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T-Backs, T-Shirts, Coat, and Suit

3.41  ·  Rating Details  ·  376 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
Going to Peco, Florida, for the summer to stay with Bernadette is not Chloe's first choice. Or her second or her third. It's her only choice. She has to leave town because of the hair contract. If she didn't sign it, her friends would shun her; if she did sign it, anytime any one of them had a bad hair day it would mean total immersion in the local pool for all of them, Ch ...more
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published October 31st 1993 by Atheneum Books (first published January 1st 1993)
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(showing 1-30 of 599)
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A wonderful story of a very perceptive young girl, who spends a summer working with her aunt. Chloe is a very precise almost detached teenager; intelligent and methodical. Bernadette is a former hippie who lived in a commune with her younger brother, Nick. Nick married Chloes mother and adopted Chloe. I love how so many misunderstandings about people in general, and these characters in particular, make life so challenging. this is a well written enjoyable story, and made me go look for more by t ...more
A twelve-year old girl spends the summer in Florida helping her "mysterious" Aunt who runs a food truck. She gets involved in a modern day witchhunt involving what at first seems to be the morality police gone wild but then becomes an actual witchhunt when a few careless tales she spins about her aunt convinces some people she's a consort of the devil.

There are some interesting parallels here about identity and finding yourself and sticking up for your rights and the rights of other people but I
Abigail Geesey
Oct 14, 2014 Abigail Geesey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-pleasure, 2014
This was a rather interesting read, it involved hippies, lawsuits, and T-Backs which I now know are basically swimsuit thongs. This books takes place somewhere in the 90's and the protagonist, a extremely unwilling Chloe, gets to be the honored guest as law meets personal freedom. With a hippies aunt and odd dog, the story takes the reader though a journey that invites the reader to think of the consequences of actions, even actions many years ago and how things can often be different than they ...more
Jul 23, 2013 Tory rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Chloe read smiles the way some people read tea leaves or tarot cards. The most important thing she watched for was how it grew. Slow and twitchy were the two basic styles. Female salesclerks and office receptionists had twitchy smiles for twelve-year-old females. Dental hygienists, wonderful slow smiles; fast-food waiters, twitchy; actors playing fast-food waiters on TV, slow. Anchorpersons, two basic smiles: twitchy-twitchy when they were talking to each other and slow-twitchy when they were d ...more
About girl who stays with her independent aunt for a summer. She (girl) is independent, quick talking and smart— she learns all kinds of lessons as she works with Aunt on food mobile. She finds out about hard work, feeling like a “3-in-one” (feeling a unit with aunt and dog), and personal rights as they all get caught up in a lawsuit when competition wears skimpy bathing suits to attract customers. Main thing is that the aunt, who is minus a breast from cancer surgery, has a right to NOT partici ...more
Michael Fitzgerald
Presents a very one-sided negative view of religion, both in the depiction of the Bible-thumping, witch-hunting fundamentalists and in the overblown and misleading historical account of the Church's dealings with Galileo. The book appears to conflate these two into one big bunch of bad guys, with no balance.
I like how Konigsburg flips the map and has children coming to the rescue of adults rather than vice versa - visiting her Aunt Bernadette, Choe finds herself caught up in a food-truck war that centres on wearing what Konigsburg calls t-back (aka thongs) and being accused of being a witch. Kind of improbable - I can't imagine the health department not shutting down trucks where the servers are grilling burgers and making fries where the employees are wearing thongs! Still, here again is another b ...more
May 29, 2010 Emily rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-lit
This was an interesting book. It begins with a disclaimer about t-back swimsuits, and so if you are offended by T-backs I wouldn't recommend this book. It's about a girl who spends the summer with her step-aunt, in Florida. Unbeknownst to all parties concerned the step-aunt's work place is about to suffer a T-back revolution. It causes controversy all over town. It's a good book, just regular fiction. I don't think it's E.L. Konigsburg's best. By now you probably realize that I really like From ...more
Jill Chomowicz
Oct 23, 2014 Jill Chomowicz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book - as usual per konigsburg. Thought provoking. Who sets dress codes? Who sets the cultural norms? Who has the 'right' to set decency laws/standards? What is the measure?

This is especially thought provoking in examining the Western bias/disdain for hijab and/or abaya and/or chador... what is modest? why is nudity not accepted and/or against the law fairly universally?

Is it OK to use sex appeal for sales? Is it a double standard?

