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Girls Like Us

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  4,119 ratings  ·  652 reviews
With gentle humor and unflinching realism, Gail Giles tells the gritty, ultimately hopeful story of two special ed teenagers entering the adult world.

We understand stuff. We just learn it slow. And most of what we understand is that people what ain’t Speddies think we too stupid to get out our own way. And that makes me mad.

Quincy and Biddy are both graduates of their hi
Hardcover, 210 pages
Published May 27th 2014 by Candlewick Press
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Bijou Speaking as someone who is herself disabled, I think that it's a very good book, particularly for being written by an abled person. I always cringe…moreSpeaking as someone who is herself disabled, I think that it's a very good book, particularly for being written by an abled person. I always cringe when I see books about "special needs" individuals (such as myself) written by people who misunderstand us and perpetuate stereotypes about us. Usually I don't even bother reading them, to be honest, but I am fairly glad I picked up this one. It does play into stereotypes quite a lot, but spends a lot of time trying to break them as well. I will warn you that it is quite rough in places and I would not recommend it for any children below high-school age. It is reasonably sensitive and well-written, though, and overall I do recommend it.(less)
Amelia I, personally, am a 12 year old, and I loved this book. It is quite mature at times, but if you're okay with that and so are your parents, it truly is…moreI, personally, am a 12 year old, and I loved this book. It is quite mature at times, but if you're okay with that and so are your parents, it truly is an amazing book. It's more difficult to read due to the way the main characters talk due to their disability, but it is a very good book. (less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,119 ratings  ·  652 reviews

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Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Sep 03, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-in-2014
Find all of my reviews at:

I can’t remember the last time a book really pissed me off. I often see reviews where it seems like readers have been almost searching for a way to be insulted by what they’ve read. As the well-intentioned social worker said in Girls Like Us: “not every word a person says is an insult. Try not to fight the world and everybody in it.”

I tried. I really and truly tried, but good grief I seriously was insulted by this book. I spent the
Mar 24, 2015 rated it it was ok
Giles' book about two girls with an intellectual disability has been praised and received several awards. Reviewers have noted its sensitive approach to the material. To me? It felt like a gimmick. Which hurt.

Biddy and Quincy are both "Speddies" (in their school's Special Ed program). It's their year to graduate, and since Quincy has been in foster care and Biddy's grandmother would rather have nothing to do with her, a social worker arranges for the two girls to be roommates. Since Quincy's dis
May 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Just finished reading this and I'm honestly choking back the tears. I can't believe how skilled the author's handling of the main 3 characters' dignities with such poignancy. There's Biddy whose mother abandoned her to a grandmother that was filled with nothing but hate and resentment for a baby that survived an oxygen deprived birth and grew up to survive 2 separate rapes. There's Quincy who grew up in one foster home after another after surviving a traumatic head injury from a brick that was c ...more
Feb 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
WARNINGS: (view spoiler) Would NOT recommend it to marginalised people. I'd only suggest it for privileged people, as a stepping-stone before moving onto #OwnVoices books.

It's NOT #OwnVoices. (The author worked with special ed students for twenty years). Which makes me feel guilty for connecting with it as much as I did. If only everyone with a disability could have an El
Jul 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: tender-topics, ya
*sigh* Just give me a minute.

Nope, still can't put it all into words. I was really moved by this work and would recommend it to anyone who has a soft heart--or maybe needs a softer one.

It was powerful. And disturbing. And uplifting.
Krista Regester
Oct 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Gail Giles gave a voice to those who often can't speak for themselves and did an incredible job.
Ivy Bookqueen
Nov 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: fun-book
this is the best book ever
I was done in two days and read it again
this book is about two girls who finish high school at the same
Biddy and Quincy are totally different from each other but it took them a long time to notice that they needed each other
when Quincy went to work and did not come home Biddy went out to find her and helped her out
This book show being different can change world .
Oct 20, 2014 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 18, 2014 rated it liked it
With its premise and styles, it feels like this book should either be 5 stars or 1. But that's not how I felt about it.

