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Diary of a Chav by [Dent, Grace]
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Diary of a Chav Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 7–9—In this slangy, journal-style novel, Shiraz Bailey Wood, 15, lives in Essex and attends Mayflower Academy (generally known as Superchav Academy). She's a slacker at school and is behind much of the drama surrounding its official events (such as the fight that broke out at the Winter Festival). Everything is fine, though, until her best friend finds a new love interest and pushes Shiraz into the background; her sister and mother have a fight and Cava-Sue moves out; and a new, tough teacher comes to Mayflower Academy. Suddenly everything Shiraz knows is turned upside down and the only person she can tell is her new diary. This novel is packed with British slang and pop-culture references to the point of confusion. (A 14-page glossary is included.) Still, the plot is universal, proving that teenagers are the same worldwide. Shiraz is a witty and amusing narrator, and there are some laugh-out-loud moments.—Heather E. Miller, Homewood Public Library, AL
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

The closest Dent’s American audience has come to a chav is likely Ali G, and he’s not even real, bruv. Shiraz “Shizza” Bailey Wood is not a chav. So what if she wears pink velour sweat suits, listens to hip-hop, and earned her school the title of “Super Chav Academy” in the local paper—again. She has problems just like everyone else: she worries that she is not really interested in any boys; she wants to hurry up and leave school so she can get discovered and go on Big Brother; and her mum and older sister, Cava-Sue, fight all the time. Cava-Sue went to study drama at university and now all she ever talks about is carbohydrates and unheard-of bands. College-bound readers might be shocked to see Mrs. Bailey Wood tell Cava-Sue to get a job instead of scrounging off the system in school, “leaping about in leotards, pretending to be a bloody tree!” With the recent invasion of young British soul singers, this might be the right proper time to offer this escapist title to stressed-out teens prepping for their SATs and ACTs. Grades 8-11. --Courtney Jones

Product Details

  • File Size: 726 KB
  • Print Length: 246 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0316034827
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (October 1, 2008)
  • Publication Date: October 1, 2008
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001E5FNZW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,943,933 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Shiraz Bailey Wood is sixteen and goes to Super Chav Academy--actually, Mayflower Academy, but the school has a bad reputation for its chav hijinks. Chav, by the way, is a derogatory term for working-class British youth who wear hoodies, sneakers, and bling. Shiraz has numerous problems including a runaway sister, an obese dog, and a mother who doesn't seem understanding. Written in diary format, I loved Shiraz's voice, even though the British slang was confusing at times. There is a glossary in the back, though.
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Format: Hardcover
Shiraz Bailey Wood isn't really a chav - even if she wears trackies and loves hip hop and doesn't really care about exams. But she and her best friend Carrie go to a school frequently referred to as "Superchav Academy" and her mother seems put out by Shiraz' sister, Cava-Sue, who is attempting to better herself by pursuing A-levels at an arts college. Since Carrie has become infatuated with her new boyfriend, a terrible rapper, Shiraz has been spending all her time avoiding the lovebirds and hiding the fact that she's actually doing well in English. But when Cava Sue runs away from home and her parents refuse to get involved, Shiraz knows there's only one thing she can do: write a TV talk show in hopes that they can put her family back together. While at first Diary of a Chav seems like a hard knocks version of the Georgia Nicolson series, it's not long before Shiraz's unique voice comes out. Past the hijinx, jokes, and rants, this is a book about social class, stigma, and finding yourself despite the way everyone else wants to see you. Complete with an index of Shiraz' slang, you can be sure this isn't the last you'll hear from Miss Wood (if only because several sequels are already available in the UK).
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Funny, well written, but too short. I was expecting more.

Best read in combination with "Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class" by Owen Jones, (that book led me to this one).
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Format: Paperback
I was a bit wary when I picked up this book to read. The cover didn't really attract me to the story at all. I mean she looks like she's wearing a velour hoodie set. It just screamed trying to hard for me. Normally I would pass over this book, but I do enjoy British culture so I ended up picking it to read. I am so glad that I did. The book is written in a diary format, which I always enjoy. There's something about reading journal format that is very appealing to me, perhaps because it gives a better insight from the character. I also find that diary format books are very addictive to read because with no chapter breaks, you find it hard to stop reading. I grew to like Shiraz and her family. I will admit in the beginning she's very brash and hard to like but as you learn more about her life, she becomes very likable. I liked the teacher who encouraged her and gave her inspiration to do well in school. Also her relationship with her sister is very touching especially during the reality show scenes. My favorite part had me extremely grossed out. It's the scene in the factory. I read that scene and had the same reaction Shiraz did and was totally creeped out and even gagged. It's a great scene though and adds a lot of humor.

I will admit, the British slang takes a while to get used to. I felt like I was reading a foreign language for most of the book. Luckily there's a dictionary in the back that explains all these terms that Shiraz uses so I constantly found myself flipping to it throughout the story. After finishing this book, I felt like talking with a British accent to everyone and start using some of the words I had learned while reading. Overall this was a very enjoyable book to read. It gives a great taste of British culture and also shows how teens are the same all over the world. Looking forward to reading the next book in the series.
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