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You'll Like It Here (Everybody Does) by [White, Ruth]
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You'll Like It Here (Everybody Does) Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Length: 274 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Age Level: 9 - 12
Grade Level: 4 - 7

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Newbery Honor Award winner RUTH WHITE's out of this world story celebrates personal freedom and individual differences. Readers will relish its gross uniqueness. Everybody does.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

1

Meggie Speaks

When I was in the third grade on the California coast, a crazy man came into my classroom one day and started waving a knife around. He said he was an alien hunter. He had a purple blotch on his face that was shaped exactly like Mexico, and his eyes were wild. Help came before he could hurt anybody, but he left scars all the same.

I was so petrified I don't remember a thing after that, until I saw Gramps holding out his arms to me. He lifted me from the couch in the principal's office, where I lay curled up, and held me close. He smelled like freshly baked bread.

And that was the day my nightmares started.

At the end of that school term, Mom quit her job at the university, where she taught astronomy, and found a new one at another university, in North Carolina. A moving van carried our belongings across the country, but Mom, Gramps, my brother, David, and I spent five amazing days and nights traveling in our car, taking in the sights of America.

In North Carolina we were thrilled to pieces with our own seven-acre plot of land surrounding the farmhouse Mom had bought for us. Locally it was called the old Fischer place, for the family who'd lived there for years and years before us. There were apple trees and lots of blackberry bushes, a grape arbor, a weeping cherry tree, and I don't know what all.

I barely remember Daddy, who died when I was three. From then on, Gramps, who is my mom's father, tended our house and took care of us. David and I never knew Grandmama, because she died before we were even old enough to have a memory. Gramps, in his sixties, was still as energetic and feisty as a boy. He took good care of himself through a healthy diet and exercise, and because of that, he seemed much younger than he was. At times, in fact, when asked his age, he actually fibbed, subtracting five years or so, and he got away with it.

My mother was the best mom in the world. She was strong like a rock, sweet, smart, and pretty too, but it was Gramps I turned to when I needed help or comfort or affection, probably because he was always available. Gramps was also a wannabe artist. In California he stayed at home and happily painted his pictures when Mom, David, and I were at school. Sometimes he sold his stuff at arts festivals for a few dollars each. But now that we were older, and living in a new place, he wanted to walk out into the world a bit, as he put it. So that first September he began teaching art to high school students in the small town near us. Next door to the high school were the lower schools, where David and I enrolled. Mom's new job was only thirty minutes away. So there we were, a happy bunch of campers in our new home.

The next spring we sowed our seeds in the ground and watched them sprout and grow into living plants that made tomatoes and cucumbers for us, along with green peppers, corn, and melons. We got good vibes from the earth and spent every hour possible outside. Another planting season flew by, and now it's spring again. David and I are practically all grown up, as I am finishing the sixth grade and he the eighth.

The nightmares that started for me in the third grade eased up over the years, but at certain times I still feel like that little girl who was so scared and helpless, she wet her pants. I see things in the shadows, and when I round a corner, I halfway expect something hideous to jump out at me. I also hear noises under my bed and in my closet.

Some shrink told Mom that it's common for a person to carry a thing like this forever. That doesn't exactly make me feel any better. It doesn't help either having a brother who is perfect--one who works out complicated math problems just for the fun of it, and beats the computer in chess. Yeah, David's so middle-aged he makes me sick, and do you think he's ever been afraid of anything at all? I don't think so.

I've come to the conclusion that I'm sure about only one thing in my life, and that is that I want to be able to do something--anything--that my brother can't do. At least, I want to do it better than he does. Will that ever happen?

Now at school a new buzz has started. You know the way things go around. One year you'll have stories about witchcraft, and who might be a witch and who might be a vampire or a werewolf. One year there's a ghost in somebody's house, or at one of the umpteen cemeteries in our little town. Everybody has a hair-raising story to tell you at lunch break. And this year, wouldn't you know? It's UFOs.

"There are aliens among us," the kids whisper, because teachers don't want to hear junk like that.

"They are here to take over the earth."

"If we don't get them first, they'll get us."

My very best friend is Kitty--short for Kathryn--Singer, a tiny, sparkly African American girl who always wears purple. I love her to pieces, but I gotta tell you she has an imagination that won't quit. Maybe it's because both her parents are librarians, and the whole family reads tons of stories, sci-fi and otherwise. They also watch every movie that comes along, no matter how far-out.

On a golden Saturday in May, Kitty and I are picking strawberries from our patch when she says to me, "Did you know the aliens come in the middle of the night when you're sleeping, and suck your soul out through your big toe? Then you become one of them, and you don't even know it. You go on living regular until one day they make you do evil things."

