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Eleven and Holding

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  246 ratings  ·  58 reviews
Like The Thing About Jellyfish and Counting by 7s, this sweet, heartfelt middle grade novel illustrates for readers what it’s like to tackle loss, confront hard truths, and find the courage to begin again.

Macy Hollinquest is eleven years old, and don’t count on her to change that anytime soon.

Her birthday is just days away, but she has no intention of turning twelve withou
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published June 7th 2016 by HarperCollins
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Average rating 3.79  · 
Rating details
 ·  246 ratings  ·  58 reviews

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Ms. Yingling
Oct 22, 2015 rated it liked it
ARC from Young Adult Books Central and reviewed there.

Macy is dealing with a lot of issues. She is starting middle school in the fall, and she's upset that her best friend, Twee, won't be with her because she's only in the fifth grade. Her Nana has recently passed away, and her business, a coffee cafe, has been sold to Chuck, whom Macy dislikes even though he gives her free coffee once a week. Most importantly, her father is back from fighting in the military, but hasn't come home because he is
Aug 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Great YA book-a mystery along with life lessons. Told by a great character named Macy-who is funny and adorable and persistent in her almost 12 year oldness!
Eleven-year-old Macy has that perfect sort of preteen spunk that I remember so well. Her earnest and assertive attitude is great, as is the Nancy Drew style mystery, the family drama, and the unexpected gay representation. (view spoiler) ...more
Nicole Gubler
Aug 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5-4 stars. My 11-year old loved it. It’s a simple easy read but deals with big real life issues. It’s a story that makes you wonder as a parent when is the right time to talk to kids about big issues and how much info to give while giving the child’s perspective of being left in the dark.
Rebecca Gomez
Sep 20, 2016 rated it liked it
It was okay. The voice wasn't believable--it didn't sound like an eleven-year-old girl, especially a modern eleven-year-old girl. Authors sometimes make their characters SO quirky that it distracts from the story, and that is how I felt when reading this. Also, nothing much happened until the last third or so of the book. Still, if you like contemporary stories about middle school kids with family issues you might enjoy it. ...more
The issues that eleven-year-old Macy deals with in this middle grade fiction novel are pretty heavy, but I think there are a lot of kids who will be able to relate to this book. Macy's father has been away serving in the military, but now that he's been discharged he's still been hundreds of miles away working on a "special project." Her mom has been doing the best she can to take care of Macy and her baby brother, James, but Macy still resents that she's being left out of the loop as far as bei ...more
Jan 03, 2021 rated it really liked it
I was pleasantly surprised by this one. Normally I go into books hesitantly when the main character is 11 going on 12 years old, but this one was done beautifully. I’ve seen so many that are written very immaturely and I can tell you, working at a school that’s 6-8th graders, that’s seldom the case.

This book is about loss, friendship, family covers so many emotions. I loved that it was based around a military family and the struggles they go through-that topic seems a little rar
P.A. Pursley
Jun 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: good-books
I picked this up because of the title and story synopsis. It really was a well written book. I enjoyed the characters and the story line. Sometimes it is difficult to remember that we can try to protect our children from things but they will always know when something is wrong.

If you enjoy reading books that help you to understand another generation...this book is for you!
Nov 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A charming young reader book about accepting change. Macy has little foibles, that make her more realistic and relatable.

A little mystery tied in with a major life change, set Macy on a journey of learning. Diverse cast of characters well portrayed, I especially liked the respect paid to mothers and grandmothers.
Linda Reed
Aug 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Loved this story. My only critique would be that the character sounded young for her age. This story address the effects of PTS on the war vet and their families and is a good read for young readers who may be experiencing the same feelings.
Isabelle Lea Tapia
Jun 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Found this book at my local Costco a couple years ago and thought it looked interesting. It was but feel this type of reading genre is for early middle school aged children hence it being in the children's section. Overall great book. ...more
Jun 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! It's full of warm, endearing characters, and it's got a wonderful storyline. ...more
Jul 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: j-fiction
Timely topics, nicely handled.
Maeve Conway
Oct 03, 2017 rated it liked it
It was a good book. That has a lot of meaning and feelings and it made me think more.
Azra Benić
Jan 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book it is very realstic but I felt like the setting was a long time ago
Jun 10, 2020 added it
Shelves: kid
It was okay, yet I don’t see myself recommending to a friend. It seemed like everything was laid out to be very obvious to the reader- and we were waiting for the protagonist to ‘figure’ it out.
Sarah p.
Aug 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I think that was a great book it mad me cry a couple of times but other than that it was a very good book!
L Anderson
Mar 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
A gem of a tale which explores the trouble of being a tween and juggling the desire to be treated and looked upon as a fully, capable young adult but with the emotional instability of a child.
Sep 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Macy has always thought of her military dad as her hero. This latest job though has kept him away from home longer than ever - not even coming home for her birthday - so she decides that she needs to go bring him home. As she deals with the loss of grandmother and her missing father, she learns that growing up isn't all it's cracked up to be. Not everything is the way that it looks or seems. ...more
Oct 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
“eleven and holding” by Mary Penney addresses change and loss as filtered through the eyes of a young girl who is daunted by the absence of her beloved military father as well as the potential absence of her best friend Tui (who lets herself be known as Twee for pronunciation efficacy) while dealing with the permanent absence of her beloved grandmother, Nana. There are some things she can’t do anything about, like the creep who has bought her Nana’s coffee shop, or her annoying baby brother who ...more
Roger DeBlanck
Oct 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ypl-ya
It’s almost impossible to reach the end of Mary Penney’s emotional novel for young readers and not have your eyes glossed over with tears of compassion. The main character in Eleven and Holding is Macy Hollinquest. She is, in fact, ready to turn twelve, but she refuses to celebrate her birthday without her father present. He’s a veteran of the Iraq War, and since returning home, he’s been gone on a special government assignment. Macy isn’t convinced she’s receiving the full story from her mother ...more
Jun 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is the same author that wrote Counting by 7s. This is a thoughtful and beautiful book, like that one.

