Review: Millicent Marie Is Not My Name – Karen Pokras Toz
Millicent Marie has spent quite a bit of time in coming up with a suitable alternative to her name. She’s never liked it much, and fancies something that’s shorter, and much easier to handle. She knows that whatever she comes up with, the name will define her in more ways than one. But alas, it’s a name no one will actually know belongs to her. Or so she thinks.
When her brother inadvertently uploads her journal online, Millicent is forced to make a choice. Keep the blog, or continue writing in it since no one knows who she is. While it’s a tough call to make, she decides to keep the diary anyway. It’s her way of venting about her every day life, and the guise of writing as Amanda let’s her do just that.
Yet never once did she imagine the chaos that would ensure upon updating her blog every day. Soon, everyone in Springside Elementary is interested in the elusive Amanda. They live to read about her inadvertent gossip, as well as for the spur-of-the-moment advice she’s spews out right and left. Advice, she realizes, gets things done, even though she never intended for things to go as far as they have.
When things get out of hand, Millicent begins to realize that she’ll eventually need to come clean about who Amanda really is. The thought of doing so is daunting at best. She’s enjoying the attention, and has been helping people in the process. At least, that’s what she keeps telling herself. As the situation comes to a head, she soon realizes that pretending to be someone you’re not can hurt someone else’s feelings, even when you think you’re doing the right thing. Sometimes being yourself in the best way to go.
This was such a delightful story. I honestly enjoyed it immensely. It tackles subjects such as bullying, gossip, and every day life in a child’s world. Karen has beautifully crafted a world in which anyone of any age can relate to the trials and tribulations Millicent goes through each and every day. It’s a book that’s meant to be read and re-read, time and time again.
Twelve-year-old Millicent Marie does not like her name. After all, she was named for a woman who died more than fifty years ago and was not the most loveable member of the Harris family. Her friends call her Millie, but when she writes in her diary she refers to herself as Amanda – the name she always wished she had.
When Millie’s younger brother finds her diary on her computer, he decides to publish it as a blog for the entire world to see, including the boy Millie has a crush on. In the midst of all the mayhem, Millie/Amanda discovers she is suddenly Springside Elementary’s most sought after sixth-grade mystery gossip and advice columnist.
But not all is fun and games, as Millie quickly learns, once she realizes feelings are at stake. Nobody, least of all Millie, expects things to turn out as they do in this tale of friendship and respect.
About The Author:
Karen Pokras Toz is a writer, wife and mom. Karen grew up in Orange, Connecticut and currently lives outside of Philadelphia with her husband and three children.
In June 2011, Karen published her first middle grade children’s novel for 7-12 year olds called Nate Rocks the World. The second book in the Nate Rocks series, Nate Rocks the Boat, is to be published in the spring of 2012.
Karen is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI).
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