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The Wild Girls

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4.14  ·  Rating details ·  1,595 Ratings  ·  328 Reviews
Twelve-year-old Joan is sure that she is going to hate her new home–but almost right away she finds a kindred spirit.

“You’re lucky I didn’t just start throwing rocks at you. I can hide in the trees and nail a kid with a rock from thirty feet away.” That’s Sarah, who prefers to be called “Fox,” who lives with her writer father in a rundown house in the middle of the woods–
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Audio, 0 pages
Published October 9th 2007 by Listening Library (Audio) (first published January 1st 2007)
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Sarah Ames-Foley This is my first time reading it, but that's absolutely how I read their relationship! I'm only halfway through, but feel like there are strong hints…moreThis is my first time reading it, but that's absolutely how I read their relationship! I'm only halfway through, but feel like there are strong hints at it (but I tend to read into things like that because I love seeing queer relationships in media).(less)
Arabella no, sadly :( I wish there was but there isn't.
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Community Reviews

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Kate
Aug 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Wild Girls is a book for writers. It's a book for girls who don't always follow the rules and for girls who play with spotted newts. As a girl who enjoys writing, newts, and occasional rule-breaking, I fell in love immediately.

Pat Murphy tells the story of two girls -- the rule-following Joan (aka Newt), who just moved to California from Connecticut and has always written the kinds of stories she thought her teacher would like, and Sarah (aka Fox), who hangs out throwing rocks in the woods n
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Melody
Nov 30, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
10/2013 I started with the audiobook, but it was one disc short, so I got the book and started over. I remain a big fan. It's solidly plotted, and covers a lot of early adolescence without being an issue book at all. Highly recommended.

11/2009 I loved the girls in this book. Fox and Newt are so perfectly poised between childhood and adolescence, between that subterranean self that exists early on and the later, public iceberg self. Their groping towards the light is beautifully mirrored in their
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Francesca
4.5-5/5

I loved this book and couldn’t put it down until the last page.

It’s an insightful and absorbing middle-grade novel, very enticingly and well written.
Although the author wrote the story from a young girl’s point of view, both the writing and the plot aren’t childish at all.

It was heartwarming to read about these amazing girls, Joan and Sarah, and the issues they went through, their loyal friendship, how they grew up a lot in a not so long span of time.
Few pages were kind of moving too!

Hi
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Kathryn Berla
Jun 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was an absolutely lovely novel that I would recommend to writers and aspiring writers ages 12 to 100. Also would recommend to anyone interested in the San Francisco East Bay (Danville and Berkeley) in 1972.
Kaitlyn
Jun 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This book was amazing. The whole time I wanted to be these characters, I wanted to live their lives. This book was just amazing.
Erica
Nov 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: juvenile-fiction
Book talk: Before Joan moved to California she only read stories. After she moved to California, Joan began to live them. It all started when she was exploring in the woods near her house and she found what looked like a troll's living room. It turned out that it belonged to a girl named Sarah who called herself the Queen of Foxes. Joan soon became newt in turn and newt and fox explored secret grottoes, defended their fort from invaders, and hid in the woods. Their real life mixed with a fantasy ...more
Laura
Sep 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5/5.

"I wondered if it would always be like that: first the fear, and then the glory."

Picked from the J shelves of my local library because the cover promised all things girl-powery and maybe a little bit of good writing. And I was not disappointed.

The Wild Girls delivers absolute beauty in a junior lit book that adults can and should enjoy as well. The writing is not childish. There are some very moving passages and all does not have the happiest of endings. There is no black-and-white, right v.
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Maddie
The Wild Girls is an amazing novel. Joan, later to be called Newt, has just moved from Conneticut to Danneville, California. She soon meets a strange, independent girl Sarah, called Fox by friends and family. The two girls become very close. Fox lives with her dad because her mom ran away when she was 7, but now Fox's mom wants to get a divorce and make ammends with Fox. Newt's parents still live together, but they are nearing the end of the line. Her dad is always angry and constantly fights ab ...more
Susanchitter
Jul 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved the book. A great book for preteens. Joan moved to a new town and thought she would hate it but she met a kindred spirit. Joan and Sarah - Newt and Fox - spent their time outside and writing stories. Great inspiration for anyone wanting to write their own journal, story or book.
Steph
This book took me by surprise on several levels.

