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Country Girl, City Girl Hardcover – October 25, 2004

4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 7-9–Two girls thrown together by chance forge an exceptionally close friendship, and one has the courage to admit that for her it is more than platonic. Phoebe has grown up on a farm in Maine. During the summer before eighth grade, Melita, slightly older and worlds more sophisticated, comes to stay. Melita, child of a single, psychologically troubled mother, and Phoebe, child of a widower, are both lonely, although they express it differently. Glamorous Melita entrances shy, literary Phoebe, who likes being behind a camera. Together, they feed one another's imaginations and plan a feminist fashion show. After Melita returns to New York, Phoebe visits her. When she sees that her friend has a crush on a boy, she is forced to come to terms with her own feelings. Her range of emotions and the degree to which they drive her behavior are the most successful elements of the book. While the adolescent dialogue doesn't always ring true and the ending is a bit rushed, the confusion, self-doubt, and self-discovery that Phoebe experiences will be familiar to readers. The lesbian issue is unresolved and relatively low-key, allowing it to be as important or unimportant as readers make it. A shy, unpolished girl in the throes of growing up having something to offer to a fashion maven will be a welcome idea to the many girls for whom glamour and popularity seem as distant as the moon.–Faith Brautigam, Gail Borden Public Library, Elgin, IL
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Gr. 7-10. Phoebe lives in Maine with her brother and her father and only hints of her mom, who died when Phoebe was 2. At 13, Phoebe is interested in photography and caring for her goats and sheep and chickens but not much else. When Melita, a cosmopolitan teen who is the child of Phoebe's mother's best friend, comes to stay for the summer, Phoebe is overwhelmed by the girl's sophistication and charm--and by the conflicting feelings she inspires. The girls share a kiss, which awakens many questions in Phoebe but seems less tumultuous for Melita. After Melita returns to New York, Phoebe goes to spend a week with her. The view of the city is a bit off and unreal, and Phoebe sounds too self-aware for a seventh-grader, but readers who need something a bit younger and less intense than Julie Peters' Keeping You a Secret (2003), about a burgeoning lesbian relationship, will find this an absorbing, quirky read. GraceAnne DeCandido
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 185 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin; 1st edition (October 25, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618447911
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618447916
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,191,935 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By C. J. Pearmon on September 21, 2009
Format: Paperback
As an adult reading a book geared towards young adults, it's hard to really understand how a teenager will view this book. The language seems simplistic and generalized, but that may well be appropriate for the intended age group.

However, the first half of the book does seem especially casual, almost geared towards pre-teens. The life of Phoebe, a simple country girl, is described, and her gradual awakening by the arrival a new friend, Melita.

Once Melita encouraged Phoebe to come visit her in the city, the book takes on a story and language geared towards older teenagers. Themes of discovering one's sexuality, feminism, and complex friendships are explored. All are great topics to be weaving into an entertaining story, but it would have been nice for these themes to be introduced sooner and examined a bit more. As it is, they are rushed and hurried into the last half of the story.

Overall, this is a nice little book for teenagers to read. Both gay and straight teens will benefit from reading a story of a young woman trying to figure out how her sexuality fits, or doesn't fit, within the norms found around her. The slim book allows for an easy reading that is entertaining and informative.
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Format: Hardcover
People often say that all stories have been told before and that a writer's job is to make a story fresh and new. Jahn-Clough does just that with Country Girl City Girl. From small town life on a farm in Maine to the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple, Phoebe isn't sure what her relationship with Melita is all about. But she is sure that she'll learn more about herself the more time they spend together. A great read that doesn't fall back on easy answers or trite conclusions.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A very honest account of a young girl's inner conflicts as she grows up, over the summer...
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