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Letters in the Attic

3.51  ·  Rating Details ·  115 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
A crossover young adult-mainstream novel that was published to great acclaim in 2002. This is the first time in paperback. Lizzy McMann, the narrator, is a feisty 12-year-old who moves to a new town with her Mother, recently divorced, and experiences puberty and teenage love, including falling for a 13-year-old girl down the street who is dyslexic, smokes, and looks just l ...more
ebook, 161 pages
Published May 1st 2012 by Academy Chicago Publishers (first published 2002)
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Cheriee Weichel
This is historical fiction set in the early 1960's and at the same time, a coming of age story for 12 year old Elizabeth (Lizzy) McMann.

Lizzy has spent most of her life looking after her mother. When Manny, who she thinks is her father, leaves them, Lizzy and her mother end up in a small town in New York State living with previously unknown grandparents. It is a mixed blessing. Her grampa is loving and supportive, but her grandma is filled with bitterness and bile.

Ridgewood, New York, is fille
Nov 28, 2012 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a wonderful read! Lizzy is a great narrator, and Bonnie Shimko a masterful storyteller. This book takes a fresh look at the awkward age of adolescence, and I found myself fiercely invested in Lizzy's journey as she tries to balance the ache of new love with the pressures of fitting in, and the need to take care of her dependent mother. The characters are quirky, the issues are real, and Lizzy McMann shines through it all.
Athira (Reading on a Rainy Day)
Letters in the Attic was another quick read I found on Scribd. Lizzy McMann is secretly happy that her father wants to leave her mother. She never liked him anyways and besides, he rarely acknowledged her, unless he wanted something. But her mother wasn't taking it too well. They eventually decide to move out of Phoenix to upstate New York, where her grandparents resided. Lizzy didnt even know she had grandparents so she was looking forward to meeting them.

The stay at New York turns out to be c
Shimko's Letters in the Attic was a very good young adult read. The plot focuses very much on the constant changes and growing relationships in Elizabeth McMann's life as she moves from Arizona to upstate NY with her mother. From meeting her best friend Eva Singer, realizing that something is just a little different about herself when it comes to her sexual orientation, helping her mother readjust to life in her childhood home, Elizabeth's life has changed eventually for the better.

The book is
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Marta Morrison for

I really enjoyed reading LETTERS IN THE ATTIC, set in the early sixties.

Lizzy, the heroine, lives with her mom and dad in a Phoenix hotel. Her father comes in, a real sleezeball, and with his new girlfriend in tow, proceeds to tell her mother that he is divorcing her. He even has the gall to ask Vonnie, her mother, to apologize to his girlfriend because she isn't being nice.

Well, with no place to go home to, they head to upstate New York to Vonnie
Apr 27, 2012 Lydia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-read, ya-lgbt
For me, classifying this as an LGBT novel is a bit of a stretch. The story line seems more focused on the mother, rather than the "coming-of-age" adolescent protagonist. Lizzy is only 12 in this novel and at the beginning does not understand her life. When she is forced to live with the "evil grandmother" and the loving grandfather, while her mother tries to figure out her life, Lizzie falls in love with her best friend.

The pacing of the novel is rather slow. This is a steady-paced novel, with n
Nov 18, 2015 Weezie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am so in love with this story. I won’t tell you that it’s a particularly hard read or that you’ll take away some great, life-changing message but the book has a feel good vibe that will make even the hardest cynic smile. First, let me say that the synopsis is misleading. If you’re looking for an LGBTQ novel where girl meets girl, falls in love, girl gets a boyfriend but then realizes that she is also in love with a girl… walk away. This is about a young girl maturing and coming to terms with h ...more
Jun 26, 2014 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When 7th grader Lizzy McMann’s father announces he wants a divorce, leaving her and her mother both homeless and penniless, they are forced to move from Phoenix to upstate New York where are they taken in by Lizzy’s maternal grandparents. Once there, Lizzy becomes friends with and develops feelings for her 8th grade neighbor, the beautiful and dramatic Eva Singer.

A rich, layered story about growing up that depicts relationships, friendships, and developing self-knowledge in complex, poignant, h

This book was fine. It's a simple, nice story, and nothing really surprising happened. It was the voice and tone (as if an actual, smart seventh grader wrote it - but complete with the unevenness and unnecessary adjectives and metaphors that author would choose) that failed to draw me in. Especially compared with The Age of Miracles, which was told in the voice of a seventh grader grown up, looking back from an indeterminate future, and which I read concurrently with this, Letters in the Attic
Emily Harrington
Dec 05, 2015 Emily Harrington rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I gave this a higher rating than I actually felt about reading it, because I believe that had I read it when I was in the age bracket that the book is set for, I'd have enjoyed it much more; I probably would have given it five stars.

It's so important to have books for pre-teens just starting to have lesbian feelings. I'm thankful this book was written; I only wish it had been around when I was that age.
Dr Penner
Nov 30, 2012 Dr Penner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There’s no question to why Letters in the Attic was so well received when it was first published back in 2002. After recently reading the novel for the first time, I am shocked it took me this long to find out about it. I’m a huge fan of Young Adult novels and Letters in the Attic seemed to fit that mold and then some. Lizzy McMann is a great character and one easily relatable even from a male perspective. Props to Bonnie Shimko for a fantastic read.
Oct 04, 2012 Alexa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This thin volume is deceptive because it packs a lot of punch. This coming of age story is painfully rendered and deals with very deep and intense subject matter, not expected in young adult literature. I found the protagonist Lizzie McMann's struggles endearing and her courage very inspirational.
Katie M.
Nov 12, 2009 Katie M. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008, queer
The fact that the two reviews on this book's cover are by Emily Saliers and Betty DeGeneres really tells you far more about this book than I ever could. Mostly it was fine, I'm just not a fan of coming-of-age stories.
Mr. Woods Woods
Nov 12, 2008 Mr. Woods Woods rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have to say this is another young adult novel I found and absolutely love. This book deals with a young character and her disfunctional family as well as sexual identity issues she faces. The story is both humorous and sad quite a good read!
Jun 23, 2015 Cheryl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a definite don't judge a book by its cover read. While I must honestly admit I didn't like the cover art (I don't think it reflects what is in the book even remotely)--I loved the story itself. Four stars.
Courtney Ali
Jul 24, 2009 Courtney Ali rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i thought this was really good. it tells about a thirteen year old about her family and finding out her real father is.
Alan rated it did not like it
Apr 17, 2016
Cait rated it liked it
Mar 08, 2010
Rebecca rated it really liked it
May 17, 2008
Sep 02, 2009 Shayla rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Shayla by: I found it at the library
This book isn't terrible. But it's not terrific, either. It's well-written fluff.
Gholam rated it it was amazing
Mar 15, 2016
Dylyn Shimko
Dylyn Shimko rated it really liked it
Jul 09, 2014
Maria rated it it was ok
Jul 21, 2015
Kurt rated it it was ok
Apr 18, 2015
Sarah rated it really liked it
Dec 03, 2016
Nohelya rated it liked it
Sep 07, 2014
Melinda rated it liked it
Feb 16, 2016
Jayna rated it really liked it
Jun 16, 2007
Ehrrin rated it really liked it
Sep 29, 2009
Elizabeth Dowell
Elizabeth Dowell rated it it was amazing
Aug 12, 2014
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