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Shug by Jenny Han


by Jenny Han

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5665026,510 (3.96)8



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» See also 8 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 50 (next | show all)
Loved it. Sweet, innocent, and touching. ( )
  AdrianaGarcia | Jul 10, 2018 |
really cute! ( )
  iShanella | Dec 2, 2016 |
The light and bright, cheerful cover of Shug belies the serious issues within. Even the descriptive blurb suggests a fairly light story of a 7th grade girl's first real crush, on a boy who'd been her best friend since early childhood. And it is about that. But it's also about dealing with an alcoholic mother and virtually absentee father, coping with peer pressure to stay in the in-crowd, even when they're urging you to do things you know are wrong, and close friendships that change and grow distant as we get older. As small asides, pre-teen drinking and child abuse are touched on as well.

This is a good book - it's just much more serious and realistic than I expected from the happy-looking dust jacket. But, as they say, you can't judge a book by its cover. Certainly true in this case! ( )
  fingerpost | Oct 9, 2016 |
Narrated by Liz Morton. Very much on point with the social and emotional dynamics of being a young teen in middle school. Liz Morton crafts just the right voice for Shug's story. ( )
  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
Recommended Ages: Gr. 6-9 best, but maybe 5

Plot Summary: Shug and Mark have been best friends since they were five years old, but suddenly she is seeing him totally differently and doesn't understand why he doesn't kiss her. They seem to be growing apart now that they are in junior high. Mark is hanging out with the boys and not standing up for her. Meanwhile, Jack Connolly is teasing her constantly, and while she can stand up to him, she is annoyed. They have a diving competition at the last party of the year, and since Shug won, Jack has to carry her books every day. Shug tries to let him off the hook because she doesn't want to be near him, but he keeps his word. When Shug doesn't get her usual A she signs up to tutor Jack, despite her hatred for him. When she goes to his house for the first time, she learns a little more about his family. A few weeks later, he ends up at her house and sees Shug's mom at her worst. There are a few plots: Shug's friendship with Mark, Grace's drinking, failing relationship between Annemarie's parents, Shug's dislike for Jack.

Setting: unnamed location, probably suburb seems like small town because there is discussion about getting out of there

Annemarie Wilcox - AKA Shug, 12 y/o, 7th grader, sucks up to teachers and is surprised when a teacher doesn't like her for no reason
Mark Findley -
Grace Wilcox - Annemarie's mom, drunk, doesn't make dinner unless Billy is home, very intelligent, doesn't fit in with the other moms, probably more of a big city person stuck in a small town
Billy Wilcox - Annemarie's dad, almost always out of town, brings home gifts for his girls every time even though they are older now
Mrs. Findley - Mark's mom, makes good food, super sweet and is disappointed when Annemarie doesn't come over as often and invites her in to talk
Celia - 16 y/o, Shug's older sister, beautiful, anxious to move out of town
Jack Connelly -
Kyle Montgomery - guy everyone has a crush on
Elaine Kim - from New York, Annemarie's best friend, only Korean in school
Park - Celia's boyfriend, tries to be friendly to Annemarie
Mairi Stevenson - popular girl who focuses on boys

Recurring Themes: first love, crush, romance, friendship, family, alcoholism

Controversial Issues:
Annemarie's mom drinks
pg 4 "it's sexist"
pg 4 "What a load of crap"
pg 20 "Shug Avery doesn't take crap from nothin' and nobody
pg 28 "Mama said to make love or make war. I know she doesn't mean I should go and have sexual relations with him"
pg 39 "When Olivia Peterson got pregnant last year, she wasn't allowed to go to school anymore. I don't know if that is illegal or what, but nobody put up a fuss. Not even Olivia.'
pg 46 "her chest is flatter than my back"
pg 46 "Jack connelly is an ass"
pg 46 "Choke, Connelly, you big jackass!"
pg 63 "Why don't you kiss my ass?"
pg 88 "Daddy, Celia's a lesbian now." Annemarie says as a joke
pg 124 "damnation"
pg 135 Annemarie gets her period
pg 144 "this love crap makes me want to puke"
pg 148 "Damn you"
pg 149 "I can't help it if everyone I know has taken up arms in the sexual revolution"
pg 159 "asshole"
pg 196 "tell your mother to mind her own damn business"
pg 197 "Mairi Stevenson is a damn liar"
pg 200 "bite her freakin' head off"
pg 224 "you sure as hell can't expect someone else to"
pg 237 "bunch of crap"

Personal Thoughts: I remembered this book being a great romance for late elementary school. I bought it and gave it to a 5th grader who was asking for romance. She marked many of the pages as controversial. I reread it and I have mixed feelings. I was surprised at some of the things she marked, including discussion of Annemarie getting her period and "sexual revolution." I'm torn about whether to keep it in my elementary library if she found so many controversial things, however she did also say it was her new favorite book. Regardless, this book is very well written. The characters are authentic and the plot is deep enough to keep readers interested.

Genre: realistic fiction, romance, drama

Pacing: medium, new plot twists frequent
Characters: not difficult to keep track of even though there are so many, all very authentic

Activity: ( )
  pigeonlover | Oct 15, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 50 (next | show all)
Han's well-crafted first novel captures the aching hurt of exclusion in middle school, and the acute pain of vicious teasing. Shug's direct, honest narration reveals a wholly believable, endearing, hot-tempered young woman who faces painful truths and survives.
added by khuggard | editBooklist
Shug seems to be a typical contemporary novel about a middle school girl. But Han offers something more with her penetrating observation of Annemarie (Shug) as she becomes more aware of the people around her and of how they differ from her previous perceptions of them.
added by khuggard | editSchool Library Journal
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For Mom, Dad, Grandma, and Baby Sister
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It is the end of a summer afternoon and the sun will be setting soon, our favorite part of the day.
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Book description
Han's heartfelt first novel persuasively expresses the woes of Annemarie "Shug" Wilcox during her first year of junior high. As the boys and girls at school start warming up to each other, flat-chested, freckle-faced Shug finds herself left out in the cold. Her best friend, Elaine, is "wrapped up" in her relationship with new boyfriend Hugh, while the boy Shug likes-longtime friend Mark-has started to act distant towards her. To add insult to injury, he asks another girl to the upcoming seventh-grade dance. Meanwhile, tensions mount in the Wilcox household as fights between Shug's parents (caused by her father's prolonged absences and her mother's drinking binges) intensify. Shug feels all alone, like she's the only seventh grader with problems, until she is assigned to tutor her nemesis, Jack, who, as it turns out, can relate to her troubles. With its distinct Southern flavor, its presentation of universal conflicts and a cast of characters sure to be recognizable to readers, this book will likely draw a wide audience. If themes are a little well worn, the author refrains from offering a conventional, sugar-coated ending that ties up all loose ends. Yet the heroine gains enough self-confidence and self-esteem to suggest that the rest of her ride through junior high will probably be less bumpy. Ages 10-14.
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A twelve-year-old girl learns about friendship, first loves, and self-worth in a small town in the South.

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