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[Review] Girls Like Us by Gail Giles

June 3, 2014


Candlewick.  223pp.  May 27, 2014. 9780763662677.  Grades 7 and Up.  Just finished reading this and I’m honestly choking back the tears.  I can’t believe how skilled the author’s handling of the main 3 characters’ dignities with such poignancy.  There’s Biddy whose mother abandoned her to a grandmother that was filled with nothing but hate and resentment for a baby that survived an oxygen deprived birth and grew up to survive 2 separate rapes.  There’s Quincy who grew up in one foster home after another after surviving a traumatic head injury from a brick that was caused by her mother’s boyfriend when she was six.  There’s Ms. Elizabeth, the senior citizen that took both girls under her wings and helped them to understand, at last, what family really means. That both girls have survived such a traumatic life of sexual,emotional, and mental cruelty and still look to a future is extraordinary for anyone, let alone someone with disabilities.  Written in short chapters from each of the 2 main characters’ points of view…some one page long…some two no more than 3…this is definitely from my perspective a book that latches onto the reader and cradles you to the very end.  I could not stop reading and because of the short chapter format, it’s a very very quick read.  Another reviewer suggested this book for older readers due to a rape scene, but the rape scene is not explicit in any way…and yes, the main characters have graduated from high school and are 18 years old, but their expression and thought patterns are younger due to their disabilities.   After all, middle schoolers are reading John Green (I luv J. Green, by the way).  If they can handle a John Green book, I see no reason why a younger advance reader can not handle this coming of age realistic fiction!

The review is can also be read on Goodreads, along with 9 more.  Just click on the icon for the book in the Goodreads Sidebar on your right.  – Sabrina C.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Gail Giles is the author of seven YA books.  This is her 8th YA novel.  She is a former high school teacher and has a broad experiential background in dealing with the issues of SPED in a K12 setting.  Gail has one son and two grandsons.  She grew up in Texas and is living happily with her husband and their 3 dogs and 3 cats.  For more info on Gail, go to her website:

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