exciting for you.
Sayaka Arai
This book is especially enjoyable because of its characters and its extremely powerful theme, be yourself and don't allow other people to change you.
Randa Radwan
There very close and then Lyles mom decides to move to Montana.
Jessica

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Randa Radwan on December 3, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The Secret Life of Amanda K. Woods was written by Ann Cameron. I really enjoyed this book and I recommend it to people of all ages. This book is especially enjoyable because of its characters and its extremely powerful theme, be yourself and don't allow other people to change you. The Secret Life of Amanda K. Woods takes place a while ago more or less in 1954, in Rome, Wisconsin. Amanda is a 12-year-old girl who faces many problems to discover who she really is, what she should be, and why things are the way they are. Some of the problems she encounters will maybe never be clarified or solved. Like why her mother loves to change people and make them what she wants them to be, or why her sister is always depressed and mean to her. Although Amanda faces problems that make her sad she also deals with situations that allow her to discover her real self. The whole plot of this book revolves around the characters. In this book you find out about many different characters and their characteristics. I really liked reading about the characters, it is one of the reasons I enjoyed this book. Like Lydia Woods, Amanda's mother. She wants people to be who she wants them to be, especially her two daughters, Amanda and Margaret. Lydia wants her daughters to be everything she wasn't when she was growing up. She obligates her daughters, especially Margaret who is older, to do whatever she wants. She doesn't allow her daughters to give opinions on what they want to do. Lydia also excludes people if they are poor or not as socially high as they are. Margaret was raised by her mother, so she grew up to be who her mother wanted her to be and not what she wanted to be. Margaret gets depressed when she lets her mother down, she blames it all on Amanda.Read more ›
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
I am 14 and I loved this book, despite it being written for 4th grade-6th grade. I thought it was really cute and it was a peek inside the mind of such a REAL girl, who every girl can relate to in one way or another. Amanda, the main character isn't perfect, but she tries. She's often discouraged by her more than perfect older sister and her overly commanding and busy mother. Amanda identifies more with her father, but she's doubtful even he understands her problems, and she has a lot for a girl her age. This is such an enjoyable book to read, with a lot of imagination. It doesn't seem like a book as much as it does just seeing how this girl Amanda thinks. It's not a waste of your money, no matter how old you are. The reason I gave it 4 stars is because the up until almost the end I didn't know it was set in the 50s! The author could have made that much more clear. But other than that it was a good book and any girl will enjoy reading it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John on June 9, 2005
Format: Paperback
The Secret Life of Amanda K. Woods is an award-winning novel by Ann Cameron. Ann Cameron tells the story of an eleven-year-old girl named Amanda Woods, who doesn't quite want to be herself. Ever since the day Amanda Woods traded right hands with her best friend when he moved away, she knew things were going to change for her. There are some things in life you just can't change, like who your family is, but she is determined to change what she can. To begin with, she's not going to be just plain Amanda Woods anymore, she's going to be Amanda K. Woods: someone who is proud and confident about herself. There is more to Amanda than anyone else can see, and there are things about Amanda that even she herself doesn't know yet. With the help of a new friend, Amanda begins to find the secret person who lives inside herself.
This is a delightful story about a girl and her struggles. I think it would be great for girls in grades 5-7, who enjoy books about girls who want to make a change in themselves. It's not good for readers who like happy fantasy books, because I can guarantee that this story has real-life situations that, sadly, we have to deal with. At parts, Amanda had struggles that were depressing to read about. But I know you'll be cheering for Amanda. It will inspire all readers to go for it: the sky's the limit.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jessica on January 4, 2005
Format: Paperback
I thought that the book "Secret Life Of Amanda K. Woods" was a very well written book. I really do not like to read but this book really caught my eye and I loved it every step of the way. It was just awesome. I would totally read this book agian. I could really relate to this book throughout it. It's about Amanda and how she doesn't want to be like anyone else but she has to start somewhere. She is very jelouse of her older sister Margret but knows that she will never be as beautiful or popular as her.Amanda has a best friends Lyle.Amanda and Lyle live at Lost Lake. There very close and then Lyles mom decides to move to Montana. And Amanda is devistated. You'll have to read the book to find out what happes next!! If you like a great but sad best friend story LOOK NO FURTHER!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on February 19, 2004
Format: Hardcover
The Secret Life of Amamanda K. Woods is a very good story. This story has a plot that a lot of people can relate to- a pressuring mom, a perfect sister, and a non-affectionate dad. I found this story in a set that I bought, and planning not to read it, I shoved it in the back of my bookcase. A few years later, I found it there and started to read it. I loved it after the first few pages! This story is not completely action packed though. But if you enjoy a good, heart warming novel, The Secret Life of Amanda K. Woods is for you.Go out and buy it today on Amazon!
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