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The Girl with 500 Middle Names
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The Girl with 500 Middle Names

3.39 of 5 stars 3.39  ·  rating details  ·  548 ratings  ·  64 reviews

It's hard enough being the new kid in school. It's even tougher when all of your new classmates live in big houses and wear expensive clothes, while your parents have little and are risking everything just to give you a chance at a better life.

Now Janie's about to do something that will make her stand out even more among the rich kids at Satterthwaite School.
Hardcover, 96 pages
Published March 1st 2001 by Perfection Learning (first published 2001)
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I thought this was a really nice and age appropriate way to introduce social class and money issues. I also appreciated the wide range of attitudes and emotions; the main character was likable but not perfect, and she explored her emotions throughout the story in a believable way.

Course evaluation:

Personal Response: This was an interesting way to introduce social class and the discomfort people can feel when it comes to money matters. Janie is a very likable character and I rooted for her family
Other reviewers say most of what I want to say. I agree with those that say it's simplistic and has some cliches, but after all it is for ages 7-9, and many characters are complex. As far as 'poor school = bad school' - well, sure, not necessarily, but in this case the teacher at the poor school was a bad teacher. The dad did question the need to move.

Entertaining, dramatic but not too intense, leavened with some humor, an imperfect but effective and appropriate ending.
Oct 18, 2011 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: children starting to read chapter books
I'm not sure where we found this book, but I'm glad we read it. It's a sweet, but somber tale of a young girl whose parents make sacrifices and work extra hard to give her a better education and a better chance at life. The description of the poor school in the city was heartbreaking and after reading this book, our oldest and I had a discussion about how blessed we are to live in a place with a terrific school system.

This is a great book for children who are just starting to read chapter books
The Girl with 500 Middle Names is a very sweet book about a little girl who moves into a new and wealthier school district. She struggles with her lack of wealth and is picked on by her peers for being 'poor'. Her mother, who knits sweaters with names on them, tries to help Janie at every chance but cannot afford to buy her new clothing. So Janie starts wearing her mother's sweaters that feature different names on them to school and gains the reputation as the girl who has 500 different middle n ...more
I've read this book about 3 times already, really: once to find out if my kids will like it; another time to find questions to ask and words for them to define; and now my reading group and I are reading it together.

What a great little book about sacrifice and hard work, maturity, and some of the pangs of being new in school and growing up. My students really enjoy it and they look foward to reading every day.
This is a very good little book. I remember reading it when I was in 3rd grade. I thought about it the other day a looked it up on here.
Sonya Huser
This is one of Margaret Peterson Haddix's few books for younger readers, but I really liked it! Janie's parents move to the suburbs to get her into a better school and environment. The school is great, but she's the poorest in her class and everyone can tell. She's having a hard time making friends and fitting in.
Financially, things get even worse for Janie's family, who were already stretched thin. Janie's mother had been knitting specialty monogrammed sweaters to make some extra money. Her bos
Ashley Wilson
I must say that the title of this book is what made me want to read it. The Girl with 500 Middle Names begins with Janie telling her classmates that she will be going to a new school on Monday. No one knows why but Janie is very excited about the new school. The story then moves to a flashback where we find out why Janie and her family are moving. Janie and her family are moving from an impoverished neighborhood to the suburbs because Janie’s parents feel like she is not receiving a good educati ...more
This is such a cute book about a girl named Janie. She comes from a less wealthy family, but her mother beings to knit sweaters with names on them, at a shop to send Janie to a better school. When the family moves, Janie is excited, but soon finds it hard to fit in with the rich students. Her mother's business does not go very well, and Janie is in need of new clothes, so she wears all the sweaters her mom made to school. Janie begins tells everyone she has 500 different middle names, due to the ...more
Poor family moves to a rich town, girl struggles to fit in. I was hoping this book would be a realistic take on class and money that was still appropriate for 3rd graders, but it felt dated (even though it was only published in 2001) and was just a collection of stereotypes cobbled together to form a predictable story. The poor family doesn't have much, but they work hard and love each other, even if their kid's school is ripped straight from a Jonathan Kozol book circa 1967. The rich people hav ...more
Kim Burean
This is a great book for 3-5th graders. It is about Janey who goes to a rundown school in a poor neighborhood. Her mom knits fancy sweaters with names on the front, which she sells in an upscale boutique to earn extra money. She hopes to earn enough to be able to move into a better neighborhood so that Janey can go to a better school. When this becomes a reality, Janey starts her new school, but feels immediately out of place because all the kids there are dressed much more nicely than she is. W ...more
Elvis Davtyan
I chose this book because the title caught my eye. The story is about a young kid that their family doesn't have that much money. The main characters mom knits clothes and sells them to a retailer but he found someone cheaper and the child's mom has loads of shirts with names on them. So the mom has to find a way to use these shirts."I'll wear these shirts mom," this is my favorite quote because she really helped her mom by wearing these clothes to school and make them by them from her mom cause ...more
Janie lives on the wrong side of town. Fed up with Janie's school, her mother, an amazing knitter, begins selling custom-made sweaters at a boutique. Mother makes enough money to move to a new apartment so Janie can have a better education and more opportunities. Janie finds herself among schoolmates who have a lot more than she does. She makes an honest attempt to fit in, yet the chip on her shoulder prevents her from becoming friends with the girl who sits next to her. When the boutique that i ...more
Aby Vela
A truly heartfelt story about a little girl who feels like she doesn't fit in. Janie is the main character of this book. Her mother decides to move them to the suburbs in order for Janie to receive a better education and ultimately a better life. Once again, she if having hard time fitting in at her new school, being bullied (Josh) as well as rejecting friendships (Kimberly) that might have possibility to flourish. Janie thinks up the perfect plan that might just help her to fit in. Does Janie r ...more
It was kind of funny how the girl in the story wore all those sweaters with different names on them istead of just buying clothes from the store.
Katie Fitzgerald
As in Say What and Dexter the Tough, Haddix demonstrates a strong talent for writing family dynamics, and also for addressing common childhood issues in ways that interest kids and keep them turning pages. She really encourages her readers to put themselves in others’ shoes and imagine the world from other points of view. This makes her chapter books not just great first stories for newly fluent readers, but also nice go-to titles for character education.

