Hilary's Reviews > The Total Tragedy of a Girl Named Hamlet

The Total Tragedy of a Girl Named Hamlet by Erin Dionne
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's review
Feb 14, 2011

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bookshelves: chic-lit, contemporary-fiction, grades-5-6, grades-7-8
Read in February, 2011

Hamlet Kennedy's life is far from normal. Her parents are Shakespeare professors and Renaissance festival enthusiasts who take their careers way to seriously and Hamlet's sister, Dezzie, is a genius who takes college level courses even though she is only seven-years-old. In order to catch Dezzie up on a few classes her tutors have missed out on (art and music), and to give her a chance to experience "normal" school life, she is sent to "HoHo", Hamlet's middle school. To make things even worse it turns out that half of eighth grade is going to be spent studying Shakespeare, something Hamlet has been trying to avoid her whole life! Will this turn out to be Hamlet's worst year ever?
The Total Tragedy of a Girl Named Hamlet took some time to get used too. The genius sister seemed too genius. She had no traits that any seven year old would have, genius or not. The parents "proper" way of speaking (no contractions) seems unnatural, which I realize is the point, but it just didn't flow quite right. Hamlet, on the other hand, is a character that middle school aged girls will relate with. She often has the same concerns that most girls this age do. What the boy she has a crush on thinks of her? What will she do if she fails pre-algerbra? How can she avoid being seen with her embarrassing family? Slow to start, but a sweet read in the end.

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