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T-Backs, T-Shirts, Coat and Suit

3.41 of 5 stars 3.41  ·  rating details  ·  341 ratings  ·  33 reviews
For use in schools and libraries only. Spending the summer in Florida with her stepfather's sister who operates a "meals-on-wheels" van, twelve-year-old Chloe and her aunt become involved in a controversy surrounding the wearing of T-back bathing suits.
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published February 1st 2003 by Turtleback Books (first published January 1st 1993)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 516)
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Marisella
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
Katrice
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
...more
Abigail
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
Tory
"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
Todd
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
Jeffrey
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
Emily
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
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
...more
Becca
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.
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.
Melissa
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
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.
Elaine
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!
Sarah
Sep 28, 2010 Sarah rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  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.
Jami
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.
Trina
Not the best Konigsburg, look for "A View from Saturday" for that, still it was interesting for juvenile fiction. The ending was abrupt.
Mindy
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.
Ron
My son continues reading through E. L. Konigsburg. Not a pretty look at ministers or money-grubbers.
Rachael
On the whole, I am a big fan of Konigsburg. This book was a horribly boring exception.
Portia
Not nearly as great as Konigsburg's others but not a total waste of time.
D.J.
There's really nothing else to say. Everything she's written is amazing.
Sophie Cook
EEP IT'S LIKE I'M 8 AGAIN. Such a good book!

Love
Love
Love
It.
Jenny
This book was really confusing. I really didn't enjoy it!
Casey
Not her best. And who refers to thongs as "T-backs"?
Shannon
I've had this since 6th grade and just now finished it. Eh.
Marie
this book was amazing it is a good book for girls!
Callie
Who knew this was a book about thongs? ha ha ha.
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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
More about E.L. Konigsburg...
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler The View from Saturday Silent to the Bone The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley and Me, Elizabeth

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