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United Tates Of America #01 Hardcover – April 1, 2002

3.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Sarah Kate Tate, otherwise known as Skate Tate, has mixed feelings about middle school. Her best friend, Susie, seems to be undergoing a sea change, causing her to hang around with a girl named Kiki ("I think that Kiki is a silly name. It sounds like a choking sound, Kiki."), dye her hair blue, and lose interest in The Happy Scrappys, the scrapbook-making club they've been in since third grade. Fortunately, Skate's favorite person in the world, GUM (Great Uncle Mort), is always helping her remember not to be afraid of what's "around the corner." But when tragedy strikes, how can Skate find the courage to go on, let alone see what's around the corner?

Paula Danziger (Snail Mail No More, The Cat Ate My Gymsuit, the Amber Brown series, etc.) has her finger directly on the pulse of sixth-grade life in this authentic novel about the very normal, bubbly Skate. Her scrapbook insert could be out of any middle-school girl's world, with happy faces, goofy photos, silly captions, and mementos from vacation spots. Readers will probably want to go out and start "cropping" their own scrapbook right away! (Ages 9 to 12) --Emilie Coulter

From Publishers Weekly

Young scrapbook artists, in particular, will take delight in this book's unique artwork, which could come straight out of any middle-schooler's collection of memorabilia. The pictures (collages of photos, stickers, cut-outs and humorous captions) synchronize perfectly with Danziger's (the Amber Brown books) sparkling narrative. Both effectively capture some significant moments in Sarah Kate ("Skate") Tate's sixth-grade year. At first, the 11-year-old narrator has mixed feelings about middle school. She struggles to get her locker open and hates having to take industrial arts ("Industrial arts sounds like factories are turning art out and selling it in art shows in local hotels"). She grows apart from her best-friend-and-cousin, Susie, but Skate also makes some new acquaintances, like Huey, Duey and Louie, the "D.D.T." (the "Donald Duck Trio"), who ride her bus (and "quack"), and cute Garth Garrison, who shares her passion for art. These minor changes pale in comparison to the loss of Skate's favorite uncle, a world traveler, who dies suddenly. However, his adventurous spirit is kept alive in the form of his last wish, a unique legacy. As always, the author is right on target, encapsulating the fluctuating emotions, intensified passions, quirky humor and secret dreams of preadolescent girls. The book, climaxing with a family trip to Plymouth, Mass., advocates trying new activities and making new friends, pertinent encouragement for "tweens," who may be intimidated about starting middle school. Skate's sample scrapbook pages may well inspire those who already indulge and attract budding "scrappys" to the cause. Ages 8-12.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 12 years
  • Lexile Measure: 640L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press; 1st edition (April 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0590692216
  • ISBN-13: 978-0590692212
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 7.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,328,316 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Though the book opens with the first day of sixth grade for its heroine Skate Tate, "Tates" comes out at an excellent time for kids and families planning spring and summer vacations, since the final chapters are spent "on the road."
Paula Danziger gets the language of middle school just right...my daughter laughed over much of this book (she's a fifth grader) and was moved to tears as well. As an added bonus, the scrapbook portion inspired her to gather up photos and memorabilia and spend her allowance on a scrapbook of her own.
"United Tates of America" is funny, well-written, thoroughly entertaining, and also deals thoughtfully with some difficult issues, including death and how to answer a late elementary/early middle schooler's concern about feeling responsible for the death of a loved one. I've been recommending it to friends/other parents who need resources in this area (much as I steer people to "The Tenth Good Thing About Barney" by Judith Viorst when the topic is death of a pet).
And if your child can't read in the car without getting carsick, there's an audiobook version available with a full cast of children and adult voices; in fact, Paula Danziger herself can be heard on the audiobook recording--first as Skate's teacher, Mrs. Lipschitz, and then in a special afterword in which she shares her own journey in creating this novel.
I found this book engaged my child on a deeper level due to the scrapbook section; when you see photos of the characters, although you know it's fiction, you can't help but feel their experiences more intimately. Take a look and give it a try - it's as good a read for adults as it is for kids, and a good place to start a dialogue with your child on loss and healing, among other topics.
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Format: Paperback
The book I am reviewing is United Tates of America. It is a fiction book by Paula Danziger. She also wrote the Amber Brown stories & a popular book called Everybody elses Parents said YES. I think this book deserves 4 stars. This is because it is good but they wait to bring the bad and scary things to the end usually you like a happier ending. This book is mostly about a sixth grader who has too many things around her changing. It is too much pressure so she talks with her favorite uncle and he helps calm her down. The problem is solved toward the end of the book. I am glad because it keeps you waiting and has you keep reading. I recommend it to kids 9 & up because at the end it is a little scary and sad.
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A Kid's Review on May 5, 2004
Format: Paperback
I think this book has 3 million thumbs up! I really liked it! I was so into it, I read it in a day practically and read it 10x! I especially like that she and I have the same problems and both are interested in scrapebooking!
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