Author: Carol Weston
Publisher: Random House
Genre: Children’s Books
The following review was contributed by: Lily Azerad-Goldman &CLICK TO VIEW Lily Azerad-Goldman's Reviews
Melanie Martin is back, this time playing hostess in her hometown, New
York. We keep growing up together with this witty, charming heroin
created by Carol Weston in THE DIARY OF MELANIE MARTIN.
In the second book of this series, MELANIE MARTIN GOES DUTCH, Melanie
recounted her hilarious visit to Amsterdam. With her third book, WITH
LOVE FROM SPAIN, Carol Weston’s Melanie Martin falls in love… Readers
will be thrilled and touched by witnessing Melanie’s conflicting
“tween” feelings in MELANIE IN MANHATTAN.
These four books can be read in sequence or independently. In MELANIE
IN MANHATTAN, Melanie is now eleven. Her Mom is still an art teacher,
Dad is an opera lover and brother Matt continues to be a brat! Cecily
is her bbf (best best friend) and Melanie dreams of Miguel, her
Spanish bf (boy friend) Carol Weston had added a few more characters:
“Suze the ooze”, a blabbermouth and sweet Justin who seems to like
Melanie a lot!
Carol Weston is totally in the skin of her heroin. She feels the
turbulence of her heroin’s body as it is changing from being a kid to
a teenager. Ms. Weston’s biggest feat is mixing these ambivalent
feelings with the excitement of living and touring in Manhattan. Of
course, as its title suggests, the subject of this funny and
entertaining book is Miguel’s upcoming visit to Manhattan.
Melanie’s diary begins in April, the end of the school year and ends
in July when Miguel goes back home to Spain. Carol Weston is a whiz at
playing with languages, from English and Spanish playing on words to
her well-researched Internet teenager lingo. Melanie corresponds
with Miguel and her other friends on the internet and readers are
privy to the mysterious language of pre-teens.
Melanie fills her diary with touching; laugh out loud passages and
day-to-day changing feelings. We see her mature from being a
self-centered child to a caring teenager. When Miguel and his uncle
Angel finally arrive in New York, they go on a whirlwind tour of all
the attractions with her family. Melanie yearns to be alone with
Miguel but all sorts of funny adventures happen to stop her from
touching hands and kissing with her so-called boyfriend.
Toghether with Melanie, her family and her guests, we tour New York’s
main attractions. We hop with them, at an exhausting pace, from the
Empire State Building to the Frick, to Central Park; to a musical on
Broadway, then to Chinatown and Little Italy and a ball game, without
missing a very important tween party.
The only criticism I would have is that at the end of the book Carol
Weston philosophical musings on homelessness, war, etc. make her novel
a little too somber. Perhaps she touched on these subjects to
encourage class discussions.
Tweens will surely relate to this sweet, hilarious book and will be
reassured that the turbulence of growing up is only a passing phase.
Carol Weston is to be commended for her insight and understanding of
the chaotic feelings of these difficult years.