Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Letters in the Attic” as Want to Read:
Letters in the Attic
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Letters in the Attic

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  167 ratings  ·  24 reviews
Lizzy McMann, A feisty twelve-year-old, lives with her immature mother and Manny, her father (she thinks) in a fleabag Phoenix hotel. One night, Manny's sudden announcement that he wants a divorce forces mother and daughter to move to upstate New York to live with Lizzy's grandmother and grandfather—a mixed blessing. At school, Lizzy befriends, then falls in love with, Eva ...more
Hardcover, 227 pages
Published August 30th 2005 by Chicago Review Press (first published 2002)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Letters in the Attic, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Letters in the Attic

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.63  · 
Rating details
 ·  167 ratings  ·  24 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Letters in the Attic
Cheriee Weichel
This is historical fiction set in the early 1960's and at the same time, a coming of age story for 12 year old Elizabeth (Lizzy) McMann.

Lizzy has spent most of her life looking after her mother. When Manny, who she thinks is her father, leaves them, Lizzy and her mother end up in a small town in New York State living with previously unknown grandparents. It is a mixed blessing. Her grampa is loving and supportive, but her grandma is filled with bitterness and bile.

Ridgewood, New York, is fille
Athira (Reading on a Rainy Day)
Letters in the Attic was another quick read I found on Scribd. Lizzy McMann is secretly happy that her father wants to leave her mother. She never liked him anyways and besides, he rarely acknowledged her, unless he wanted something. But her mother wasn't taking it too well. They eventually decide to move out of Phoenix to upstate New York, where her grandparents resided. Lizzy didnt even know she had grandparents so she was looking forward to meeting them.

The stay at New York turns out to be c
Jun 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
When 7th grader Lizzy McMann’s father announces he wants a divorce, leaving her and her mother both homeless and penniless, they are forced to move from Phoenix to upstate New York where are they taken in by Lizzy’s maternal grandparents. Once there, Lizzy becomes friends with and develops feelings for her 8th grade neighbor, the beautiful and dramatic Eva Singer.

A rich, layered story about growing up that depicts relationships, friendships, and developing self-knowledge in complex, poignant, h
Dr Penner
Nov 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
There’s no question to why Letters in the Attic was so well received when it was first published back in 2002. After recently reading the novel for the first time, I am shocked it took me this long to find out about it. I’m a huge fan of Young Adult novels and Letters in the Attic seemed to fit that mold and then some. Lizzy McMann is a great character and one easily relatable even from a male perspective. Props to Bonnie Shimko for a fantastic read.
Nov 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was a wonderful read! Lizzy is a great narrator, and Bonnie Shimko a masterful storyteller. This book takes a fresh look at the awkward age of adolescence, and I found myself fiercely invested in Lizzy's journey as she tries to balance the ache of new love with the pressures of fitting in, and the need to take care of her dependent mother. The characters are quirky, the issues are real, and Lizzy McMann shines through it all. ...more
May 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lgbt, young-adult
Beautiful, sweet coming of age novel. I loved it so much that a part of me never wanted it to end.
Jan 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
picture a Judy Blume book that's a bit darker and gayer. that's it that's the book ...more
Jul 09, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: lgbtq-books, lgbtq-ya
Shimko's Letters in the Attic was a very good young adult read. The plot focuses very much on the constant changes and growing relationships in Elizabeth McMann's life as she moves from Arizona to upstate NY with her mother. From meeting her best friend Eva Singer, realizing that something is just a little different about herself when it comes to her sexual orientation, helping her mother readjust to life in her childhood home, Elizabeth's life has changed eventually for the better.

The book is
Jennifer Wardrip
May 06, 2008 rated it really liked it
Reviewed by Marta Morrison for

I really enjoyed reading LETTERS IN THE ATTIC, set in the early sixties.

Lizzy, the heroine, lives with her mom and dad in a Phoenix hotel. Her father comes in, a real sleezeball, and with his new girlfriend in tow, proceeds to tell her mother that he is divorcing her. He even has the gall to ask Vonnie, her mother, to apologize to his girlfriend because she isn't being nice.

Well, with no place to go home to, they head to upstate New York to Vonnie
Apr 27, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-read, ya-lgbt
For me, classifying this as an LGBT novel is a bit of a stretch. The story line seems more focused on the mother, rather than the "coming-of-age" adolescent protagonist. Lizzy is only 12 in this novel and at the beginning does not understand her life. When she is forced to live with the "evil grandmother" and the loving grandfather, while her mother tries to figure out her life, Lizzie falls in love with her best friend.