It had some real strengths - particularly its characters, who are unconventional but very sympathetic. The style worked for me. It's a fast read.

It also felt kind of rushed and a little simplistic - both the bad and the good happened in a very short timeframe, so it felt like it didn't really grapple with the long term implications of its subject matter. While everything that
Sandy Irwin
Oct 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A moving and thoughtful book. The perspectives of Quincy and Biddy - two former special education students now living on their own - are unique in literature. Their stories are authentic - I found myself wanting to fight for them, and discovered that they are capable of fighting for themselves.
Apr 17, 2017 rated it liked it
I forced myself to finish it and there were many aspects I ended up liking. Unfortunately, there were a few things I didn't appreciate at all. Very mixed feelings.
Apr 22, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: peach-award
Peach Award (3.5 stars)

Biddy and Quincy, two recent graduates, don't like to be known as simply "Speddie" (special education.) They come from different backgrounds, like different things, and have different disabilities to contend with. At first they aren't sure why they've been placed together in the home of an elderly woman from whom they will cook and clean to earn money, but as they get to know each other, they discover the things they have in common and the ways they can help each other.

The description is spot on for what this book is and delivers. Extremely good read for all ages.

Tremendously #diversebook

7/9/16 ETA: Wanted to note, I have a severe disability but my deafness isn't on the same spectrum as these girls. I live in the hearing world as an oral deaf person who does not sign. My empathy is therefore more akin to an able bodied reader.

Was looking at the other reviews today and noted that people were saying that it is not very representative at all. Able bodied bias e
Oct 07, 2013 rated it liked it
This dual-voiced novel is about two special ed students -- Quincy and Biddy -- and what happens when they're assigned to live together following high school graduation. This is a gritty novel, tackling abuse and rape, and both of the girls' voices ring authentic. It's a fast read, but it's a tougher one. Giles does a good job of making these round, full characters. Quincy is rough around the edges and wants to pick fights, where Biddy is sweet, kind, and gentle. Their being paid together and wha ...more
Mar 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was such a hard book to get through because I kept wanting to stop and sob my heart out. I love that it's from first person POV, and I don't always like alternating chapters, but their voices were so distinct that I thought it worked very well (after all, there are two main characters in this book).
Kira Brighton
May 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who can handle some sexual content
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, and SO necessary.

(Showcased in Top Ten Tuesday: Books Teen Girls Should Read)
Carrie Gelson
Schneider winner. Such an important book. Hard, emotional, can't put it down kind of book.
Aug 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: school-read, reviewed
This has got to be one of my favorite (new favorite) school-read books of all time (second only to The Book Thief). It takes absolutely no time at all to read and keeps your emotions in constant chaos, clutching at your heartstrings and plucking them try. You will feel everything from happiness to heartache, and so much more in between. This was worth every second of my time reading it.

Two Speddie (Special Education) girls have just graduated from school and are looking to get a fresh start in
Jan 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
As a teen librarian, I try valiantly to have a diverse collection for my library. When I was weeding the collection and saw this book was about two special ed young women struggling with life after high school, I was impressed with the subject matter and thought it added a welcome perspective. While not an #ownvoices, the author worked in special education for twenty years, and drew from her experience to create the two main characters.

*Spoilers* Biddy and Quincy both live in untenable home env
Ms. Yingling
Biddy and Quincy graduate from the special education unit at their school, and are set up in an apartment to live together. Biddy, who is developmentally disabled because of a birth trauma, was raised by a grandmother who was angry with Biddy's mother, and so was strict and deprived Biddy of many opportunities and comforts. Quincy has been in foster care ever since her mother's boyfriend hit her in the head with a brick. She is a bit more able to function in the world than Biddy, but still strug ...more
J L's Bibliomania
Girls Like Us won the Schneider Family Book Award* for teen readers in 2015. The book was good, though I was a bit disappointed about how easily all the characters meshed and the pieces fell into place in the middle of the book.

