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The Bad Times of Irma Baumlein

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  99 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
Irma's lie about having the biggest doll in the world leads her into deeper and deeper trouble.
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published August 1st 1972 by MacMillan Publishing Company (first published 1972)
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Lobstergirl
Mar 24, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childhood
This seems like such a strange book to issue from the same person who wrote Caddie Woodlawn. (Seems like it should've been written by E.L. Konigsburg or something.) I'd completely forgotten about it but it was quite compelling and the cover brought back memories.
Josephine
Jun 17, 2015 rated it liked it
By the author of Caddie Woodlawn, this is a sweet book about a more or less ordinary girl who's moved to a new community and wants to win friends....so she says she's got "The World's Largest Doll" to iimpress one of the other kids, and gets roped into bringing it to the school's fall festival. Catch is, there's no such doll.

Who might like this? Well, I'm not sure how popular or even widely held it is today, and after the 40+ years since it was written, styles in children's literature have chang
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Grace
The dread and doom I felt when reading this book must be a holdover from childhood fears. I couldn't stand it. You know Irma will be caught in her lies but don't know how awful it will be and at what price. Will she still have friends afterwards? Will the poor store clerk be arrested? A lonely girl in a morality tale where truth wins at the end. Hard for me to believe this was written by Carol Ryrie Brink. With the names and illustrations the family had to be Jewish, but then Irma quotes the new ...more
Kristen
I have tried and tried to remember the title of this book that I recall being my very favorite as a youngster. I recently came across the title and was so glad the library had a copy. I loved reading it again. Irma Baumlein lies about having the biggest doll in the world. When her friend and the rest of her classmates want to see it, Irma begins a downward spiral of more lies and tangled webs. A great read for young kids to help teach them that one little lie can lead to many more lies and lots ...more
Jennifer Danko
Jun 02, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-lit
Newbery Award-winning Carol Ryrie Brink once again creates a magical story filled adventure and trouble. Irma Baumlein is the perfect example of why we should remain true to ourselves. Brink creates a character that is relatable for young children trying to fit in. She opens the door to the truth that almost all children are embarrassed of their family at one point their life. As a child reads this book he or she will learn that lying about who you truly are will only create greater trouble. Th ...more
Dianna
Jul 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Irma wants people at her new school to like her, so she tells them that she has the biggest doll in the world. The only problem is, she doesn't. This is a book about a lie. I think Brink does a good job here of teaching about honesty without being didactic. I liked the book, and especially I liked Irma and her big words.
Wilson
May 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, children
When I was a 3rd grader (way back when) I got this book as part of an in school book order. This delightful tale about a girl who wants to fit in and be on top, quickly became one of my childhood favorites! This book is a doll collectors wonder. A great book to help us value telling the truth. No amount of showing off is worth the sacrafice of self. A wonderful book.
Karen
Jul 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-alouds, young-me
This is one of the books I loved in elementary school and wanted to share with my daughter when she was around the same age.

It was a great story to read both times I read it, although it does not rate as high as some of Carol Ryrie Brink's other books.

Still, what I wouldn't give to own the copy I read way back when.
Hilary
Dec 05, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book is more moralistic than what I've come to expect from Carol Ryrie Brink's lovely adventure books for children. However, it was an adventure story, and Irma is left happy and at peace with the world in the end.
Melody
Sep 11, 2007 rated it it was ok
Simplistic yet sympathetic morality tale about the consequences of lying and the freedom to be found in truth.
Barb Struwe
This is a great story to read in the fall to your classroom. It creates good discussion amongst students.
Laura
Apr 17, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kidfavorites
One of my all-time FAVORITE kids' book!
Janice
Jun 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 04-owned-books
Recommended Reading level is 4th grade. It is not on the Accelerated reading list at this time.

I really enjoyed reading this one. It has some good lessons to learn.
SD
putting this here to remind myself of the author + title....I remember this story so vividly as a kid. I should probably re-read.
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5325
Born Caroline Ryrie, American author of over 30 juvenile and adult books. Her novel Caddie Woodlawn won the 1936 Newbery Medal.

Brink was orphaned by age 8 and raised by her maternal grandmother, the model for Caddie Woodlawn. She started writing for her school newspapers and continued that in college. She attended the University of Idaho for three years before transferring to the University of Cal
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