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Defining Dulcie

3.46  ·  Rating details ·  504 Ratings  ·  94 Reviews
From a debut author comes a story of finding oneself in a place all too familiar. After Dulcie Morrigan Jones's dad dies, her mom decides they need to find a new life in California. But Dulcie doesn't understand what's wrong with her old life back in Newbury, Connecticut. So she heads across country and back home in her father's red 1968 Chevy pickup truck. When she arrive ...more
ebook, 176 pages
Published May 29th 2008 by Speak (first published January 1st 2006)
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May 19, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teenreads
This is another mediocre YA novel dealing with the death of a parent. Dulcie's father died in a school janitorial accident and her mother's way to deal with this tragedy is to move across the country. Dulcie steals her late father's truck and goes back home, only to discover that there are worse fates than losing a parent. Dulcie's voice is enjoyable, but plot is trite and the relationship between the janitors and students is unrealistic. If you want to recommend a book on the death of a parent, ...more
Jan 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-fiction
When Dulcie's Father accidentally kills himself, it's a bit of a shock. When her mother decides to move them off to California, it's more than Dulcie is prepared to take. When she finds out her mother intends to get rid of her father's truck, she officially draws the line: she takes it and drives herself back to Connecticut.

Upon arrival, she meets not her grandfather, as expected, but a girl she's never seen before standing in the flowers. Roxanne, who now works for Dulcie's grandfather, knows e
Caleb A
Mar 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Caleb Allison
Mrs. Jones

The book I read for this book review was Defining Dulcie by Paul Acampora. This book is one of the best books I have ever read. The main character of this story is Dulcie. Dulcie was smart, a risk taker and was not afraid to get dirty. The other characters, Roxanne and Frank worked with Dulcie as janitors. Roxanne was tough, but has a scary home life. I was surprised when Dulcie stole her dad’s red pickup and drove from San Francisco, California to Newbury, Connec
If this were a movie, I'd probably have to kill off my father in the very first scene. - the great first line of this book.

Dulcie's dad has a fatal accident and her mom moves them to California. Dulcie takes her dad's truck back to Connecticut to go back to her grandfather's home. Good for ya.
Dec 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Defining Dulcie is very sad as for the part that poor Dulcie dad's died going for there to the story the mother of Dulcie want's to leave to California but not happy of the idea Dulcie agree's to go. Everything goes okay for her until her mother says that she would like to sell the car of her dad. In this part of the story Dulcie decides to go back to New bury. Finding out that most of the thing that she knew had changed.
Michelle Vanek
Sep 06, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: realistic
Following the accidental death of her father, Dulcie Morrigan Jones is taken to California by a mom who decides that she and her daughter should move away from Connecticut to reinvent themselves. But Dulcie doesn’t think she needs reinventing. Dulcie's solution? She steals her dead dad’s Chevy pickup truck and heads back home to Connecticut.
Mar 14, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: usa
There are so many novels out there dealing this theme that you need to have new ideas and excellent writing skills in order to make it work. Neither of which can be found in here. But if you want something quick and easy to read in one sitting, you found it.
Jun 01, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

The book, Defining Dulcie by Paul Acampora is a story about a girl named Dulcie heading off to California with her mother to start a better life after Dulcie’s father’s passing. Her father was a janitor and accidentally killed himself with one of the toxins while cleaning on the job. In the beginning of the story, Dulcie does not have a particularly life at home; she works as a janitor like her father, and lives with her mother while paying visits at her grandfather’s house. After arriving in C
This review is also available on my blog, Read Till Dawn.

After a string of pretty lousy selections at the Little Free Library within walking distance of my house, I was just about ready to give up putting in the effort to go over there and swap out my books. When I pulled out Defining Dulcie, I sighed and shrugged - I figured it was the best of bad options, and would turn out as mediocre as the other books I'd gotten there.

When I actually read it, though, I realized that I'd been gravely mistake
Mar 21, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Defining Dulcie is a book written by Paul Acampora and it is about a girl named Dulcie Morrigan whose dad died and her mom forces her to moves to California with her because they have to move on. Dulcie does not like this but she has to go. One day, Dulcie's mom tells her that she's selling the truck that belonged to Dulcie's father. Dulcie is upset about this and says that her mom can't sell it. Her mom doesnt change her mind and Dulcie steals the truck and travels across the country to go bac ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 20, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
This book has a great opening sentence: "If this were a movie, I'd probably have to kill off my father in the very first scene."

