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42 Miles by Tracie Vaughn Zimmer

42 Miles (edition 2008)

by Tracie Vaughn Zimmer (Author), Elaine Clayton (Illustrator)

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949185,215 (3.82)1
Title:42 Miles
Authors:Tracie Vaughn Zimmer (Author)
Other authors:Elaine Clayton (Illustrator)
Info:New York: Clarion Books, 2008. 4th printing. Hardcover, 73 pages.
Collections:Your library
Tags:literature, poetry, cincinnati

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42 Miles by Tracie Vaughn Zimmer



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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
A book of children's poetry about a kid with divorced parents (one of whom lives in an urban downtown, the other of whom lives on a farm), with mixed-media scrapbook-style illustrations, is not really my thing. But it's set in my hometown, so here I am. It's okay. Distressingly little local color (it's not even clear what direction the protagonist's father's farm is from Cincinnati), so no points on that front. I think it mentioned Cincinnati chili, which is the bare minimum, but now I can't find it. As a book, it's not great either. I did like that the protagonist's parents have been divorced as long as she can remember, so it's not a blindsided-by-divorce book or a my-parents'-breakup-was-my-fault book, but rather a how-do-I-live-two-lives book. However, the reconciliation between her two "selves" comes very suddenly and seems unearned. I don't think it's up to much as poetry, either, and the illustrations were just kind of there.
  Stevil2001 | Sep 14, 2018 |
Short book in verse. Would be a good book for girls from a divorced family trying to get both sides of the divorce to mesh together ( )
  TeamDewey | Feb 15, 2014 |
JoEllen is about to turn 13. Her parents have been divorced since she was still in diapers, but until last year, they only lived a few blocks away. Now, her dad has moved back to his family's farm, 42 miles from the city where JoEllen lives with her mom most of the week. Having separate parents, separate houses, and separate names (her mom calls her Ellen, her dad calls her Joey) has caused JoEllen to feel that she has two separate identities. The poems in this book lead the reader through JoEllen's life now, her perceptions of her friends and family, and how she finally pulls it all together.The short poems offer up snippets of her life, the important ones, through the use of powerful imagery, and a free form, non-rhyming style. They captured the parts of growing up that I remember being important at 13. It doesn't have the feel of an adult's recollection, but as a teen's experiences. The illustrations, put together scrapbook style, fit perfectly with the flow of the poems. As I finished the book, I wished it was longer, but it was more that I wanted to keep reading about JoEllen, and what happened to her after the book finishes. This was a great story, not just for teens whose parents are divorced/separated, but for anyone who can sympathize with trying to define themselves.READ MORE REVIEWS AT http://sschpagepals.blogspot.com
  tichwi | Sep 10, 2010 |
Jo Ellen is known to her mother as Ellen and her father as Joey. She leads three separate lives. The one with her father in his parent's old farm house with a nearby cousin and the one in the city with her mother all involved in fashion and entertainment limit for her the time she wants to have for friends. The characterization and details of setting are remarkably strong for this brief lyrical prose. Such economy of words. Although 74 pages this can easily be read in one sitting for there is so much white space and only one phrase per line. The story just flows and it is very compelling. It could be an award winner. It is memorable worth recommending to teachers and students. The minimum number of pages and words make it a very good book for the reluctant reader, but the style, the theme and the character development make it a very worthy read for all students upper elementary through high school. ( )
  MarthaL | Jan 18, 2010 |
Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for TeensReadToo.com

JoEllen leads a double life. It's a bit like the old fable about the country mouse and the city mouse. Since her parents divorced long ago, JoEllen has divided her time between her father, who lives in the country, and 42 miles away in the city, where her mother lives.

It isn't just the living arrangements that divide JoEllen's life. She explains that even back when her parents named her they couldn't agree. Her name became part Joseph and part Eleanor - a piece of her father and a part of her mother. The city half of her life consists of girl friends, shopping, and movies while the country half involves horseback riding, fishing, and listening to bluegrass music. Even her friends get confused and can't understand how JoEllen copes.

It's the only life JoEllen has ever really known, but now that she's almost thirteen, she is wondering which life is truly hers. Maybe she isn't either one but perhaps someone completely different.

This short novel written in verse tells of a young girl's struggle to find herself. Surrounded by two loving parents, albeit 42 miles apart, she realizes that neither life truly reflects the person she is inside. Any reader searching for their personal identity will be able to relate to this touching tale. ( )
  GeniusJen | Oct 9, 2009 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tracie Vaughn Zimmerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Clayton, ElaineIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0618618678, Hardcover)

JoEllen’s parents divorced when she was very young, so she was used to splitting her time between them, shuttling four blocks from one Cincinnati apartment to another. But when her dad moved to the old family farm last year, her life was suddenly divided. Now on weekdays she’s a city girl, called Ellen, who hangs out with her friends, plays the sax, and loves old movies. And on weekends she’s a country girl, nicknamed Joey, who rides horseback with her cousin, Hayden, goes fishing, and listens to bluegrass. So where do her loyalties lie? Who is the real JoEllen? Linked free-verse poems, illustrated with a quirky array of found objects and mementos, create the vivid, realistic portrait of a young girl at a defining moment in her life.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:10 -0400)

As her thirteenth birthday approaches, JoEllen decides to bring together her two separate lives--one as Joey, who enjoys weekends with her father and other relatives on a farm, and another as Ellen, who lives with her mother in a Cincinnati apartment near her school and friends.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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