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Sean Griswold's Head by [Leavitt, Lindsey]
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Sean Griswold's Head Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 77 customer reviews

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Length: 285 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Age Level: 12 and up Grade Level: 7 - 12

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Editorial Reviews


"In a rather impressive feat, Leavitt manages to take a painful family crisis and make one girl's reaction to it genuinely guffaw-worthy, even adding a bit of romance for kicks. With her self-deprecating wit and nearly OCD organizational skills, Payton is positively endearing. Leavitt capably handles the issues of chronic illness with sensitivity, making this an insightful, humorous, and ultimately uplifting family drama." --"BCCB"

"Payton is likable and the writing brisk and amusing...Complex, significant issues are raised." --"Kirkus Reviews""A balanced proportion of comedy and gravity... refreshing and realistic without being overwrought with angst." --"School Library Journal" "Leavitt tucks in lines like 'I don't do spandex. The devil wears spandex. And I doubt the devil's butt is as big as mine' while bringing her protagonist around to acceptance and repaired relationships... the formula is tried-and-true." "--Booklist"

About the Author

LINDSEY LEAVITT is a former elementary school teacher. She married her high-school lab partner and now lives in Nevada with her husband and three little girls. She is also the author of Princess for Hire.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1065 KB
  • Print Length: 285 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens; 1 edition (March 1, 2011)
  • Publication Date: March 1, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004OR14WI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #661,575 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Kate McMurry TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Fifteen-year-old freshman Payton Gritas is a straight-A student and basketball player with a great best friend and loving parents, but her world falls apart when she discovers her parents have kept a huge secret from her for months. Her father has multiple sclerosis. Payton is furious that her parents shared her father's diagnosis with her two older brothers but not her. She is also fearful about what MS will do to her father. Can he continue work as a dental surgeon? And what about basketball? He has played it his whole life, including on a college team, and taught the game to Payton, but MS is making it increasingly hard for him to play. And what if MS actually kills him?

Payton's drops out of basketball, which she feels too guilty playing when her father can't, lets her grades drop, and refuses to talk to her parents. As her silence drags on, her mother insists that Payton talk to the counselor at her school. Payton reluctantly agrees but struggles with the "focusing" exercise the counselor assigns. She wants Payton to choose something to concentrate on that she has no emotional investment in and write detailed reactions and feelings about this "focus object" in a journal in order to work up to eventually being able to face her feelings about her father's illness.

While ignoring a video in biology class, Payton is struggling to come up with a focus object when Sean Griswold, who has sat in front of her since third grade because his name appears before hers alphabetically, turns and remarks that he has trouble focusing on videos in class. Payton suddenly decides this is a sign. She should write about Sean Griswold. Specifically the part of him she knows best, his head, which has been blocking her view of the teacher for years.
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Format: Hardcover
I'd heard basically only great things about Sean Griswold's Head, and I loved the idea, so I was really excited to read this one. However, I was pretty disappointed. I still love the idea - the whole thing with the Focus Object is hilarious and adorable, and that ended up being what I most enjoyed reading about; Sean's head as Payton's Focus Object, how that turns into romance, etc. The romance is cute - I loved Payton and Sean together.

The writing is good, too. I was especially impressed by Payton's PFEs/journal entries - often, journal entries in books seem fake to me, but in Sean Griswold's Head, they're realistic, and Payton's voice is authentic and funny.

I know, this all sounds positive, and in the beginning, I did like this book, but after a while Payton got on my nerves. The characters are my main problem in this book. It's not that they're badly-written or anything like that, I just didn't like them as people. At times I could relate to Payton, but most of the time she annoyed me - she's so selfish and melodramatic! The way she reacts to finding out her dad has MS is strange - she doesn't think at all about how it affects her dad, just about herself. I didn't get Payton's character - at times she's the social-activist-type, then she's a normal teenager thinking about unimportant stuff. She's so patronizing of anyone who's different from her, making fun of Sean for riding his bike to school and hating Sean's friend because he only wears black. I didn't get why she made the decisions she made, and I just couldn't connect with her.

Jac is just as annoying as Payton.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Sean Griswold's Head was a pleasant surprise. I chose it because I had seen that Becca Fitzpatrick (author of Hush Hush) was recommending it as a good filler read for the next in her series. But it is much more than "filler" reading. It is a refreshing entry into the YA section- a genre that has lately become bogged down by all things supernatural. It was refreshing to read a "normal" story of a normal teenager and her normal teenage issues. All of the characters are endearing and relatable. Being in Payton's head was an entertaining flashback to high school. Ms. Leavitt has a knack for taking a perfectly normal event and creating an opportunity for some great humor! There are some hilarious scenes- a completely normal teenage girl comment can make a little thing a memorable moment. I would give you an example but I don't want to spoil your reading pleasure...;-)

Payton Gritas is a breath of fresh air to the tried and true typical YA book narrator. She is a typical teenage girl in many ways but she has a unique voice. Sure it's nothing new to have a family tragedy and a story to process that revelation. But Ms. Leavitt takes a new spin. In a strange psycho-babble-ish turn, Payton's guidance counselor has her do a Focus Object journal. And what does Payton choose, the head of the boy who sits in front of her in Biology. From here the story develops from detective/stalker investigating to learn more about her subject to getting to know Sean as a person.

There is nothing really objectionable here- no profanity and a sweet and clean romance enriched with touching family moments, strange friendships and the typical teenage boy drama. There is an underlying story of emotional growth and strength as Payton confronts her fears and embraces her life- scary family drama and all.
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