I love the main character, Macy. Books like this always make me wonder if I don't give kids enough credit. They watch and make sense of things they're not told.

P. 43 I took a big, unladylike bite into my cupcake. My taste buds nearly exploded with happiness.

Her grandmother has passed away and her business was sold to Chuck, who is friends with her mom. In the story we find out he is also m
Paper Clippers
Like The Thing About Jellyfish and Counting by 7s, this sweet, heartfelt middle grade novel illustrates for readers what it’s like to tackle loss, confront hard truths, and find the courage to begin again.

Macy Hollinquest is eleven years old, and don’t count on her to change that anytime soon.

Her birthday is just days away, but she has no intention of turning twelve without her dad by her side. He’d promised to be there for her big day—and yet he’s been gone for months, away doing some kind of s
Nancy Kotkin
The protagonist seems too young and naive for an almost-twelve-year-old girl, especially with all that kids are exposed to today. I find it unbelievable that Macy doesn't know something is amiss with her father, even if she can't figure out on her own what exactly the issue is. I also question how the parents handle the situation and the complete lack of honesty on their part. Then there is the unlikelihood of the father's doctor finding Macy in the midst of a large veteran's hospital complex, k ...more
May 16, 2016 added it
Middle School Students Take on Young Adult Books for Review:

Reviewed by Corine Age 12
Macy Hollinquest is an eleven year old girl who lives in Constant, Colorado but her life is never constant. Her friend Twee (Tui) is still in elementary school and she is in junior high. Her dad can’t be there for her birthday and her grandmas recently died. A couple months before her grandma died, an old lady named Ginger accidentally ran into her grandma’s coffeehouse a
Janice Robertson
Sep 11, 2016 rated it liked it
Macy is 11 and doesn't want to have her twelfth birthday without her father present. Unfortunately, he is "very busy" with "important work" and won't be able to make it to her birthday. She doesn't understand what could be so important or why what he is up to seems to be so secretive so she is determined to find out. Meanwhile, an older lady in town, Ginger, needs help finding her dog, and Macy agrees to help her friend Twee find the dog, even though there is very little summer left before the t ...more
Christina Hanson
May 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Eleven and Holding by Mary Penney was a great story filled with friendship, hope, and forgiveness. Macy lives in Constant, Colorado, but there are not too many things that are constant in her life. Her dad, a former Marine, is away doing "secret" work, and her mom, a probation officer, is always gone working with troubled teens. Meanwhile, Macy and her best friend, Twee, are trying to enjoy their last few weeks of summer, but are soon on the case to find a missing dog for Ginger, a nice, older l ...more
Scott Fillner
Apr 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Macy, an eleven so to be twelve year old, is one of those "Magic She'll" characters that appears to have a real tough shell. She says and does things that make you scratch your head, but under that she'll you know there is a real sweet, emotional caring to her.

Macy experiences quite an emotional Rollercoaster in this story and carries the burden of many things a human, let alone an eleven year old should have to experience.

In Constant, Colorado, where anything is but that. Macy is determined to
I get sad when I look at the shelves of young reader books at work and see lots of fantasy titles and very few contemporary (real-life) fiction books. This is one that came in this month and I'm so glad I picked it up yesterday! It's the story of a girl who isn't going to turn twelve until her father comes home and is there to celebrate with her. The characters are real and I was close to tears by the end. The one little warning I would give is that even though my store shelves it with the 9-12 ...more
Aug 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
I almost stopped listening to this book 1/3 way through because its tone (to me) started out whiny and fluffy and then I decided to give it one more chance. I'm glad I did, because the meat of the story is the last 1/3. It deals with dealing (or not) with the unthinkable in a variety of circumstances...the absence of a hero father with a secret, an old woman searching for her lost dog, the creep who takes over the local diner, and much more. It's a modern, realistic eleven year old girl's quest, ...more
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