It's a quietly wonderful coming-of-age story; it explores the power of words, of friendship, of nature, and of nonconformity. It does push the nonconformity angle a bit too hard, though: nature-loving Joan and Sarah (who call each other Newt and Fox) emphasize that they don't understand girls who are interested in makeup and boys. That kind of gave me an icky "not like other girls" vibe. And their attitude on this doesn't really change, but Joan do
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Shelley
Oct 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the book I wish I had read when I was in fifth or sixth grade. It would have meant so much to know that I was not the only one dealing with arguing parents and being different in school. It is, however, much more than a girls' coming of age novel. This book silently screams to be chosen for book clubs and classroom literature instruction. The instructions given in the girl's summer writing class are ones to challenge writers in any classroom. The writing process the girls learn is very i ...more
Sarah Ames-Foley
Sep 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Writers, young women, and young writers
You can find my full review on my blog.

This is a beautifully written story about two middle school girls who develop a deep friendship with each other while learning lessons about life, interpersonal relationships, and writing. The characters are complex and relatable, the story is soft and heartwarming (although some deep issues are mentioned), and the lessons are applicable to everyone. I cannot recommend this book enough!
(cw for alcoholism & domestic abuse)
Edilyn
Mar 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is about Joan. Joan and her family moved to California. Joan thinks her life there would be miserable. But when Joan and her family got there, her life changes. Joan met a friend named Sarah. While they were getting to know each other, both Joan and Sarah found out that they liked writing a story. So, Joan and Sarah entered the fiction contest and they won. Both Joan and Sarah got recruited to a summer writing class and the teacher would Verla Volante. That class is for them to know ho ...more
Chris
Dec 22, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A young adult book about two young girls learning how to be friends, how to understand parent's fighting and becoming writers. The author is very good at expressing how these girls think and their interactions and responses were refreshingly realistic. This book focuses on divorce and fighting parents but in a way that doesn't demonize anyone. If you have a young writer at home this is a good choice. An enjoyable read.
Betsy
Jan 19, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh, it's fine. The story is nice enough, and it's an enjoyable read. There is absolutely zero reason to set it in the early 70s though. That's kind of a pet peeve of mine. If you're going to make a book historical, you need a better reason than "that's when I was growing up". Still, it's pleasant.
Patricia
Jul 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: miss-charity-s
Too much to say I need to think about it before I write something.

Let's just say : it was perfect!!!! This book goes straight up to my favorite shelf, I am in love!
Madeleine
Apr 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite-books
i loved this book!!!!!!!!!!!!!Autumn,you should read this!
Emily Lieberman
I didn't like it that much.
Niya
Feb 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My Video Review: https://youtu.be/B5ywuCHZG9I

I really enjoyed this book. I found the main character's interactions with her family very relatable from when I was her age and interesting. The rest of the characters were very cool and diverse (personality wise) to me (except Mark, he was kinda just... there). I also loved the writing tips, advice, and encouragement in this book to young writers, and the deep themes of dealing with divorce. I will say though, the writing was okay but the constant d
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Kim
Jul 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
I listened to the audio book version narrated by Coleen Marlo.

I thought this was an insightful "coming of age" story for young women. I've read lots of stories like this for boys, but I've rarely come across them for girls.

Joan's dad was a lot like my dad when I was growing up, so that was something I could really relate to.

I think this story would be especially appropriate for girls aged 12-14 who are interested in books and writing or girls growing up in dysfunctional families.
Orla Hegarty
Jan 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: feminist, sentbynlpl
This book should not only be for young adults. I can't imagine any reader not enjoying this story of two girls facing complex family situations in the 70s and facing them head on (and sometimes with war paint lol).

Also, bonus: it is a bit of a writer's guide guised as an actual book so if you are a writer (or an aspiring one) you will be taught valuable tings whilst being entertained.

Gretchen
Jul 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
great read! interesting version of a coming of age book. it was creative and unusual in a good way.
Clare Haenni
Jul 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
stupendous book
Trinh Mai
May 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like adventures
Rachel Elizabeth
Very informative and helpful book for young adults. A lot of life lessons.
Ruby
Mar 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book for anyone who loves to read and write!!
Thecajungirl
Dec 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A must read. Loved it.
Jeanie T
Jul 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Learning to write as a means of learning to live. Slow and meandering, perfect for a lazy day read.
MarinnaC
Jan 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A unique voice and a treat to read
Elizabeth Amber
I loved this book. It was perfect in every way. It had heart, soul, truth and innocence. This is going on my required reading list for all my women friends.
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“I read books when I was a kid, lots of books. Books always seemed like magic to me. They took you to the most amazing places. When I got older, I realized I couldn’t find books that took me to all the places I wanted to go. To go to those places, I had to write some books myself.” 14 likes
“I've learned to write the truth. But to do that, I had to figure out what the truth was-and I had to realize that the truth isn't always the same for everyone. I had to realize that my truth may not be the same as your truth.” 13 likes
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