Unfortunately, the rest of the book doesn't quite deliver on the promise of its opening. Dulcie's dad is dead because of a freak janitorial accident (mixing the wrong cleaners), and when her mom moves to L.A., Dulcie takes off back home in her dead dad's truck to find herself.

One of my beefs with the book is that Acampora doesn't show what Dulcie is up to while she is d
When I first looked at the front cover of this book there was no telling what it was about,so I didn't no if I should of read it or not,then I looked at the blurb, still nothing just a bunch of quotes an phrases from characters.Before actually sitting down to read this book I abandoned it a couple of times,but never judge a book by it's cover.

When I opened the book and read the first page it actually started interesting,usually it takes the second chapter of a book before I actually understand i
Dulcie Jones and her mother are heartbroken when her dad dies accidentally at his janitorial job. Dulcie's mom feels they need a change and takes them cross-country to California...Dulcie doesn't agree. She heads back to Newbury, Connecticut in a 1968 Chevy pick-up to live with grandpa Frank. While there, she meets Roxanne, a lonely girl who has taken a part-time job with Frank for the summer. Dulcie and Roxanne become friends.

Little by little, Dulcie learns about Roxanne's horrific home-life..
Cady Junker
What is it like to feel lost in life? In the book "Defining Dulcie", by Paul Acampora, that is exactly how Dulcie feels. Dulcie has grown up being a janitor. Her dad was a janitor and her grandpa is a janitor. When Dulcie's dad accidentally mixes the wrong chemicals and dies, Dulcie is devastated. Then when her mom decides to move them to California, Dulcie feels as if her life has been turned upside down. " Acampora deftly mixes the bitter with the sweet throughout this first novel. ", says Pub ...more
Nov 14, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this little book. It was a quick, sweet read. The ending wasn't what I was wanting, but overall I liked the book. What I love about Paul Acampora are the little bits of wisdom he puts all over the place in his books. Here was one of my favorites:

"For the first time since Dad died, I felt a bright stab of unexpected happiness. Maybe it was the laughter. Maybe it was the fact that I was worried about somebody other than myself for a change."

I love that! When my kids left home to go to
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Emily V.
Nov 08, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
This book was very interesting, because it is about this girl that lost her father in a terrible accident. Her mom made her move halfway across the coutnry to move to California. Dulucie decided that she didnt want to live in California with her mom so she steals her dads old truck and moves back to Conneticut without her mother knowing. When she returns back to Conneticut she meets a whole lot of new people and become friends with them. But while her summer is going great trouble strikes her an ...more
Apr 08, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really good quick read.

Ok, so it's not going to win any awards for it's epic story telling or it's complexity. But that is exactly what I liked about it. Sometimes You don't want to read something ridiculously complicated with a bazillion characters and irritating place names and so many plot twists it makes ur head hurt. Sometimes you just want to kick back and enjoy a quick, satisfying story just for the hell of it!

Saying that I thought that the characters in this book were fairly well devel
Ally Pershina
Defining Dulcie was a very different book! It was about a girl in her senior year of high school that lived in Connecticut. When Dulcie's dad died her mom wanted to start a new life in California, but Dulcie didn't. When they arrived in California Dulcie's mom said she was gonna sell her husband truck, but Dulcie didn't agree. Dulcie drove back to Connecticut in her dad truck, by herself and moved in with her grandpa and crazy adventures happened after that!