"Suck out your soul through your big toe? Kitty, you've been watching way too much sci-fi."


 

Product Details

  • File Size: 470 KB
  • Print Length: 274 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0375865969
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (June 14, 2011)
  • Publication Date: June 14, 2011
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004EWFUXM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #564,657 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
A very clever sci-fi/fantasy blend book that touches on multiple complex and extremely current themes, simultaneously. It skillfully reveals just how split philosophically/politically apart the USA is at present and may become at some distant future. Simultaneously, it's all done while touching on how one gradually learns to cope with PTSD over time, as well as, how mixed teen feelings typically are surrounding the process of undergoing puberty - a process they have no control of on any level. The essential nature of individuality, originality, a high quality education, the benefits of the arts to the general populace, and maintenance/care of nature/the environment are woven and rewoven into the storyline.

Many of the most basic fundamentals of the American Constitution (past, present, and potentially future) are examined in terms of their actual impacts and how the losses of these protections would dramatically change every routine aspect of American lives. The introduction of political propaganda and the masses of hypocrisy and lies that surround its use are provided in an age-appropriate manner and are unique, in my experience. Young adults are seldom taught to question the advertising and other mass messages they are bombarded with. This is particularly poignant when it comes to the use of political propaganda to justify endless war-mongering (to enrich the wealthiest amongst us) and separation/exploitation of the economic classes (along with the obligations and privileges of each group).

As my review suggests, the author attempted to cover such an enormous range of themes and symbolism, the book feels somewhat ungainly and scattered - jumping wildly from one to the next, as if trying to cram in as much as possible.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My daughter read this book and loved it. Her only regret was that it didn't last longer. As she's an avid reader she just sails through books and this is one she dearly loved and passed along to her twin sister.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
"When I was in the third grade on the California coast, a crazy man came into my classroom one day and started waving a knife around. He said he was an alien hunter. He had a purple blotch on his face that was shaped exactly like Mexico, and his eyes were wild. Help came before he could hurt anybody, but he left scars all the same." - Meggie Blue

It is Meggie Blue's most vivid memory, and the most terrifying. The man with the purple Mexico who wanted to kill her. That traumatic experience is why the Blues (Meggie, her mother, her brother David, and Gramps) decided to move to North Carolina three years ago. They have been truly happy here with good friends and neighbors surrounding them. But now those neighbors have turned on the Blues, bringing fear and anger with them as they drive the family away. Far, far away, The Blues have landed here, in Fashion City, in the Land of the Fathers, on an alternate Earth. In Fashion City, where everyone they meet tells them, "You'll like it here, everybody does."

But honestly? The Blues can't find much at all to like about living in Fashion City. Everyone conforms, following pointless rules that leach fun from the world and dull the senses. Colors are drab, the music is worse than what you hear in an elevator and television is controlled by the Fathers. This is a world where 'gross uniqueness' is a horrible crime, a world where the Blues will have a harder time fitting in than ever before. Their only moments of consolation come in the evenings, which they spend quietly conversing and singing with the Gilmores, the family from the apartment upstairs. When the authorities discover that Gramps is 65, they take him away for a 'vacation.' Now conforming is the last thing the Blues want to do.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
You'll Like it Here (Everybody Does) - Echoes of "A Wrinkle In Time"

Rating: 4 of 5 stars

Author: Ruth White
Format: Kindle, Paperback

As the new school year begins, eleven-year-old Meggie Blue finds this year's rumor to be one of the best yet - Aliens! "They are all around us," the kids proclaim - UFOs. Even her best friend Kitty Singer is on it claiming the aliens can suck out your soul through your toes. But what starts out as a funny game, seems to take a serious turn. Adults in their small town start to proclaim similar experiences and the small town gets whipped in to a frenzy. Living with her older brother, mom, and grandfather, everything comes to a head late one night when Meggie is awoken by her family. "We have to get out of here!" Soon she realizes the town has turned on them and lynch mob comes for them. It is only through Gramps that they are able to escape in a nick of time. Unfortunately, where they escape to is a far worse place!

While reading Ruth White's "You'll Like it Here" I could not help being reminded of Madeline L'Engle's "A Wrinkle Time" with its "Stepford-esque" world and reprogramming of its citizens not to mention the similarity in the main character's names in both books. White's book is, however, much more direct in its messaging. A number of themes are covered including what happens when individual freedoms are given up to a government bent on controlling everything to the point of drugging its own citizens into submission. Without giving too much of the plot away, the story exists in a place where Martin Luther King Jr. and Abraham Lincoln are both alive at the same time. Curious? You should be.
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