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The Present Tense of Prinny Murphy
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The Present Tense of Prinny Murphy

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  128 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews

An alcoholic mother, a distracted father, a best friend who spends all his time with his new “girlfriend,” and three relentless schoolyard bullies: Prinny Murphy's past, present, and future certainly are “tense.” Adding to her misery, she still can't read well enough to escape from remedial lessons with the dour Mrs. Dooks. But when a kindly substitute teacher introduces
Paperback, 192 pages
Published June 1st 2010 by Fitzhenry & Whiteside (first published 2009)
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Canadian Children's Book Centre

Reviewed by Sandra O’Brien

Prinny Murphy has a tough life. Her mom is an alcoholic, she has a difficult time relating to her distant father and she’s stuck in remedial reading with Mrs. Dooks. To make matters worse the school bullies are extorting money from her – and her best friend, Travis, has started dating Laice, a snobby new girl from Halifax. But when a substitute teacher loans Prinny a copy of Make Lemonade, a free verse novel about a character named LaVaughn, things begin to turn around.
Oct 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I kept wanting to yell at so many people in this book! The clueless adults, the Shrikes, and everyone who perpetuates bullying or simply allows it to happen. I was so mad. But I think it is true that the adults don't always know what is going on and can't step in. I really liked all of the ways that Prinny's classmates stepped in and stood up for each other. And I couldn't help but root for Prinny - what a girl! Although this book got me plenty upset, it was because of the ways people were treat ...more
Taya Mills
Apr 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: second-13-reads
The Present Tense of Prinny Murphy is about Prinny, a young girl dealing with an alcoholic mother, bullies at school, and her reluctance and struggles in reading. Prinny is faced with many challenges throughout the book and she learns that she must be in the present tense in order to face these challenges. She is introduced to a novel by LaVaughn that she relates to and uses it to face her own struggles.

This book is pretty good and introduces a lot of really important ideas for young readers. I
Jan 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed reading this book. The main character, Prinny, struggles to learn to read, to deal with loneliness, to deal with her alcoholic mother and nice but distant father. In addition, she had bully girls blackmailing her. She perseveres with her friendships, and takes care of her kittens with the maternal instinct of a young teenager. I especially like the title. In order to stay on track Prinny realizes she has to stay in present tense.
Feb 17, 2014 rated it liked it
In this sequel to the 2008 novel, “The Nine Lives of Travis Keating,” we follow the life of Prinny as she battles issues of bullying, family secrets, alcoholism, loneliness, and child abuse. In grade six she struggles with her reading until she finds a book and a teacher that inspire her and give her the courage to fight back. Sensitively written, Prinny’s story is hard to put down. Ages 12 and up.
Shawna Spinks
Jul 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing

I was happy to get a better view of Prinny's life after having met her in The Nine Lives of Travis Keating. I enjoyed this book as much as I did MacLean's first novel. It was predictable at times but so true to life and so perfect for middle school kids to read. Bullying, insecurity, trust and many other pertinent issues are addressed. Again, I'll be placing this book in my classroom library and promoting it to the kids as a must read.
Steve Vernon
Dec 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing
A really solid charming novel detailing the life of a reluctant reader. One of those solid yarns that will please readers of all ages - from early teen and right on up.

I'd recommend this yarn. The book is a sequel to her first book The Nine Lives of Travis Keating. Either book can be read separately but why deny yourself a good thing? Read both!

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon
Beyond Words
Nov 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book was great and nothing like I've read before. I found that I got so carried into the story I didn't want to put it down. It's just like an explosion in your head that's so fantastic.
Feb 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
i loved the book soooooo much my friend tait read it and told me i had to read it so one night i sat down with it and i was hooked!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Feb 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
It was much better than I thought it'd be,there's no particular plot;like snippets of her life. :)
Kim Maddin
Jul 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I read this in 1 night. A moving book that you grow attached to the main character very easily and feel for her!
Janet Hutchinson
Apr 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
Pleasent read - local dialect well-represented and the story is eminently readable. I want to now read the predecessor to this book "The nine lives of Travis Keating".
Dec 05, 2010 marked it as to-read
cbcreads 2010 book
Jul 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Jill's books are winners for the young set. I enjoy them, too.
Jan 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This amazing book.
As simple as my review can be, it all wraps down to that it is such an awesome book.
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Jan 10, 2013
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May 15, 2010
Natalie Arroyo
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Canadian Reader
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Apr 06, 2014
Apr 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
This book is my favourite of the series, tied with Sigrid. It takes on Prinny's point of view and all she has gone through. Truly, an amazing story. A must-read!
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Oct 22, 2011
Mar 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: silver-birtch
I loved it!!!!!!!
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Late in 2003, Jill MacLean’s eight-year-old grandson asked her to write him a book. Yes, she said, of course I will. She didn’t stop to think that she’d never written a kids’ book, and hadn’t read any for more years than you’d care to know.

The learning curve was as steep as a small mountain, and rejection slips flew like snowflakes.

But in 2008, The Nine Lives of Travis Keating was published, follo
More about Jill MacLean