Dear Mom, You're Ruining My Life

by Jean Van Leeuwen. Novel. 153 pages. Grades 4-6.
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cover art

She isn't really ruining Samantha's life at all. (Sam tends to overstate things, especially in her letters.) In fact, this mother is incredibly understanding although unconventional. Sam, like many sixth grade girls, wants to be just like all the fashionable girls in the class, with what look like conventional households. Sam's mother is a writer and her father is a mathematical genius. She and her mother often communicate through notes on the refrigerator. Also, in Sam's class for gifted children, she is encouraged to make daily journal entries so this lighthearted book, while mostly narrative, includes letters to and from her mother and friends as well as excerpts from the journal. If you're looking for a way to rejuvenate journal writing, this may help.


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