I did like this book! It was somethin
Apr 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although this novel is written about a 16-year-old, the surface level way it brings up big issues makes it perfect for Middle Grade. This doesn't sound like a positive thing, but it is. I often have concerns about putting books in front of my 6th grade students because they delve too deeply into heavy issues that are not appropriate for a child of even a year older. The problems faced by the characters in the novel are dealt with great care and handled appropriately, allowing the students to con ...more
Dannielle Albert
This book was very fast paced... I was surprised how fast I plowed through it. It's about a teen girl whose beloved father dies in a janitorial accident. Her mother moves them from Connecticut to California to escape but Dulcie needs to be home because that's where she feels she belongs. She takes her dad's truck and escapes back to the east coast. For a book that has a truck on the front cover and a back description about a girl running away, the actual running away part only took one chapter!! ...more
Sep 08, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
First Dulcie’s dad dies unexpectedly. Then her mother announces that she and Dulcie will be moving to California to start over. Dulcie tries desperately to hang on to something of her past, her memories and the relics that remind her of her father. Her rocky relationship with her mother leads her to steal the truck and take off back to Connecticut one night, where she moves in with her beloved grandfather, the janitor at the local high school. The book is brief, full of good descriptions and pit ...more
Jan 16, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
16-year-old Dulcie was one of those characters I found myself desperately wanting to relate to, but between witty banter with her grandfather, and the gutsy move of stealing her father's run down pick-up truck to drive across the U.S. I found myself unable to relate to her as much as I wanted. I wasn't witty or fearless at that age--most of us aren't.

This was a fun, quick read though. Paul Acampora's writing style impressed me, and left me thinking I would definitely enjoy a bit older (maybe gra
May 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
I picked this because, browsing a virtual audio book collection, I liked the title and the cover art. That was it. As it turns out, I enjoyed the book a lot. It is a sweet coming of age story. I was surprised that one of the supporting characters took a front and center role, with an interesting storyline. The road trip aspect was nicely integrated into the plot and I liked reading the details from Dulcie's drive. I appreciated the relationship parts - mother/daughter; father/daughter; grandpare ...more
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Nov 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: acampora-paul
When Dulcie's father dies in a cleaning accident, her mother moves them from their hometown of Newbury, Connecticut to California. Dulcie, not ready to leave her father's memory behind, takes his 1968 red Chevy truck and drives back across the United States. While Dulcie learns how to heal the strained relationship between herself and her mother, she befriends Roxanne whose retched home life puts Dulcie's situation in a clearer perspective. Filled with witty repartee, the book kept me chuckling, ...more
Susan  Dunn
Dulcie's dad dies suddenly and her mom decides to move what's left of their family across the country from CT to CA. Dulcie is reluctant to leave her grandfather, her friends and the only home she's ever known or wanted. She spent hours working with her dad on his big old clunker of a truck before he died. Once they are settled in their new apartment in CA, her mom decides to trade the truck in for a new more efficient car. That's the last straw, especially when she only gets $300 in trade in fo ...more
Melanie Snyder
May 18, 2008 added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like adventures.
This book is about a girl, Dulcie, whose father has died. Her mother decides to move to California to get away from all the people in Dulcie’s town. When they move, Dulcie hates her new town, and she decides that she is going to drive across the country to move back to Connecticut to live with her grandfather.
This book goes through a girl’s hard life, and shows all the troubles she had to go to just to be back where she wanted to be. I liked it a lot because it made you go through all different
Mariah P
Finding Dulcie is a book written by Paul Acampora. Dulcie's fathers death was accidental. Dulcie and her mother traveled to California, her mother believes that she and her daughter should move away from Connecticut to reinvent themselves. Dulcie doesn't think she should have to reinvent herself. While her mom is sleeping she wants the get away, she steals her fathers old Chevy truck and heads back to her home town in Connecticut. She meets Roxanne Soule, a women who's home life was scary. Which ...more
Oct 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: quarter-one
I really enjoyed reading Defining Dulcie By Paul Acampora. I read this book the fastest and it wasn't because I was rushing. It was because I couldn't put it down!!!! I haven't read any other book by Paul Acampora, but I really like his style of writing. I am going to see other books written by him. In the book, Dulcie drives across the country from CA, to NH. It would take me a lot of courage to go by myself in my dads old pickup truck. Dulcie felt warmth in her heart when she is driving that t ...more
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I was born in Bristol, Connecticut and grew up surrounded by an extended mob of parents, sister, grandparents, cousins, neighborhood kids, rabbits, dogs, nurses, engineers and others that, at various times, included musicians, Italians, Canadians, cancer survivors, gardeners, chicken killers, hair dressers, poker players, checker cheaters, pony riders, shopkeepers, factory workers, elementary sch ...more
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