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Lifted Paperback – June 8, 2010
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From School Library Journal
Gr 8-10–When 15-year-old Poppy Browne moves from Boulder, CO, to Pleasant Acres, TX, with her professor mother, she has to attend Calvary High even though she's not Baptist. She makes friends with the popular girls and has a date for the Sadie Hawkins dance. Poppy gets caught in an ex-BFF rivalry between her friend Mary Jane and another schoolmate, Bridgette. Then she starts shoplifting. The first time, it's an accident. The second, it's induced by peer pressure. Subsequently, however, it's for the rush. Poppy, Mary Jane, and Whitney steal regularly, and Poppy doesn't know whether or not she can stop. Eventually, she overcomes her fear of disappointing Mary Jane and Whitney, but she still faces the consequences when her mother finds out what she has been doing. Although the story is not entirely compelling, the rivalry between Mary Jane and Bridgette; the suspense of finding out whether Poppy will get caught; and her developing romance with “shithead” Dave, the preacher's son, build enough tension to grab readers' attention.Adrienne L. Strock, Maricopa County Library District, AZ
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Poppy isn’t happy with her single mother for moving her to Texas and enrolling the decidedly secular 16-year-old in a private Baptist high school. Soon, however, she becomes fascinated with the two most elite girls in class. Befriended, she ignores (to her later peril) her initial contact at Calvary High, the frumpy Bridgette. Instead, Poppy becomes caught up in whirlwind mall trips; her new friends, despite their pious attitudes, are shoplifters. Toliver does a good job of making clear the thefts are less about the desire for things like designer jeans than about the adrenaline rush of getting away with something. She is also sensitive to the school’s core values while still making clear the hypocrisy of people who hide behind veneers of holiness. Especially well drawn is Poppy’s crush, a quirky, sincere minister’s son, who—as Poppy’s world spins out of control—comforts her with unconditional support: We all make mistakes. It says so in the Bible, so it’s gotta be true. Will appeal to all teens interested in wayward behavior. Grades 7-10. --Karen Cruze
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Top Customer Reviews
Poppy Browne is the daughter of a single mother who also is a college professor. She has just moved her and Poppy to Texas from Boulder, Colorado and has enrolled Poppy in a private religious school. Grades are everything to her mother. (I loved this part of the plot. How often do we see parents push their children HARD to do something really well - only to have it result in negative behavior elsewhere in their child's life??).
We meet Poppy as she starts her first day in school. Poppy isn't sure what to expect and soon finds out that appearances are everything here. She also learns that there are a lot of secrets that people are hiding as well. I think Toliver did a great job portraying a smaller town and how everyone THINKS they know everything about everyone else. As they say you should never judge a book by its cover.
Poppy becomes good friends with two of the most popular girls at school. And that's when Poppy learns their secret -- they love to shoplift. Toliver deals with some serious subject matter (shoplifting and addiction) in a way that is not overbearing and obnoxious. She pulls you into the story with such conviction that I found myself wanting Poppy to be real!
I found this to be spot-on regarding Poppy's experiences in school, her relationships with friends and especially her relationship with her single mom.
While I found myself wanting more in some areas of the book overall I think this is a good, strong, character-driven book that most teens should read (and would enjoy reading). 4 stars
I say that I want to read books that help me understand myself- but I have recently discovered that is complete tunnel vision. I now know I like books that open a new vista into emotions and characters.
I started Lifted with an expectation that the new girl in school, Poppy, would succumb to the mindless drivel of the popular girls who wanted her for a makeover, would dump her and her annoying "looser" friend would prove to be her BGFF.
I have to confess I read an earlier draft and I already knew some plot concepts. However, as I read I forgot all about prior readings and the story exploded with newness and I was grabbed and the book wouldn't let me escape. I couldn't wait to read each page- not just to see what would happen but to laugh at descriptions and incidents and the characters talk.
This is a bright intelligent look at the meanings of Christianity and the difficulties we, as girls, have when placed into a mold. I have been and I guess I still am mad at God for things that he allowed to happen to me when I was younger. I can relate to Boppy when she swears at David and his friends on her first day at the Cafeteria. And that she had courage reinforced by the application of strawberry-kiwi lip gloss.
Throughout the book Wendy tells us information which I just love to know. Descriptions of the girls rooms, handbags shoes, lip-gloss, hair and clothes- YES, clothes. She just makes the characters come alive. I got to know them from their words but really felt I knew them from the facts of their fashion and lives.
This book and the comments reminded me of the movie "Saved" and Mandy Moore as the super Christian. That movie caused uproar in the Christian community. This book has its moments but any thinking Christian (it is possible) will see that this is not mean spirited and is the perfect book for girls wanting to be a Christian or having God back in their life.
I could name hundreds of perfect phrases but I'll just mention a few. .After describing the extreme Christian school- Wendy has the sea of students parting to pass by Boppy while Amazing Grace is played over the loudspeaker. What a metaphor.
The classic line in all of modern YA literature occurs when Poppy is trying to tell Mary Jane she isn't so bad.
"In her eyes, she was Calvary High's Hester Prynne. "You're not a bad person, Mary Jane. So you slipped up on your promise to God to wait until marriage. If He forgives people for murdering their own kids or burning down entire villages or creating ghastly computer viruses, He'll forgive you."
That is so classic a Boppy is Anna-me moment - Placing murderers and arsonists in the same category as guys who create computer viruses. PERFECT. It shows Boppy is of the computer age and has her priorities right. Hehe. I DO SO AGREE.
The bible quotes are appropriate and enlightening. This is a perfect book.
It is so much better that the girls used normal shoplifting techniques and shoved things in bags and under loose clothing and that they worked as a team. Much better to get the excitement of the moment rather than taking off tags and switching and coming back to the store to trade them back in a complete pre-meditated method.
The ending was perfect.
IT INVITES A SEQUEL!! I can see it as a movie.
The beautiful girls turn out to be her friends. REAL FRIENDS!
OH I loveeeeeed it! If I went back and described everything I laughed at and smiled at and loved I would just be re-typing Wendy's book.
Buy it, read it- you will love it.
This would be an especially good book to read and discuss with any teen as it covers so many issues of teen social life.