Read my full review on my blog: http://sh
Great story about being happy with your life.
This was a cute story by one of my favorite authors. It is an early chapter book and would be great for a 1-3 grade reader. It is a little more geared towards girls, but it has a great message about love being more important than money!
A very sweet book, clearly for younger readers (I was informed that one of my favorite readers enjoyed it years ago), that reminded me of growing up in Seattle. I like to think I would have worn sweaters with other people's names and pretended I have 500 middle names too (along with my other grandma who'd done everything anyone else had). I especially liked how Janie knew her parents loved her, and how they really did.
I'm reading a lot along with my 3rd grade daughter for her weekly book clubs as school. She loves to read, but feels that reading (like everything else in life) should be a social activity ... thus, I'm "sharing" in lots of young reader chapter books. This was not my favorite, but was a little charming story with a pretty heavy-handed and improbable message about standing up for yourself and confidence and acceptance.
Aug 22, 2010 Skittles rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: very young readers
Wow! This was a great and touching book by Margaret. It was a bit easy for my taste but still worked out good. Janie has a very poor family and she goes to a really crappy school where there is a lot of mean and different people. Then her mom becomes and enterpreneur and Janie gets to move to a bigger nicer school! But something happens that isn't the best...You'll have to read the book to figure out what it was!
Katie Curry
This easy-to-read transitional chapter book is about a girl that comes from a low income family who moves to a higher income school. The main character, Janie, sacrifices her image to her peers and determined to make the best of her situation. This book is definitely a must-read and could be used in a classroom to focus on acceptance and having a positive self-image no matter what cards you are dealt.
This boo is about a girl with a mom that make sweaters and puts names on them well they move to a new house and when she gets to school everybody has nice cloths on and hers are all old and small so she starts wearing the sweaters her mom mad cuz they were not selling very well and the little girl says she has 500 middle names and that is why she waers all the sweaters whith the names on them
Andd Becker
This is a classic story of a child who believes that she doesn't fit in. Her mother is busy knitting name-sweaters to sell.
When nothing sells, the daughter starts wearing the sweaters to school. Her hope is that buyers will want to buy the sweaters. Instead, classmates ask her if the name is her middle name.
True friendship reveals itself in the end.
Drew Paige
Easy to read transitional book about a girl who moves to a better school but her family is poor. She makes all these sweaters with different names so everyone could feel equal. I personally do not like the comparisons between a good school and a bad school. I think any child can thrive in any environment if they receive the right teaching.
This is a sweet story of love and discovery. Haddix is even great at writing for 9-10 year olds. Janie's mother has a talent for knitting and uses it to help her family move to a place where Janie can get a better education. There are complications but love triumphs over everything.
This morning i was bored so i just grabbed this skinny book and read it! Favorite author is Margaret Peterson Haddix and i have yet to read any books of hers that aren't yeah. This book is for like littler kids but i just read it real quick! It was good!
Lucy Zheng
A girl who name janie has moved to a rich school. Her mom is a sweater maker. One day janie don't have a coat to wear. Her "friend" gave her a new coat. I really like the book ,because is a girl who showed kindness.
I don't remember too much about this book, but I remember the portagonist's name was Janie. Which, actually, is a pretty common book name. An TV name (for the oft-mentioned but never seen friend, of course).
Aug 23, 2010 Jay rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jay by: Teegan
I think this is a really good books for kids who have grown up feeling entitled to the things they have: more clothes than they need, toys they number rather than love (or number and love), and good schools.
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What's The Name o...: girl with sweaters with names on them [s] 3 105 Jun 15, 2012 09:26AM  
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Margaret Peterson Haddix grew up on a farm near Washington Court House, Ohio. She graduated from Miami University (of Ohio) with degrees in English/journalism, English/creative writing and history. Before her first book was published, she worked as a newspaper copy editor in Fort Wayne, Indiana; a newspaper reporter in Indianapolis; and a community college instructor and freelance writer in Danvil ...more
More about Margaret Peterson Haddix...
Among the Hidden (Shadow Children, #1) Into the Gauntlet (The 39 Clues, #10) Found (The Missing, #1) Just Ella (The Palace Chronicles, #1) Among the Impostors (Shadow Children, #2)

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