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Mister Posterior and the Genius Child
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Mister Posterior and the Genius Child

3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  264 ratings  ·  41 reviews
A Barnes & Noble's Winter Discover New Writers pick!



Woodstock was over. The Beatles had just broken up. Sesame Street was new. And people in Cambridge, Massachusetts were getting in touch with their feelings. It was 1970, the year Vanessa Brick was picked as a Super Duper Speller for the Cambridge Harmony School. In this novel from a brilliant new voice in fiction, a n
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Paperback, 304 pages
Published December 3rd 2002 by Berkley Trade (first published November 28th 2002)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 439)
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Melki
Mooning - the act of displaying one's bare buttocks. It can be done to express protest, scorn, disrespect, or provocation, but can also simply be done for shock value or fun.*

Vanessa is a fairly content third-grader when Marie, the new girl who smells like minestrone, makes fun of Vanessa's sandwiches, squeezes her shoulders, and pushes her against the wall before mooning her.

This is the Vanessa's first "mooning," but oddly enough, not the last. Soon, a strange pair of buttocks are wiggling aro
...more
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
I've always been fascinated with the 60's.
This book seems to me to accurately use
that time as a backdrop for the story, to
truthfully show the sixties as a time of
deep confusion about values. Vanessa,
the narrator, is a great mix of both
childlike simplicity and adult perspective,
so that we readers can view the sixties in
both ways at once. Some of my favorite parts
were the House of Terror at Fright Night,
Luke and Vanessa playing Peter Pan, and
all the conversations between Vanessa and
...more
Patricia
Who's on an E. Lockheart/Emily Jenkins kick? Me! That's who! Told from the perspective of Vanessa, a third grade girl at a private school called Cambridge Harmony, it was so chock full of solid detail and observations it immediately transported me from my summer vacation, right back into the school year that had just ended. I felt like I was back at work again. Yet I persisted. This book was funny, in a "safe for public transportation" way meaning you will smirk, but the guffaws will be kept to ...more
Lisa
Jan 17, 2011 Lisa added it
Shelves: children-s-books
this book is damn funny. the tale is told through an 8-year old's eyes, yet with a voice of experience and large vocabulary words.
Madeline Benoit
Just plain weird. The whole time I was bracing myself for a weird/uncomfortable sexual encounter which (fortunately) never quite came.

Vanessa is a delightful main character, and her point of view is important. Everything else about the book, however, made me feel icky and weird for lack of a better explanation.
Rachel
This is a funny, sad, quirky book that will make you remember what it's like to be eight-years-old. Although it's specifically about Vanessa Brick, "the most notorious child in the history of the Cambridge Harmony PTA," Jenkins gets the universal details of growing up exactly right -- the vagaries of having a best friend, how little slights become hugely important, and how big events are too incomprehensible to take seriously. Because the story covers only about six months time, there's not a lo ...more
Elizabeth
This was such a strange book. Funny in some parts but so sexualized for a viewpoint of an eight year old, even for the 70s. I really began to wonder what the book was actually about once I finished it.
Stacy
I thought this book was really great.

At times, the main character seemed a little too old and knew a little too much for an eight-year-old, even if she was living in a "liberal" household where no subject seemed too mature to discuss, it seemed unbelievable.

However, this author is a wonderful story-teller. It is easy to love Vanessa and her mother and their house full of cats. Every character, you could relate to and empathize with.

Julia
This was a weird little book that I checked out from the library because Emily Jenkins is the real name of E. Lockhart, one of my favorite YA authors. It makes sense that this wouldn't live up to the great Frankie Landeu-Banks or Ruby Oliver, but you can see some of Jenkins/Lockhart's amazing wit and wild creativity. I'll be interested to see if she ever goes back to writing for adults, but really, this one is only for E. Lockhart completists.
Jim
Apr 23, 2011 Jim rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2011
What a wonderful quirky story. I grew up in roughly the same time period, but we were a little closer to the forced integration of the big cities than the touchy-feely world of this novel.

Vanessa is a wonderful 8-year old character and her observations and experiences are a lot of fun. I wondered where "Mr. Posterior" was going to come into the story, and his appearance was a highlight!

I enjoyed this story a lot.
Animlgrl
I really enjoyed this book. While not a literary masterpiece, it reminds me of growing up and being in elementary school. How stupid stuff is so big and important in your mind. This book is like reading Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing or Superfudge (both Judy Blume), but for adults (definitely don't want your kids to read this, unless your ready to have "the talk"! Nice respite from heavy, older, prose-y books :)
Regina
Jan 16, 2014 Regina marked it as to-read
Written by E. Lockhart (penname)
Shauna
This book was sweet and short and silly. I loved it.
Jen
This was a GREAT first novel by Emily Jenkins. I found myself transported back to my own adolescence and couldn't believe how authentic the experiences were of the main character, Vanessa. This is a novel every woman, who was ever a little girl, should read. I devoured it!
Cain
This book was a joy to read. It is by no means a literary masterpiece, but a wonderful light read. Told through the eyes of a child in a socially liberal household, it hints at the powers of perception. I laughed out loud more than once while reading this.
Stephanie
I came across this in looking for other books by the author of "Toys Go Out". I laughed out loud when it came to Mister Posterior part. Vanessa is a funny, Clementine sort of character, but dealing with heavier issues than Clementine does.
LeAnn
This is a sweet, charming book that makes you laugh. It is a fairly quick and easy read that is ideal for vacation or a long road trip. It's amazingly light-hearted even when dealing with some heavy issues. A lot of fun!
Kate
In this rather different story, a young girl is untroubled by a neighbor's odd form of sexual harrassment (he moons her through her window), while another victim is completely traumatized by it.
Alexa
I ate this book up so fast. I wasn't quite suer what the real point was but it was good to get absorbed in this kid's life, as full as it was of her mother's troubles and other weirdness.
Diana
a really easy, engrossing read. the protagonist is a little girl who is sassy, precocious, misunderstood. it's a great story -- the childhood narration is so believable and smart.
Shalaka
Brilliant! One of the most original stories I've ever read and expertly crafted. I felt like I was reading a real memoir. The ending was a bit disjointed but it's forgiven.
Charlye
Written interestingly, but a simple read. Didn't impact me much, besides the fact that it was an unconventional story line. Some language throughout. I enjoyed it.
Kelly
1. I love books set in the 70s. 2. The narrator is a 3rd grader and she is super. 3. Mr. Posterior is part of the title. It's a quick read and its worth it.
Dawn Littlefield
Interesting coming of age book about a girl growing up with a single mom -- related to lot of the narrative re: things in her childhood. :)
Bryce
Really enjoyable. This book has some great messages for kids: "Believe in yourself" and "It's okay to question authority."
KC
Oct 03, 2010 KC rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Those who love hearing about strange childhoods
Shelves: 2010
Quirky and funny. I liked this one a lot. And the cover art is beautiful. I would buy a poster of the cover, if one was produced.
Christine
Nothing earth shattering. It was amusing and an easy, quick summer read which is what I was looking for.
Tracey
Very funny story about life thru the eyes of a precocious eight year old. Tender and entertaining!
Cheryl
this book was OK, took me two starts to actually get into it enough to finish it.
Yasmin
parts of this novel reminded me of my sister. . . odd
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