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Returnable Girl

3.8  ·  Rating details ·  377 Ratings  ·  65 Reviews
Abandoned. That's how Ronnie Hartman feels after her mother and Kenny, her mom's good-for-nothing boyfriend, move to Alaska, bringing Ronnie's two younger brothers with them and leaving her behind. Now thirteen years old, Ronnie has been returned from multiple foster homes because of her impulsive lying and stealing. Her latest foster mom, Alison, is Ronnie's very last cha ...more
Hardcover, 229 pages
Published October 1st 2006 by Cavendish Square Publishing
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(showing 1-30)
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Amateur de Livre
Dec 12, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
I wanted to start this review by looking up the definition of the word Mother. There were multiple definitions, but the one that I liked best was "maternal tenderness or affection". Sometimes I wonder what my life would have been like if I had never had my children. I know that there are many people out there who would do anything to be able to have and/or raise a child, and others who try but somehow fail - this is one of those stories.

Meet Veronica Hartman. At 13 she has been in and out of 9
Abena Osei-gyamfi
Jun 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed reading this book. The story was very touching. It’s about a girl whose mom was a drug attic and left her with her little brothers and new husband. She was very hurt and started being very bad. She would steal all the time and lie. She wouldn’t just steal from a store, but she stole money out of people’s purses and things out of their houses and what not. I guess that’s how she dealt with the pain of her mom leaving her. Since nobody wanted to deal with her, she was always being ...more
Amy's Book Reviews
Jun 11, 2015 rated it liked it
Grade: C

Abandoned by her mother, thirteen-year-old Ronnie has been in over ten foster homes. Now her foster mother, Allison wants to adopt her. Being adopted means giving up hopes of being reunited with her mother and two brothers (who weren't abandoned). She's also dealing with friend drama. Desperate to be popular, Ronnie is unkind to Cat, her only real friend, to please the mean girls.

Pamela Lowell works with foster kids as a therapist, and I couldn't help but to wonder if she created Allison
Apr 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
I was kinda surprised when I ended up enjoying this book as I did. I initially picked it up because I wanted an easy read with final exams coming up, but I was pleasantly surprised with the content. Ronnie has been in 9 foster homes (if you don't include her aunt and uncle) and she turns to Alison, a therapist who works with foster children. Although Ronnie had a lot of behavioral issues, they seem to subside pretty well through out the book. It may not be my absolute favorite epistolary novel, ...more
Mar 07, 2012 rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this - the general premise was good and interesting enough to keep me reading. I think my major issue was that it was sort of a soft version of a troubled teenager... The average teenager has a lot of rough edges, so I expect more from the story of a kid that has been through the foster care system and parental neglect. It strikes me that the author - who works in the field - wanted to orchestrate a happy ending for someone like the kids she works with. That's a nice idea too, b ...more
Barbara L. Rose
Jun 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully sad

The author did an excellent job of describing the reasons behind some of the troubling behaviors of foster children. A must read for someone considering becoming a foster parent. This will give a non textbook explanation of a child's thought processes and reasoning. Not your usual flowery happily ever after.
Amy Marbach
Nov 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Veronica, or "Ronnie" as she is often called is a foster child who was abandoned by her mother who left on a lark to Alaska and managed to take her two younger brothers but left her with her aged uncle and his young girlfriend. She eventually found herself in the foster system bouncing from placement to placement so often that she never bothered to unpack her trash sack that she initially packed her stuff in.

As a last chance placement she is placed in the care of Alison, a therapist. She is fri
Jun 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Written as a series of journal pages, Ronnie describes being left by her mother with only some clothes. It seems that her mother, her mom's boyfriend, and her two brothers have moved to Alaska without her. This forces Ronnie into foster care. She's angry (understandable), so she lashes out. She's just trying to get all of these feelings out of her, but this ends up meaning that she is "returned" by several foster families. She's on her last shot. Her newest foster parent, Alison, is a th
Jul 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Hard choices...

RETURNABLE GIRL is a novel written in epistolary form, as 13 year-old Veronica "Ronnie" tells us her story in journal entries. It always gives me a vicarious thrill to read books like these. It's like I'm sneaking a look at someone's diary.

This book is written in a knowledgeable voice about growing up as a foster child, shuffled from home to home, always wanting a permanent home. I really felt that the author has personal knowledge of this type of living environment (which as I la
Laura Brennan
Jul 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Laura by: girls 7th+
Shelves: ya
Dumped by her druggie mom, Veronica (Ronnie), 13, spent three years in nine different foster homes, until she finds a family with counselor Alison, who comes to love her and wants to adopt her. But can Ronnie trust anyone? Can she abandon the idea of reuniting with her "real" mom? In her first novel, Lowell, a family therapist, brings close the drama of betrayal and longing through Ronnie's first-person narrative, which always stays true to the young teen's viewpoint. In Ronnie's desperate need ...more
Sep 15, 2008 rated it really liked it
I picked this book up in the library with no expectations, but it was wonderful. Pamela Lowell did a wonderful job with Returnable Girl which was her first novel. I am planning on purchasing this book to be able to have it on my bookshelves for my classroom. I would recommenf this book to any student especially those who host foster children or have themselves been foster children. The characters in this novel were so realistic. The reader will definitely be able to feel true emotions because th ...more
Angie Greene
May 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
this is another great book! A young teenage girl who gets bounced around in the system is a foster child. She talks about her everyday life experiences she battles with, like being a junior high student that has all of her belongings in a black garbage bag and thats how she lives. To afraid to unpack because she never knows when she is leaving again. This story is very sad but it is great for people to read that have never been exposed to this type of trauma. I picked this book because I was a f ...more
Elaine Lopez
Nov 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 09, 2007 rated it really liked it
Ronnie Hartman feels abandoned when her mother leaves her behind. She and her boyfriend move to Alaska with Ronnie's brothers, with Ronnie left to foster care. She's "returned" from home after home...until she meets Alison.