The pacing of the novel is rather slow. This is a steady-paced novel, with n
Dec 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
I am so in love with this story. I won’t tell you that it’s a particularly hard read or that you’ll take away some great, life-changing message but the book has a feel good vibe that will make even the hardest cynic smile. First, let me say that the synopsis is misleading. If you’re looking for an LGBTQ novel where girl meets girl, falls in love, girl gets a boyfriend but then realizes that she is also in love with a girl… walk away. This is about a young girl maturing and coming to terms with h ...more
Jul 29, 2012 rated it it was ok

This book was fine. It's a simple, nice story, and nothing really surprising happened. It was the voice and tone (as if an actual, smart seventh grader wrote it - but complete with the unevenness and unnecessary adjectives and metaphors that author would choose) that failed to draw me in. Especially compared with The Age of Miracles, which was told in the voice of a seventh grader grown up, looking back from an indeterminate future, and which I read concurrently with this, Letters in the Attic
Nov 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
I gave this a higher rating than I actually felt about reading it, because I believe that had I read it when I was in the age bracket that the book is set for, I'd have enjoyed it much more; I probably would have given it five stars.

It's so important to have books for pre-teens just starting to have lesbian feelings. I'm thankful this book was written; I only wish it had been around when I was that age.
Oct 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
This thin volume is deceptive because it packs a lot of punch. This coming of age story is painfully rendered and deals with very deep and intense subject matter, not expected in young adult literature. I found the protagonist Lizzie McMann's struggles endearing and her courage very inspirational. ...more
Katie M.
Oct 21, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2008, queer
The fact that the two reviews on this book's cover are by Emily Saliers and Betty DeGeneres really tells you far more about this book than I ever could. Mostly it was fine, I'm just not a fan of coming-of-age stories. ...more
Mr. Woods Woods
Nov 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I have to say this is another young adult novel I found and absolutely love. This book deals with a young character and her disfunctional family as well as sexual identity issues she faces. The story is both humorous and sad quite a good read!
Jun 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was a definite don't judge a book by its cover read. While I must honestly admit I didn't like the cover art (I don't think it reflects what is in the book even remotely)--I loved the story itself. Four stars. ...more
Sep 02, 2009 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Shayla by: I found it at the library
This book isn't terrible. But it's not terrific, either. It's well-written fluff. ...more
Jul 08, 2017 rated it did not like it
Couldn't get into it. ...more
Courtney Ali
Jul 24, 2009 rated it really liked it
i thought this was really good. it tells about a thirteen year old about her family and finding out her real father is.
Aug 07, 2012 rated it it was ok
Definitely think this should have been classed as YA fiction, but it was ok.
Jan 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Letters in the Attic is truly a gem! Another one I must add to my personal library. Elizabeth McMann is a headstrong twelve year old unlike any other I've ever had the pleasure to know. Strong and hardened from her past but with still enough room in her heart for the future, she was sheltered and robbed of most childhood pleasures until she and her mother move to Ridgewood, New York to be with her grandparents. From there she's thrown into a tsunami of special and general luxury and just basic n ...more
Jun 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Nearly perfect.

"While I'm in the kitchen warming Peter's bottle, I think how Eva knows about me--that I love her in a way she could never love me back. I think how she knows, and she still wants to be my friend, and that makes her even more special in my heart--my heart that is so light and so full of happiness that I'm surprised I don't float straight up into the air."
rated it did not like it
Apr 17, 2016
rated it liked it
Mar 08, 2010
rated it really liked it
May 12, 2008
rated it it was amazing
Jul 14, 2019
rated it it was amazing
Mar 15, 2016
Theresa Costello
rated it did not like it
Aug 14, 2019
Dylyn Shimko
rated it really liked it
Jul 09, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Aquicorn Cove
  • The Lady and the Unicorn
  • The Dragon Keeper (Rain Wild Chronicles, #1)
  • Flawless (Pretty Little Liars, #2)
  • Oscar et la dame rose
  • Il segreto dei cavalieri (Cronache del Regno della Fantasia, 6)
  • L'Isola pietrificata (Cronache del Regno della Fantasia, 5)
  • The Enchanted Door (The Chronicles of Fantasy Kingdom, #2)
  • The Lost Realm (The Chronicles Of Fantasy Kingdom #1)
  • Perfect (Pretty Little Liars, #3)
  • Pretty Little Liars (Pretty Little Liars, #1)
  • La forêt des murmures
  • Half Magic (Tales of Magic, #1)
  • Unbelievable (Pretty Little Liars, #4)
  • L'anello di luce (Cronache del Regno della Fantasia, 4)
  • The Downstairs Girl
  • The Sign of Four (Sherlock Holmes, #2)
  • A Study in Scarlet (Sherlock Holmes, #1)
See similar books…

Related Articles

  Tami Charles is a former teacher and the author of picture books, middle grade and young adult novels, and nonfiction. As a teacher, she made...
44 likes · 65 comments