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Taking Care of Terrific
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Taking Care of Terrific

3.74  ·  Rating Details ·  371 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
Going to the park to broaden his horizons, fourteen-year-old babysitter Enid enjoys unexpected friendships with a bag lady and a black saxophonist.
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published April 27th 1983 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published 1983)
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Apr 04, 2010 Debbie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's summer, and Enid is planning to spend her summer taking art classes, when she is offered a baby-sitting job for an adorable, imaginative 4-year-old boy named Tom Terrific. She takes him a few times a week to her favorite spot in Boston, the Public Garden. They end up having adventures with some new friends, organizing the local bag ladies to picket the popsicle stand because of the lack of root beer popsicles and then sneaking out at night to liberate a Swan Boat and give the bag ladies a r ...more
Aug 11, 2008 Rosey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
Fourteen years old Enid, I mean, Cynthia, was taking care of little James Cameron, AKA Tom Terrific, for the summer. In the afternoons, they would go to the Public Garden, where they met certain people such as bag ladies, and the black man who played the saxophone. Cynthia learned how harsh the world can be, and how one can strive to make changes in it.

I would recommend this to pre-teens, especially those who were interested in baby-sitting. This is also a book by Lois Lowry, who was one of my f
Jun 17, 2011 Josiah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is so much fun! Without hesitation, I would put it into that relatively rare category that I term "short but sweet", books that can be read with a bare minimum of effort but which leave a discernible aftertaste of sweetness in their wake, because the story is so nice and the characters so full of life and love. I'm always up for reading this kind of book! Taking Care of Terrific is a pleasure to read, and if I could take the knowledge of the plot back out of my mind and read through i ...more
Well done; engaging and interesting.
Wayne S.
Nov 01, 2014 Wayne S. rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Fourteen year old Enid Irene Crowley lives on Marlborough St. in Boston, MA, with her lawyer father, her radiologist mother, and the family’s somewhat eccentric live-in housekeeper Mrs. Kolodny. She goes to the Carstairs School where her best friends are Trina Bentley and Emily Wentworth but definitely not Seth Sandroff whose father owns a television station and whose mother is a famous child psychologist, though with her other friends away at their camps she starts hanging out with Seth. Named ...more
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Books Kids Like
Oct 07, 2013 Books Kids Like rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lowry-lois
Enid Crowley hates her name because is rhymes with words like stupid, putrid, and fetid. One summer, she decides to change her name to Cynthia. When she starts baby-sitting Joshua W. Cameron IV, she promptly changes his name, too. While they are together, he is Tom Terrific. Each day, they go to Boston's Public Garden. There, they meet and befriend an old bag lady. Prompted by the bag lady’s love for root beer popsicles, Enid and Terrific picket the popsicle man because he refuses to sell that f ...more
Isabella Sparrow
Jan 11, 2013 Isabella Sparrow rated it really liked it
Shelves: summer, humor
I love this book. I do not know why I love this book. Maybe it's Enid-- I mean Cynthia and I's shared love of words? Maybe it's the fact that I was laughing the whole way through? Maybe because I felt like I had the whole, not so well known book all to myself?
Perhaps it was all those reasons.

See this is the story of a 14 year old baby sitter who calls herself Cynthia. The little boy she watches looks up o her and decides to call himself Terrific hence the name, Taking Care of Terrific. The book
Laina SpareTime
Jul 03, 2015 Laina SpareTime rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
This is another one that I really enjoy, but I wouldn't recommend to kids under my care. The voice is lovely, because it is Lois Lowry, but some of the subject matter has not aged very well. For example, Enid signs a petition denouncing trans people, and although she doesn't understand it, there is a slur used. There are also mentions of "preverts" (spelled that way, don't look at me, spellcheck), diet talk that I'm really not fond of, fat camp for two children which makes my head want to explod ...more
Gary Bernard
Mar 20, 2015 Gary Bernard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-13-25
Enid wants to go by Cynthia. Joshua Warwick Cameron IV wants to go by Tom Terrific. When Cynthia begins babysitting young Tom and taking him to the park, they make an unusual assortment of friends including a sax-playing man named Hawk and a mysterious "bag lady". Together the odd bunch works together to fight for the right of having root beer popsicles, and then, with the help of Cynthia's classmates "General" Seth Sandroff, they set their sights on a new goal--one that might get them into a wo ...more
Apr 16, 2008 george rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This wasn't like the other Lowry books I've read before, but it's *really* good, just like her others. Enid, who prefers to be called Cynthia, is supposed to be having the best summer of her life. She is fourteen, taking art classes and just got a great babysitting job for a cool little kid who prefers to be called Tom Terrific. Cynthia and Tom's adventures in the park have them encounter Hawk, a saxophone player, and a bag lady--who help them discover even more adventures. An annoying classmate ...more
Nikki Boisture
Aug 18, 2009 Nikki Boisture rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-books
So I have this blog where I read books I read as an adolescent and review them from an adult perspective. I love doing it, though I'm generally derisive and snarky towards most of the books I chose to read back then.


