Canadian Children's Book Centre's Reviews > Dear George Clooney: Please Marry My Mom

Dear George Clooney by Susin Nielsen
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Feb 07, 2012

Reviewed by Rachel Seigel

Twelve-year-old Violet is fed up. After her movie director father leaves her mom for a blonde trophy wife and moves to LA with her and their new twin daughters, Violet’s mom starts dating again with a vengeance. The trouble is, she can’t seem to pick a decent man, and each one seems worse than the last. When her mom brings home her latest boyfriend, the unfortunately named Dudley Wiener, Violet decides to take control. She’s certain that George Clooney would be perfect for her mom, and with the help of her best friend Phoebe, she’s determined to make that happen.

In Violet, Susin Nielsen has created an endearing heroine who will charm and entertain readers. She is full of spunk and imagination, and her antics, while not without consequences, are understandable and hilarious. She’s complex and well-realized, and she behaves, thinks and speaks like a typical 12-year-old: often impulsive and reflective of what she’s feeling at the time.

The novel has many laugh-out-loud moments, but Nielsen never becomes ridiculous or insensitive to the issues that are at the heart of the novel. Coping with divorce can be traumatic and difficult for everybody involved, and the author sensitively portrays the different means by which all of her characters cope, reminding both her readers (and Violet) that Violet is not the only one struggling. When all is said and done, Violet learns an important lesson — how things end up are not always in our control, and they don’t always work out exactly as we might imagine them, but they can still end happily.

Overall, this is a worthwhile read that is both tender and funny and, hopefully, the start of many more adventures featuring Violet and her pals.

Canadian Children's Book News (Fall 2010, Vol. 33, No. 4)

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