Friday, February 8, 2019

The Disturbed Girl's Dictionary by Nonieqa Ramos - OPTIONAL

The Disturbed Girl's Dictionary by Nonieqa Ramos , 334 pages.  Carolrhoda Lab TM (February 1, 2018) $17.99

Content: Language: R (39+ swears, 7+ “F”) Mature Content: R; Violence: R.  



Macy Cashmere, 15, struggles to understand the world around her. She has an IEP that labels her “emotionally disturbed” and she takes that title to show that she isn’t, and doesn’t want to be, like everyone else. Her English teacher, Miss Black, helps gives her an assignment to write her own dictionary to explain the words and everyday occurrences in her life and that is how we get the piece meal story of Macy. She begins with her first word “Always-Never” and leads the reader through a tragic time coming of age “Zombie.” Through it all, the reader learns to see the places that Macy may be emotionally disturbed, but also the reasons and the situations that led her to, among other things, carrying a 12-inch machete down the street.

All in all, this book is well written.  I really got a feel for Macy and her unique voice while knowing how a 15-year old can be prone to hyperbole and misconception. The realities of her hard life may be eye opening for many teens, but also may be very triggering and unwelcome for others.  The short chapters divided by her new word entries made it easy for me to read in short bursts. Macy often leaves a story unfinished or only part of her life hinted at leaving the reader wanting to know more about where she came from and what happens next. Ramos creates a well-developed, empathetic character and world I wanted to both avoid and help.
Mature Content: Violence, implied sex and rape, drug use.

Reviewer, D. Wecker

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