The protag Enid/Cynthia is a fantastic narrator. The characters are surprisingly deep and well-rounded for a YA novel. And it has a good message without being overly preachy.

One point off for considering the popsicle man to be "The Man," if you know what I mean. He has
Jun 09, 2011 Rebecca rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult-lit
Most of my reasons that I like this book is because of the charcters. The charcters were funny. Especially the 'nanny' for Enid. She is this total flightly lady that is suposed to be taking care of Enid, but instead Enid is taking care of her. Most days that nanny--is watching soap operas or reading real cheezy romance books.

I loved how Enid changes her name to Cynthia and it insires the 4 year old boy to make a new name for himself as well, Tom Terriffic.

Funny read, but it does read like an 80
Amber the Human
Apr 12, 2015 Amber the Human rated it liked it
What a bizarre story. Also, the cover of this edition is really misleading - Tom Terrific is not that young. He's more like four or five, not a toddler. What's most confusing about this book is that the main character (who's name I cannot recall) isn't really introduced to us that much. You just kind of meet her from her (increasingly bizarre) actions. But, you know, this is part of the path Lowry was on on her way to making more incredible books.
Miranda Summerset
Feb 21, 2016 Miranda Summerset rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: to-buy-shelf
Such a fun, enjoyable read! I loved this book and the story and the characters. Everything about this book was such a heart warming surprise that will leave you wanting more. I definitely wish there was a second part-that's how much I loved the characters! I couldn't rate this book 5 stars just because there wasn't much character development. Seth kind of just pops up and I wish there would have been more into their relationship before. Other than that, a solid 4 stars!
Mary Beth
May 12, 2012 Mary Beth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels, young-adult
Sharply insightful toward its delightfully ordinary characters, Taking Care tells a sweet, deceptively simple story without indulging in improbably rosy resolutions. Enid is a beautifully realized protagonist, with a wry voice and a poignant discontentment with her own identity. Lowry renders her coming-of-age with her typical empathy toward the average adolescent.
Jun 22, 2014 Magdalena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'll go with anything written by Lowry. It was a really nice short novel, with great characters.
Jan 22, 2008 Jill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my favorite authors. Her books are written primarily for a juvenile audience but I love her style and voice.
Aug 25, 2013 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An insightful and polished story by one of our most important contemporary American writers. The ending is particularly graceful and will really stay with you.
Aug 23, 2009 laaaaames rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, it is darling. Lois Lowry, I would like to be you when I grow up. Please?
I remember this book really affecting when I read it as a young girl, but I could never recall the title. It was always "That book about the root beer popsicles in the park". I want to reread it.
Feb 06, 2011 Vera rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: amazing-books
I loved this book. One of my favourites.
Partridge Public
Sep 04, 2007 Partridge Public added it
Recommends it for: JF Low
Shelves: juniorfiction
Lowry, Lois
Jun 21, 2008 Lindsay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 3rd grade and up
Recommended to Lindsay by: Dr. MaryAnn Duke
I picked this gem, that I hadn't read since 4th grade, up at the Ronald McDonald house yesterday. I forgot how much I like Lowry's writing. Enid (Cynthia) Crowley is such a great character.
Saje rated it liked it
Jun 17, 2016
Michelle rated it liked it
Feb 20, 2011
Matilda Wormwood
Matilda Wormwood rated it it was ok
Apr 11, 2016
Lizzy K
Lizzy K rated it it was amazing
Dec 15, 2014
Randa Cornell
Randa Cornell rated it liked it
Jan 21, 2010
Tammy Federspiel
Tammy Federspiel rated it liked it
Aug 23, 2013
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Taken from Lowry's website:
"I’ve always felt that I was fortunate to have been born the middle child of three. My older sister, Helen, was very much like our mother: gentle, family-oriented, eager to please. Little brother Jon was the only boy and had interests that he shared with Dad; together they were always working on electric trains and erector sets; and later, when Jon was older, they always
More about Lois Lowry...

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“Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps the singing bird will come.” 32 likes
“It sure doesn't take long to start to love a kid.” 3 likes
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