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Last Summer with Maizon by Jacqueline…
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Last Summer with Maizon (1990)

by Jacqueline Woodson

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Last Summer With Maizon didn't really seem to go anywhere. It had a plot, but even though the plot involved the death of the protagonist's father and her best (only?) friend going away to school, I didn't feel like any of it mattered much. I felt that I knew Margaret, but most of the other characters were too minimally developed.
The conclusion seemed a bit anticlimactic as well. Instead of moving in a direction and getting to a point, it felt more like it moved in a direction and then gave up and went back to where it started. ( )
  fingerpost | Jan 2, 2017 |
Summary: Margaret stays inside and takes care of her brother Li'l Jay and looks after her mother everyday. She loves to hang out with her best friend Maizon too. Her father becomes very sick though and has to keep going to the hospital for tests. Maizon might go to a boarding school soon. Margaret is very jealous of Maizon's life. Soon Margaret's world turns upside down and she has to learn to adjust with out some of her favorite people.

Evaluation/Argument: This book does a very nice job of approaching real topics in life in a subtle way. There are a lot of topics discussed in this book that could happen to anyone in real life. For example, the author addresses the topics of friendship, family, separation, and death all throughout this book. I think the author does a great job of addressing these topics in a way for young readers to understand. I think that kids will love this book. Students have a lot of friends and usually a few very close friends, which will help this book to become more relatable to readers. Even as an adult reader the author was still able to keep my attention throughout the text.
The central message of the book is to value the time you have with everyone. Margaret and Maizon get separated once Maizon is accepted to Blue Hills so she has to move away from her best friend and grandmother. Margaret's father also passes away, which brings up the topic of death and how you should value your time with loved ones because you never when life will change. ( )
  mwade4 | Oct 25, 2014 |
RGG: Heart-warming story about friendship between two middle-school African American girls, one of whose father dies and the other who goes off to attend a white boarding school in which she feels ostracized. Very readable start of a series. Reading Level: 10-14; FP - Q-R.
  rgruberexcel | Sep 30, 2013 |
RGG: Heart-warming story about friendship between two middle-school African American girls, one of whose father dies and the other who goes off to attend a white boarding school in which she feels ostracized. Very readable start of a series. Reading Level: 10-14; FP - Q-R.
  rgruberexcel | Sep 30, 2013 |
RGG: Heart-warming story about friendship between two middle-school African American girls, one of whose father dies and the other who goes off to attend a white boarding school in which she feels ostracized. Very readable start of a series. Reading Level: 10-14; FP - Q-R
  rgruberexcel | Mar 23, 2013 |
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For Linda, Teresa,  and Michelle
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Margaret dangled her legs over the edge of the fire escape and flipped to a clean page in her diary.
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Book description
Margaret dangled her legs over the edge of the fire escape and flipped to a clean page in her diary.
"Maizon took a test in April. If she passes, she's going to go to this big private school in Connecticut.
Every night I pray she doesn't get accepted."


Margaret and Maizon may not be family, but they feel like sisters. They aren't exactly two peas in a pod - Maison can be pretty flashy, while Margaret is more subdued - but they've done everything together since they can remember on their block in Brooklyn.
After this summer, though, everything might change. Not only is Margaret's father in the hospital, but for the first time she and Maizon will be split up. Maizon is afraid to go to a school with hardly any black students, and Margaret is afraid if feeling all alone, even though she's the one staying home.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0698119290, Paperback)

Margaret loves her parents and hanging out with her best friend, Maizon. Then it happens, like a one-two punch, during the summer she turns eleven: first, Margaret's father dies of a heart attack, and then Maizon is accepted at an expensive boarding school, far away from the city they call home. For the first time in her life, Margaret has to turn to someone who isn't Maizon, who doesn't know her heart and her dreams. . . .

"Ms. Woodson writes with a sure understanding of the thoughts of young people, offering a poetic, eloquent narrative that is not simply a story of nearly adolescent children, but a mature exploration of grown-up issues: death, racism, independence, the nurturing of the gifted black child and, most important, self-discovery." (The New York Times)

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:18 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Eleven-year-old Margaret tries to accept the inevitable changes that come one summer when her father dies and her best friend Maizon goes away to a private boarding school.

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