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Girl from Mars Paperback – September 22, 2009

3.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up—Fifteen year-old Miriam feels tired, average, and ordinary in her small German town. She passes the time daydreaming in class, arguing with her mother, smoking in the girl's bathroom with her two self-obsessed friends, blasting music, sitting/sulking in her room, and sneaking into bars. She is waiting for something new, something big to happen to her. Then she is attracted to a new classmate, attentive and engaging Laura, and Miriam comes out of her shell. As Miriam starts to embrace the more serious turns of their relationship, Laura becomes hesitant and circumspect, leaving the changed Miriam devastated, but ultimately not alone. Bach's writing and Tanaka's translation offer well-drawn, familiar characters and prose that's spare yet descriptive. Miriam's narration, alive with Bach's insightful handling and clever turns of phrase, provides a sense of depth to the highs and lows of teenage emotions like Miriam's small-town claustrophobia, her impatience, confusion, concerns, fear, anger, elation, and heartbreak. Underage drinking, profanity, drug use and sexual situations make this a book for mature teens.—Danielle Serra, Cliffside Park Public Library, NJ
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Shelley Tanaka is an award-winning children s book author and editor. She is the author of "Amelia Earhart and Mummies: The Newest, Coolest & Creepiest from Around the World", as well as several other books in the I Was There series. She lives in Kingston, Ontario.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Groundwood Books (September 22, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0888997256
  • ISBN-13: 978-0888997258
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,127,437 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book has garnered multiple awards and much praise in its native Germany, but the only reason I even know about it is that in my past job as a bookseller I saw it in a catalog. Only 29 people on LibraryThing have it, and to me, that's a travesty. It's a beautiful story of first love, told in the quirky voice of Miriam, a self-described plain fifteen-year-old girl in a small town who dreams, like many of us, of getting out and living a fabulous big-city life. She wishes she were beautiful and popular and spends every morning commiserating in the girls' restroom with her two best friends, Ines and Suse. Then enters Laura, with her wild black hair and carefree attitude, who rolls her own cigarettes and goes to clubs. Miriam is instantly enchanted, and begins to feel something she's never felt before, especially for a girl. GIRL FROM MARS is beautifully written, and rife with genuine emotion. This is a book that should not be ignored, and I urge anyone who can to track down a copy. It will make your heart ache in all the right ways.
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Format: Hardcover
I bought the English translation of Girl From Mars at a local bookshop (Antigone Books, Tucson, Az, best bookstore ever!) and couldn't put it down. The prose style is fresh, and the narrative voice really comes through as that of a 15 year old who is just coming into her adulthood. I was surprised at how similar teenage life is between cultures as geographically distant as the US and Germany.

Stories of first love are a distinct pleasure and this book is no exception. It brings the additional interest of the love being between two girls, which in Germany as well as the US is a sensitive subject and, sadly, still a matter for secrecy for those who are involved.

I highly recommend this book. It is honest, which is something not found often enough in young adult literature. Get this book. Read it. Share it with your friends. You won't be disappointed.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It's a little slow-paced for my taste but the overall story is not so bad.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For me, as a black lesbian in the U.S., who is very interested in lesbian fiction, I had a hard time with this novel. I read it because it is considered one of the foundational pieces of lesbian teen lit. It simply wasn't to my taste
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