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How I Survived Being a Girl
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How I Survived Being a Girl

3.52  ·  Rating Details ·  332 Ratings  ·  52 Reviews
For use in schools and libraries only. Possessing strong opinions and beliefs, Carolyn seems to have a hold on the world and knows her place in it. But the summer before she enters sixth-grade, everything seems to change as she enters a new stage in her life.
Hardcover, 163 pages
Published August 19th 2003 by Turtleback Books (first published March 13th 1997)
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Aug 22, 2014 Kaelyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite-books
How I Survived Being a Girl was my favorite book when I was younger, and I only read it once. So when I found it in my stacks and stacks of books, I had to pick it up again. I scarcely even remembered what it was about, and since I didn't really want to pick up anything too hefty before school started, I just figured I'd give this one a quick reread.

I have found that this book still stands as one of my favorites, despite my age difference (I was about six or seven when I first read it, compare
Cordelia Dinsmore
The writing was fine, I just didn't find a plot. The author takes the reader on a short journey through a summer with a tomboy who loves her brothers, but would prefer to be a brother, herself. It's more like a diary, but it isn't written in diary form. Just little everyday snippets of her average life and how she relates in her family and her neighborhood. I kept waiting for some big conflict to happen, so that she could make herself stand out from the rest of the crowd.
Sep 02, 2012 Kassandra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: summertime
I sort of stole my copy from the hospital a few years ago. Best decision ever.
Amy Holiday
May 11, 2014 Amy Holiday rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this title, had to pick it up. What a fun idea. The concept was one I am trying to explore in my own writing, so it was great timing to discover this.

Carolyn is the only girl in the neighborhood--well, the only girl that doesn't wear mary janes, and the only girl who gets into dirt fights and likes spying on the crazy neighbors with her brothers Jack and Allen. Only, Jack is too old and doesn't want to play with her, and tagging along with her younger brother isn't as much fun anymore. W
Wierd... but good! I probally would have enjoyed this better if I was in 6th but... never too old for anything! (Well... almost anything.) My sister showed me this book because she knew I liked the book Flipped and this was from the same author. So I thought, alright! Let's see if I'd like this book as much. It was very cute and I really loved how the author was able to tell a tale through the mind of a 6th grader. It was so real! I can still remember how I used to think like that... another ama ...more
The title of this book drew me in immediately; as a tomboy, I can't count the number of times I've felt being a girl is something to be "survived" - this author understands! What suggestions could she have?

The short answer: Wendelin Van Draanen doesn't answer the question posed by her title. The story consists of almost unrelated anecdotes in the life of Carolyn, a twelve-year-old tomboy. (view spoiler)
Apr 05, 2008 Dana rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jenna K
The best word to describe “How I Survived Being a Girl” is desirable, because all of the activities that happened in the book could actually happen in real life and that’s what I think makes it so interesting. Personally, I liked how the ending turned out because all Carolyn really needed was a girl in her life that’s why she was so overjoyed when her sister was born. What makes this story so interesting is how Carolyn the main character is telling the story in first person and showing what its ...more
Danielle Spencer
Apr 10, 2012 Danielle Spencer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: english-420
The main character, twelve year old, Carolyn is struggling with self-identity like many girls of that age. She doesn't want to be a girl, but sometimes has a hard time fitting in with the boys. In the novel, she experiences her first crush, and enjoys the arrival of a baby sister. In the end, she has learned to be comfortable with who she is. In my author presentation, I speculated the value of such realistic stories. I think reading a story like this could help young people b
How I survived being a girlby Wendelin Van Draanen is a wonderful book about a young tomboy. Draanen's wit will have you laughing at every page. Her ability to incoroprate young love is spectacular. You will love every time Carolyn opens her mouth waiting for what comes out next. This young tomboy life changes from playing with the neighbors to schoolgirl chrushes. set in summer time you'll remember when you were young playing with your siblings and neighbors. Yuo'll wish you could join carolyn ...more
Jun 02, 2011 Faye rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was my favorite book when I was younger. Fantastic. Wonderfully written, wonderful character, wonderful everything. I read it over and over and over. So good. This is a girl character in a book aimed for like, elementary school students, and she kicks the shit out of most of the current YA girl characters. This book is fun, it represents childhood in a very real way, and it doesn't patronize the reader.
How I Survived Being a Girl is a very poorly written, sorry-excuse for a coming-of-age story about 12-year-old Carolyn who acts like a two-year-old. Sandwiched between two brothers, she thinks she should act like the boys and shuns dresses, frilly bows, and dolls. But, when neighbor Charlie starts paying some attention to her, she thinks maybe being a girl is not so bad.

