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Girls Like Us by Gail Giles

Girls Like Us

by Gail Giles

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1801665,840 (4.18)10



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This is quite a short book, I read it in one sitting, but it is no less powerful for it. Quincy and Biddy are special ed students who have just finished High school. Forced out of foster care due to their age they are assigned to live together and look after Lizbeth an older woman with health issues. The friendship that develops between the three women is a beautiful thing and the strength that the two girls find in themselves and each other really changes their lives.
For me the over-riding message of this book is that everyone matters. The girls have had quite horrendous lives and have learning difficulties as a direct consequence of others actions. They also suffer further trauma because people think they don’t count, they don’t matter. Simple things that most people take for granted, matter greatly when you have been treated like this. I loved Quincy’s reaction when she was referred to as Ms Ford.
My only criticism was that at times I lost track of which girl was narrating as their voices were quite similar but this did not detract greatly from my enjoyment.
It’s a book that really makes you think and leaves the reader uplifted and I really enjoyed it.
( )
  angelaoatham | Feb 21, 2017 |
The story of Quincy and Biddy graduates of the local high school’s special ed program. Place together in a "real world" apartment, these two are the odd couple. Quincy is ferocious with a chip on her shoulder and Biddy frightened and afraid to step outside the house. Eventually, the two girls realize they have similarities and can support and assist each other in adjusting and becoming part of the "real world". Depicts challenges faced because of their disabilities.
Grades: 7-12

Classroom use: Coming of Age, acceptance, friendship, tolerance,
  GEMaguire | Jul 26, 2016 |
Brilliant, moving book told in alternating chapters by two girls who have just graduated from the special ed program at their school. One has had brain damage inflicted on her by her drug addicted mother's boyfriend. The other was born with learning difficulties and has had a baby that she has had to give away. Set in a small town in the US. This is a harrowing story from two angles - one girl is afraid to look pretty and be nice or even talk to the opposite sex in case she is raped again. The other girl is so defensive and super tough that it means she is indeed attacked and raped. In between these two girls is the well meaning miss Lizzy who offers them a home and a job and, after a few mistakes ( i.e she is a bit patronizing) steps up and helps the two girls stand up for what is right and good.

AS the mother of a disabled son (Autism) I found this a moving and insightful look into how the disabled perceive themselves....those with enough intelligence to understand the concept of id without the smarts to protect themselves nor understand what is really happening around them. I highly recommend this to anyone who works or cares for high functioning intellectually disabled young adults...especially girls. ( )
  nicsreads | Mar 9, 2016 |
Following graduation from their high school’s special education program, Biddy and Quincy share an apartment and face traumatic events together as they launch the next chapter in their lives. Biddy and Quincy’s narratives are a fresh, honest, painful, and necessary addition to the canon of young adult literature. Giles uses alternating first person narration to capture Biddy and Quincy’s unique voices, immersing the reader in a world view likely different from their own. It is impossible to read Girls Like Us and not feel empathy for both main characters, who both read very believably and evolve throughout the story. Girls Like Us is a short novel with a big impact and will leave its readers with a fuller view of the world and people in general. Topics covered range from in-school bullying, to broken families, to rape, making this novel geared towards older readers. With at least one tissue on hand, Girls Like Us is very highly recommended for readers ages fourteen and up. ( )
  Jessie_Bear | Feb 28, 2016 |
Biddy and Quincy are both in the Special Ed program at school, but that doesn't mean that they have anything in common. When their social worker arranges for the two of them to live together after graduation, both girls have their doubts, but they will soon learn that they can be stronger together than they were on their own. This is a skillfully written book with a lot of heart. Biddy and Quincy's struggles are touching and relatable, and there are surprising flashes of humor as well. Highly recommended. ( )
  foggidawn | Feb 10, 2016 |
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Always and always and always for Jim Giles and Josh Jakubik,  my heroes.
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My name is Biddy.
"Quincy, we're...heart orphans. Never had nobody that loved us. That makes us different. It ain't because you a mix-up race. It ain't because I had a child that got took away. Why should policemans care what happen if nobody ever cared?"
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0763662674, Hardcover)

With gentle humor and unflinching realism, Gail Giles tells the gritty, ultimately hopeful story of two special ed teenagers entering the adult world.

We understand stuff. We just learn it slow. And most of what we understand is that people what ain’t Speddies think we too stupid to get out our own way. And that makes me mad.

Quincy and Biddy are both graduates of their high school’s special ed program, but they couldn’t be more different: suspicious Quincy faces the world with her fists up, while gentle Biddy is frightened to step outside her front door. When they’re thrown together as roommates in their first "real world" apartment, it initially seems to be an uneasy fit. But as Biddy’s past resurfaces and Quincy faces a harrowing experience that no one should have to go through alone, the two of them realize that they might have more in common than they thought — and more important, that they might be able to help each other move forward.

Hard-hitting and compassionate, Girls Like Us is a story about growing up in a world that can be cruel, and finding the strength — and the support — to carry on.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:20 -0400)

Graduating from their school's special education program, Quincy and Biddy are placed together in their first independent apartment and discover unexpected things they have in common in the face of past challenges and a harrowing trauma.

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