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Clara in Washington

3.28  ·  Rating details ·  29 ratings  ·  10 reviews
From CBCA shortlisted author, Penny Tangey, comes a moving – and funny – coming-of-age story set in Washington, D.C.

Clara is in Washington.

Living in Washington D.C. is meant to be all politics, glamour and great conversations but what do you do when you don't have the words to join in, or the knowledge to ride the subway, or you're scared someone will mug you and a million
Paperback, 264 pages
Published June 27th 2011 by Penguin Books
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Average rating 3.28  · 
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 ·  29 ratings  ·  10 reviews

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4.5 stars

When I first started teaching, I thought I was down with the students... until they asked me if I’d seen High School Musical.

Me: “No, what’s it called?”
Kid: “… High School Musical.”
Me, looking at the student like she’s special: “Your high school musical is called ‘High School Musical’?”
Kid, looking at me like I’m special: “Are you serious right now?”

One week later, after I’d bought and watched BOTH High School Musicals (because there are TWO of them!), I was leading the kids in “We’re a
Kate O'Donnell
Jun 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
When Loving Richard Feynman was released in 2009 it was really exciting to discover a new, vibrant YA voice. LRF, shortlisted in the CBC older readers category, is about family, friendship and disillusionment. The protagonist Catherine was smart and set herself apart from the gang - she's aloof, kooky and hilariously, humanly flawed.

Clara in Washington is a fabulous follow-up. Clara has decided to spend the summer holidays after finishing Year 12 in wintery Washington DC with her mum - by way of
A few years ago I read Loving Richard Feynman, which was innovative, interesting and a really good read. So I came to Clara in Washington, written by the same author, quite excited – an author I’d enjoyed in the past, a fish out of water storyline, a Washington setting – I should really enjoy this book. Unfortunately, I was soon to be disappointed.

Clara has finished her school exams, but doesn’t really want to go on her normal summer holiday excursion to the beach – mostly because she’s embarras
Pam Saunders
Jun 04, 2011 rated it it was ok
The positives, the quotes at the beginning of each chapter were apt and enticing. The explanation and exploration of anarchy also were excellent and unusual.

Teen readers will love the premise of a girl having a few months holiday with almost total freedom in Washington with the bonus of meeting the gorgeous guy who also likes her; but Clara seems to have visited a different Washington to the one I saw. Where is the grandeur of the monuments, the wide open space the city devotes to them and the
Feb 03, 2012 rated it it was ok
It was a real toss up between one star and two, and in the end I decided to go with 2 since it really wasn't terrible, but it wasn't very good either. Here we have Clara, ready to believe in stereotypes and almost any rumor she hears. She meets Campbell, and feels like maybe she's missing something in her ordered life and starts dating him. Now, I couldn't quite put my finger on what it was that made me dislike him at first, but his patronizing and forceful ideals played a part. At the same time ...more
Apr 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Actually a surprisingly insightful coming-of-age story. I thought this was going to be more of a teen romance, but the author hits the nail on the head in terms of understanding the isolation and confusion that most young adults feel when they first leave the comfort and security of high school to figure out where they fit in the larger world of adulthood.

Feb 13, 2012 rated it liked it
An entertaining, well written coming-of-age story. I think a couple of the other reviews for this book were unfair - a character who is a bit unlikeable does not make a bad book. If a reader has a strong reaction to a character, I think it shows strong writing and convincing characters, which is a great achievement. I read this story in just two days, which goes to show that I liked it and was driven to find out what happens next.
florence baxter
Oct 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
i mean just another ya coming of age story really, rather typical and predictable, even with the so-called anarchism throughout it (this was the first time i ever used those little take one/leave one libraries/library boxes a few years ago - there’s a few now around where i live and if you ever see one near you i’d recommend having a peruse!)
Christina Trotter
Really enjoyed it.
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Sep 25, 2012 marked it as to-read
Recommended to Amanda by: Maggie
I'm pretty sure I've never heard of this or the author, had no idea it was by an Aussie.
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