Not worth the time it takes to read it, even though is a quick read.
Kayla Warner
Oct 01, 2014 Kayla Warner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I remember reading this book in middle school and I LOVED it!! I now, of course, don't remember all the details but I remember it being quite funny and I have kept it in my collection to this day because I enjoyed it so much! I remember liking it much better than "Flipped" which I believe is also by this author.
This book was okay. It wasn't as good as some of the other books that I've read by Wendelin Van Draanen. The plot was pretty entertaining, but it really didn't have much sustenance. I probably wouldn't recommend.

*Taken from my book reviews blog:
Feb 04, 2012 Wendolyn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Wendolyn by: Abby
Shelves: youth
I liked the map of the neighborhood. Even though I always imagine things myself, it was fun to have the drawing for reference. It brought back memories of how a neighborhood used to be, and how it should be. I enjoyed reading a book written in a child's honest, innocent, insightful perspective.
Mar 16, 2011 Ariel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read it when I was about 11 or so and I loved it. I'm in my twenties now and I still love it.
It's a sweet short read about a young girl with two brothers who just wants to be accepted by the boys and liked my one in particular.
Aug 15, 2015 Debbie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really didn't want to like this book, but i enjoyed it. The story is filled with great kid humor! The main character, Carolyn, is trying to figure out her place in the world while dealing with a new teacher and keeping up with the boys in her neighborhood.
Mar 14, 2013 Mia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I adored this book when I was younger, I read and reread it until I got sick of it, which rarely happened. This girl reminded me of myself in a way! I fell in love with Carolyn and the rest of the ragtag gang. I even did a book report on it!
Isabella Sanchez
How i Survived being a Girl was alright. it was action packed and fun to read about the life of a girl who doubts the good stuff about her gender. I just wish the book was longer; it ended when there could of been a lot more to write about.
May 11, 2012 Robin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
April and I tried to read this together. Kind of boring. Every chapter the main character was somewhere else, doing something else. Hard to follow. We didn't finish the book. We read a couple chapters but just couldn't finish the story.
Jul 06, 2011 Brooke marked it as couldn-t-finish  ·  review of another edition
Surprisingly inappropriate for a kids book. Didn't care for it.
May 23, 2009 Nicole rated it liked it
Shelves: q4
this book was okay. it talked about life's hardships and what girls go through. it is an pretty okay book!
Naz Chowdhury
you can learn something from anyone
Jun 07, 2013 Monique rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good, solid read.
this book is reall intresting to me because of the charcters and the way the story reall gets my attention
Pooja Dimba
This is good. But it is not as good as Wendelin Van Draanen's newest books. Or even the newer ones. It's told in 1st person. I recommend this book to people ages 10-12.
One of my favorite books from when i was younger. I could relate to Carolyn in many ways. I've read it more times than i can count.
Oct 14, 2010 Lessa rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Boring. As a not so ex-tomboy, I was excited to read about the trouble reconciling the arrival of hormones with being a tomboy. Sadly, I couldn't get past page 50 to find out.
I don't remember if I liked it or not!
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If you have read this book could you give a description? 1 3 Jul 07, 2012 10:02AM  
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Wendelin Van Draanen has written more than thirty novels for young readers and teens. She is the author of the 18-book Edgar-winning Sammy Keyes series, and wrote Flipped which was named a Top 100 Children’s Novel for the 21st Century by SLJ, and became a Warner Brothers feature film with Rob Reiner directing. Her novel The Running Dream was awarded ALA’s Schneider Family Award for its portrayal o ...more
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