Alison, a therapist, has not given up on Ronnie, no matter how often she steals and lies. In fact, she wants to adopt Ronnie...but how would that fit in with Ronnie's dream of moving to Alaska to be with her mother?

At the same time, Ronnie is trying to fit in with the popular
Jen Bond
Sep 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing
When I opened up to the first page of Returnable Girl, I was captivated by the very first sentence... The whole time that I was reading the book, I could not put it down for anything. I am the type of person who is in love with true stories. And even though this book isn't based on a true story, it is still based on real-life stuff. The book is filled with ups and downs of life from a 13 year-old girl's point of view. Not only does she have to face the harh reality of being a middle school kid w ...more
Gayle Swift
Jun 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Ronnie Hartmann's mother remembers the day her mother abandoned her. She was 11. Now at fourteen Ronnie is in her umpteenth foster placement and must make a choice: agree to being adopted or trust her mother's promise that Ronnie will be able to come home someday. After she gets sober. Secures a job. Finds a place where they all can live....

Ronnie's friendship with a social outcast becomes a burden as the in-crowd invites her into the fold.Problem i, the price of admission is to join in the rele
Jun 09, 2010 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: people who have a love for troubled kids
Shelves: 2010
This book had really good parts and really bad parts that jumble together, making me unable to decide if it was a good or bad book. Overall, it was kind of freaky, but it almost made me cry at some parts. The main character, Veronica (A.K.A. Ronnie), matured and grew over the course of the book, turning from a lying, stealing child, into a young woman who could tell the truth, even in an extreme circumstance. There some parts that I found rather distasteful, like Ronnie’s friend, Cat, flashing s ...more
Three-and-half stars. A good, realistic look at the life of a foster girl. The book is about a girl whose mother abandons her before a move to Alaska with the rest of the family. Aside from the emotional trauma, no major other events have happened--in fact, the girl with the bigger problems lives with her mother a few houses away. I liked the fact that the main character is a good person--and we can see that from her internal struggles--rather than the one who is "broken". The book ends happily. ...more
Nov 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: teens over 13/ adults
Recommended to Cassie by: friend
This story is about a girl that is 13, her mother abandoned her to go to Alaska with her good for nothing boyfriend! Her ma abandoned her when she was 10 in the last 3 years she has be adopted 10 times but nobody wanted her because she stole from them. Right now she has a foster mom that is very nice she has been with her foster mom for 3 months. Then they find another family but it is in her home town (where she got abandoned.) I this book i learned that just because someone that you think is o ...more
Paige Herda
Apr 26, 2013 is currently reading it
What I thought of this book was that it was very interesting and kept me always wanting to read more. One thing that I liked about this book was that the girl is trying to make her life better before she moves to where her mom lives, and something that I didn't like about the book is that the lady that the main character is living with doesn't want her to leave to go live with her mom cause of the way her mom treated her when she was a little kid.
Thorn MotherIssues
Mar 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2010
Teen reading challenge. This is written for an early-teens reading level, but I'd really recommend it to foster/adoptive parents of older kids. I thought the author did a great job getting inside the protagonist's head and explaining her decision-making process. It's probably not anything new, but it resonated well for me.
Jul 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
Good exploration of the issues and problems facing a young teen who's been dumped into the foster care system by her mother's bad choices; it's pretty light for the most part, with generally good things happening to the main character throughout, which would make it a suitable read for a younger teen but perhaps lacking substance for older readers. 3.5
Jan 18, 2010 rated it it was ok
This will resonate with a certain group. Ronnie's mother literally abandons her when she leaves with her violent boyfriend and Ronnie's younger brothers, "Just no space in the truck darling."
Ronnie works at being pretty darn unlovable in a series of homes until she finds unconditional love with Alison, who really has to prove how resilient she can be.
Dec 07, 2009 rated it really liked it
I thought that Ronny's life is very tragic. I don't think she should have depended on her mother to come back in her life. Although she did come and see her, she went back to Alaska. Kat is very promiscuous and she is a bad influence on Ronny's life(like she needs more of those). I thought Ronny should be more easy on her foster mother. she was trying her best to support Ronny.
Emily Lambrecht
Nov 19, 2012 rated it liked it
It was about a foster girl who had been from foster home to foster home. She had troubles with her family and at her foster homes. I like at the end how she finds a foster mom and is adopted. She makes up with her mom and brothers for leaving her three years ago. I would recommend this book to anyone especially those who have had hard times with family.
Sep 07, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-fave-books
from the first sentence i knew this book was going to be awsome and i was right i just finished it and its awsome its about a girl dat was abondend by her mom at age 10 i think she shifts from foster home to foster home until she reaches a new foster home with a lady named alison if u want to know more read it
Jul 10, 2012 added it
Awesome reflection from the point of view of an abused child in the foster system... who wants desperately to return to her mother, though her mother abandoned her.... and is given the opportunity to be adopted into a new family.

Also discusses bullying behaviors/reasons from a teen's vantage point.

So worth reading if you want to understand teens and foster teens.
Madison Siedschlag
Feb 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
This was a really interesting book. It was about a girl whos mother left her when she was little and she was in charge of her little brothers. She goes to many different foster homes after her mom leaves with her brothers. Theres a twist towards the end too.
Stephanie A.
What a wonderful foster child story! The tone for Ronnie's age was nailed just right, she quickly shed her hostile and bratty stage, I loved her foster mom (and the side romance going on there, aw), and there was even a dog!
Melissa V.
Sep 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Love it so much. Definitely one of my favorites. I re-read this many times.
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