The language used in Girls Like Us is not complicated, since it is told from the perspective of two young women with intellectual disabilities. As the sensational statistics splashed across the news report, approximately 1 out of every 6 women has been the victim of an a
Kay Dee
Sep 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
This is a YA book that i read for work. It had great reviews and won an award(s?). It was a short read.

There are 2 narrators and we hear the story as they journal by recording their thoughts into a tape player.
I am not a huge fan of diary style books. i either love it or hate it.
this i loved. some of the journal entries (aka chapters) were just 3 sentences!

I am also not a huge fan of bad English or dialect in writing. Mr. Twain and Ms. Beecher Stowe gave me a headache in middle school that i hav
Jun 05, 2014 rated it it was ok
This one just didn't do anything for me. I liked the premise--two former special needs students being paired with one another as roommates as young adults--but I just found myself completely unable to relate to the characters at all. That was mainly due to what I considered an excessive use of Southern American English language characteristics. Both girls' accents were so pronounced that I found it really hard to actually put myself in their shoes. I think that throwing a few language characteri ...more
Jul 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to elissa by:
Beautiful and hard-hitting story of two recent high school grads who are self-proclaimed Speddies (people in Special Ed), and the older woman whose house they're placed in after graduation. Extremely emotional, with both Quincy and Biddy having to go through awful trauma at the hands of cruel men and boys. It took me awhile to sink in to their voices, but I'm glad that I persisted. For a month and a half I had only been able to read about 10 pages, but as soon as I really became engaged with the ...more
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
I am not sure I can do this one justice. Giles tells Biddy and Quincy's stories in an unflinching manner. It's hard and messy but so important. And I love the hope in this story.
Sep 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Wow...this book...I started it today and sped through it, finishing it just moments ago. Girls Like Us is both heartwarming and heartbreaking.
Aug 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The language of this book is the star.

Written with alternating points of view, Biddy and Quincy embark on lives as independent women, with the help of an adorable caretaker, Elizabeth.

Both women have had trauma in their past and they are both also graduates of a high school special education program and judged (and taken advantage of) due to their intellectual disabilities.

However, the strength of Biddy and Quincy shine right away, and the reader realizes instantly that their emotional maturit
Aug 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
That was perhaps the most brutally difficult thing I’ve ever read.

And I was not prepared for it in the slightest. It was a SYNC free audiobook and I don’t generally look up the titles to see the synopsis or anything before I read. I was just looking for a fairly short audiobook to listen to.

And what I got was the story about how shitty and horrible people can be. Particularly men, but there were plenty of horrible women too.

And yet, there was also hope and friendship.

I hope that the young pe
Hazel (Stay Bookish)
Actual rating: 3.5

Very gritty, rough read but also important, realistic, and eye-opening. Though the white-trash accents feel problematic, I love that there's no romance, that the focus is on two girls really learning to be there for each other in a world that's so harsh to "speddies" like them. Aside from that, Girls Like Us also shows up for the #MeToo movement.

But my gosh, this really needs so many trigger warnings so I'm putting them out here: ableism, domestic abuse, rape, fatphobia
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RDNG 636 Fall 2015: Recommendation 2 1 3 Oct 07, 2015 08:43PM  
2015 Hub Reading ...: Girls Like Us 1 6 Jun 17, 2015 08:19PM  
Girls Like Us 1 1 Jun 12, 2015 11:28AM  
College Students! : Girls Like Us by Gail Giles 1 13 Jan 15, 2015 08:10PM  
Henrico Youth Boo...: Girls Like Us by Gail Giles 2 9 Jan 04, 2015 10:04PM  
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Gail Giles is the author of six young adult novels. Her debut novel, Shattering Glass, was an ALA Best of the Best Book, a Book Sense 76 selection, and a Booklist Top 10 Mystery for Youth selection. The novel is about an high school boy named Simon Glass that is helped to become one of the most popular dogs in school by other students. Her second novel, Dead Girls Don’t Write Letters, was an ALA T ...more
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“Sometimes I don't know what to do with this much happy." Biddy pg125” 2 likes
“Leastwise, if I live with her, I finally be the smartest person in the house.” 0 likes
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