How do the character's FEEL? How would you feel in the s
Aug 29, 2014 Becca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sweet, as are all of Konigsburg's books. Realistic portrayal of the way adolescents think about themselves and the people around them, but I love reading about how people grow and learn more about themselves and the world.
This is such a funny book. Great book for a quick plane ride or something for it is fairly short. I must admit that the beginning is a little weird but keep reading! It gets so much better as the story goes on.
Cynthia E Sherman
Interesting book and concepts. Not for elementary students to read, but the older young adults will be fine with the cocepts. This is an entertainnig book.
Ann Moody
Apr 13, 2016 Ann Moody rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ar-tests-done
E. L. Konigsburg is a favorite of mine and I like her quirky and unique style. I like that her characters are tweenish types who are really at a point of development in their maturity and that she gives us a snapshot into the circumstances that shape that development.

This fits into her brand just fine. Twelve year old Chloe's experience during a summer where she learns to face the "unexpected" is plausible enough. Teaches a few lessons about hard work, empathy, friendship, getting caught up in
Reader Girl
Feb 12, 2016 Reader Girl rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: jf
If you're going to read Konigsburg, I recommend Silent to the Bone or one of her Newbery list novels instead of this one. Maybe it was too subtle for me, but I found T-backs to be rather boring and pointless. The writing itself was good, and the plot had potential, but I was surprised when the book ended because it hadn't gotten anywhere yet.
Sep 03, 2007 Melissa rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It pains me to say this, because you know E.L. Konisburg and I are BFF, but this is definitely her worst book. It's not even bad in the "bad for this author, but still good in general" way... this book is just bad. The main character is unlikable, the teacher/mentor figure is also pretty unlikable, and the action is both convoluted & slightly ridiculous. I agree with the reviewer who wrote "who calls thongs T-backs?"--it took me three chapters before I figured out what she was talking about. ...more
Zhenhao Ren
Dec 17, 2013 Zhenhao Ren rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 8th-grade
I think the author could improve on how COAT won the t-back battle because all it said in the book was COAT has won and t-backs have lost. It feels as if the ending was rushed because of the way the t-back battle ended and the book really seem to end at the part where Chloe talked to the layer Mr.Bayard about him defending Bernadette. The rest of the book feels like I'm reading the epilogue. Overall this book is good and it seems like a book for young adults.
Selena Fornander
This was an ok book. It was about how this little girl did not want to go somewhere but she had to. Then when she got there she went into Nick's house and he has a dog and she is scared of it and they want her to pet it but she doesn't want to because she is scared she will smell like dog for the rest of the time. Then finally she pet the dog and figured out that their dog was nice and was not going to lick her and it was ok to pet the dog.
Jul 03, 2012 Elaine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this YA book. It deals with our history of going on "witch hunts" for power and monetary gain. It certainly would help a young person understand how the Salem Witch hysteria could have happened. As always with Konigsburg's fiction, it is well-written and has characters that you both love and hate!
Sep 28, 2010 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who want a laugh
I didn't find E.L. Konigsburg until adulthood, and have since read nearly all her books. Her characters in her books are always funny and smart and figuring out something about the world or themselves. This book is no exception. It's on my book shelf as one to return to.

reread 9/10
Keilani Ludlow
I liked this book, but it's not one of my favorites in her extensive library. It's a little similar to The Outcasts of 19 Shyler Place, but not as good. 12 year old girl, coming of age trauma, weird relatives, funky social obstacle to overcome - but just not as good.
Jun 16, 2012 Jami rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grades
Definitely not my favorite Konigsburg, but still well-written and interesting. She always creates such interesting characters that you can't help but get drawn into the story. A quick and fun read.
Apr 26, 2012 Trina rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not the best Konigsburg, look for "A View from Saturday" for that, still it was interesting for juvenile fiction. The ending was abrupt.
Sep 07, 2009 Mindy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a weird book. Very weird book. Very very very weird book. And an unexpected ending. But it was pretty good.
Kristen Gurri
There is a lot to be learned from Konigsburg both as a reader and a writer. Love her style and noted her pacing.
Feb 23, 2010 Ron rated it liked it
Shelves: juvenile
My son continues reading through E. L. Konigsburg. Not a pretty look at ministers or money-grubbers.
Jul 04, 2008 Rachael rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids-books
On the whole, I am a big fan of Konigsburg. This book was a horribly boring exception.
Mar 06, 2009 Portia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not nearly as great as Konigsburg's others but not a total waste of time.
Oct 02, 2012 D.J. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There's really nothing else to say. Everything she's written is amazing.
Sophie Cook
Sep 01, 2013 Sophie Cook rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
EEP IT'S LIKE I'M 8 AGAIN. Such a good book!

Dec 14, 2008 Jenny rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book was really confusing. I really didn't enjoy it!
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Elaine Lobl Konigsburg was an American author and illustrator of children's books and young adult fiction. She was the only author to win the Newbery Medal and a Newbery Honor in the same year (1968), with her second and first books respectively: From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler and Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth. Kongisburg won a second Newbery ...more
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