The meaning of Maggie

Megan Jean Sovern

Book - 2014

Eleven-year-old Maggie Mayfield is an A-plus student with big plans for herself, but at this moment she is also facing a lot of problems--like starting middle school and figuring out how to help her father who is out of work and in a wheelchair.

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Subjects
Genres
Bildungsromans
Published
San Francisco : Chronicle Books [2014]
Language
English
Physical Description
220 pages ; 22 cm
ISBN
9781452110219
1452110212
Main Author
Megan Jean Sovern (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Maggie Mayfield, 11, begins chronicling her life, because keeping a memoir is very important when you are a future U.S. president. This is the year that she will start middle school, defend her science fair title, and become a Coca-Cola shareholder. But while Maggie is acing her classes and keeping an eye on her flighty sisters, her father's health is failing. He quits his job, and her mom goes back to work, plus her sisters are acting even more strangely while everyone is adjusting to this new system. As her father's symptoms of multiple sclerosis become more severe, Maggie's hope is to find a cure with her science fair project. Maggie's story is at once optimistic but realistic. Typical school problems and family issues compete for attention, but she stays true to herself. Give this first novel to fans of other characters that are a little left of center, like Emma-Jean in Lauren Tarshis' Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree (2007). Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Maggie Mayfield aspires to be president one day, and she's preparing by excelling at school, following the rules, and living by her family's motto of pulling up one's bootstraps when times get tough. Unbeknownst to Maggie, her 11th year is one of those times. The novel is structured as Maggie's memoir, written one year later, as she recounts those tumultuous 12 months. Maggie knows that her father is ill (he requires a wheelchair ever since "his legs fell all the way asleep," as Maggie puts it), but her family is shielding her from his diagnosis, a balancing act both they and first-time author Sovern pull off beautifully. Maggie (and readers) see hints of the grim reality, but it isn't until halfway into the story that Maggie uncovers the full truth: multiple sclerosis. Although Sovern dials up Maggie's precociousness a bit high (and the novel's late 1980s setting seems entirely incidental), the author handles the topic of debilitating illness with a light touch in a story that's heart-wrenching yet full of heart. Ages 8–12. Agent: Marietta Zacker, Nancy Gallt Literary Agency. (May) [Page ]. Copyright 2014 PWxyz LLC

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 4–7—In this humorous, fast-paced "memoir" set in Atlanta in the early 1990s, Maggie recounts the past "year that changed EVERYTHING!" She aspires to become President of the United States and continually mentions being an avid reader and excellent student. She struggles socially though, studying alone at lunchtime, not getting flowers on Valentine's Day, and procuring many teacher signatures in her yearbook, but very few from peers. On Maggie's 11th birthday, her father leaves his job as an airline ticket agent because his legs "won't wake up," (he is diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis) and her mother begins full-time work as a domestic at an elegant hotel. Maggie has a caustic relationship with her older sisters who spend more time with hair, makeup, and boys than studies. She is determined to find a cure for her father, who falls out of his wheelchair, loses the ability to eat independently, suffers a seizure, and is hospitalized with a massive infection. As his multiple sclerosis worsens during the year, the fifth grader realizes how hard her mother works at her job and at home and that her mother and sisters have tried to shield her from the grim reality of her father's disease. Meanwhile, Maggie's parents tell stories of their adventuresome hippie pasts to encourage their daughters to live life to the fullest. They share their love of Neil Young, Led Zeppelin, Bruce Springsteen, and other bands of that era, and hold their family together with love, hard work, respect, and courage. Maggie learns that she can survive getting a B, run an entire mile, and bravely face her father's illness and extend support. Readers will appreciate Maggie's humor and rejoice in her growth. This is a remarkable story of a working-class family pulling together in the face of a serious illness.—Laura Scott, Farmington Community Library, MI [Page 154]. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Writing a memoir of the previous year of her life while dreaming of the day she will become president, high achiever Maggie confronts the difficult realities of her father's battle with multiple sclerosis, in a story published to benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. A first novel. Simultaneous eBook.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Eleven-year-old Maggie Mayfield is an A-plus student with big plans for herself, but at this moment she is also facing a lot of problems--like starting middle school and figuring out how to help her father who is out of work and in a wheelchair.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Maggie Mayfield is an A-plus student with big plans for herself, but at this moment she is also facing a lot of problems--like starting middle school and figuring out how to help her father who is out of work and in a wheelchair.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

•"Smart, sensitive, sad and funny."—Kirkus Reviews, starred reviewAs befits a future President of the United States of America, Maggie Mayfield has decided to write a memoir of the past year of her life. And what a banner year it's been! During this period she's Student of the Month on a regular basis, an official shareholder of Coca-Cola stock, and defending Science Fair champion. Most importantly, though, this is the year Maggie has to pull up her bootstraps (the family motto) and finally learn why her cool-dude dad is in a wheelchair, no matter how scary that is. Author Megan Jean Sovern, herself the daughter of a dad with multiple sclerosis, writes with the funny grace and assured prose of a new literary star.A portion of the proceeds of the sale of this book will be donated to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Review by Publisher Summary 5

'"Smart, sensitive, sad and funny."'Kirkus Reviews, starred reviewAs befits a future President of the United States of America, Maggie Mayfield has decided to write a memoir of the past year of her life. And what a banner year it's been! During this period she's Student of the Month on a regular basis, an official shareholder of Coca-Cola stock, and defending Science Fair champion. Most importantly, though, this is the year Maggie has to pull up her bootstraps (the family motto) and finally learn why her cool-dude dad is in a wheelchair, no matter how scary that is. Author Megan Jean Sovern, herself the daughter of a dad with multiple sclerosis, writes with the funny grace and assured prose of a new literary star.A portion of the proceeds of the sale of this book will be donated to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.