by Jennifer


Wendy Mass has done it again.

Amanda has been a fan of Wendy Mass for a while. She read Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life when it was nominated for our state book award. After that she zipped through most of her other books, reading 11 Birthdays as soon as it came out and begging me to do the same. I have now read three Mass books, and enjoy the clever, imperfect quirky, tweens who are usually involved in some sort of fun adventure.

They are great books for kids ten and up who are looking to make that transition from “kids’ books” to Young Adult fare. They deal with typical middle school issues, yet in a completely age-appropriate way — either for those who are that age, or for those who will be soon.

In Finally, Rory is finally turning 12, which means she will finally be able to do all those things that her overprotective parents have been promising her that she could do when she turned 12, including get a cell phone, shave her legs, stay home alone, get a pet and more. She knows — she’s been keeping track. The novel deals with her response to dealing with all of these new areas of responsibility and privilege. I’ll give you a tip off to say that all of these things do not go off without a hitch.

Amanda (11 1/2) enjoys these books because they are funny and relatable, or simply because “Wendy Mass is awesome.” I enjoyed this book (and the others I’ve read) because it made me remember what it was like to be 12. I’m far from 12, but Amanda is quickly approaching that age, and exploring tween angst is much easier via literature than the school of hard knocks!

I also like the way parents are portrayed in her novels. They might be over-protective, or under-involved, a little kooky, and embarrassing, but they aren’t buffoons. They are parents, as viewed through the eyes of their kids. But for example, in Finally, they lived up to their promises, and we saw a little glimpse of their side of and letting go a little to give their daughter a chance to grow up.

I have two hardcover copies of Finally to give away (U.S. and Canada shipping addresses). Leave a comment to enter. We’ll announce the winners on May 12. This giveaway is closed.

This book is probably best for girls, but another thing I love about the other two books mentioned above, is that they appeal to boys and girls. And don’t forget that I can highly recommend this book to anyone who once was 12, regardless of how old she is now.

Jennifer Donovan relives her own life as she watches her kids grow up. She shares random observations at her blog Snapshot.

Email Author    |    Website About Jennifer

Jennifer lives in Houston with her family. In addition to reading, she enjoys travel, Bible study, food, and fun. She blogs about some of these things -- when her nose isn't in a book -- at Snapshot.

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{ 53 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Susan E-J May 3, 2010 at 12:20 pm

This sounds like a series that my 12 year old will love! Thanks for the recommendation.


2 Julie P. May 3, 2010 at 1:26 pm

Please pick me! I have an almost 11 year old who absolutely loves Wendy Mass. She hasn’t read this one yet!! We just read 11 Birthdays together and discussed it! She says 11 Birthdays is her favorite book. It’s just too funny because my daughter had the exact same reaction as yours. Mom, pleeeease read this!



3 Jen Thomas May 3, 2010 at 1:35 pm

I’ve never read Wendy Mass, I look forward to it!


4 jemrah May 3, 2010 at 3:31 pm

My daughter isn’t quite old enough, but soon will be. This looks like a great one!


5 debp May 3, 2010 at 3:37 pm

I would love to have this book.


6 Benita G. May 3, 2010 at 4:47 pm

Sounds like fun.



7 Kelly H May 3, 2010 at 5:55 pm

Loved this review, sounds like a good book that I could read along with my daughter who will be 12 in June and could bring up some good discussions about what comes with “growing up” and “responsibility”–it goes both ways for parents and children and all with a humerous tone. Would love to win, thanks for the chance



8 Penny Hull May 3, 2010 at 6:37 pm

Sounds really clever and enjoyable reading.


9 enyl May 3, 2010 at 10:02 pm

This sounds perfect for my classroom library. We’ll have a chance to explore teen responsibility and how to handle it.


10 Hailey May 3, 2010 at 10:50 pm

My little niece would love this book!


11 Upstatemomof3 May 3, 2010 at 11:44 pm

Oh I know that feeling!!! I was FINALLY going to be able to babysit at 12 – I could not wait.


12 edj May 4, 2010 at 6:59 am

Well my daughter just turned 13, which allowed her to join facebook, wear a little makeup, and get dangly earrings. (Still no cell and we are holding out on the leg shaving…mostly because I think that’s a rite of passage to put off as long as possible) But I still think she would love and relate to this book!


13 Katie Schroeder May 4, 2010 at 11:06 am

I have never read Wendy Mass, but this book sounds perfect for my 11 1/2 year old triplet cousins who are about to go to middle school! I think this would be a great fit for where they are now.


14 katklaw777 May 4, 2010 at 11:32 am

Great review, I think my daughter would enjoy this book, thanks.


15 Mckim May 4, 2010 at 1:36 pm

My daughter would love to have this for her classroom library.


16 Michele Anne May 4, 2010 at 2:00 pm

I would give this to my nieces….I think they would really like this….


17 susan varney May 4, 2010 at 6:41 pm

i love to read


18 Miranda Allen May 4, 2010 at 8:54 pm

This looks like a great read


19 Literature Crazy May 5, 2010 at 7:14 am

I would love to win a copy of this book. I had originally thought that it was a follow-up to 11 Birthdays, but judging by your review (and that the protagonist is Rory), I’m guessing not.



20 G. L. PENROD May 5, 2010 at 8:42 am



21 Denise May 5, 2010 at 5:37 pm

Looking for the perfect read for a young lady—this could be it!


22 Susan C May 5, 2010 at 7:50 pm

This sounds nice for my 13 year old niece-she loves to read.
smchester at gmail dot com


23 Carolyn May 5, 2010 at 8:08 pm

This sound great.


24 Jenn S. May 7, 2010 at 10:52 am

My daughter is always reading. Sounds like the perfect book for my bookworm.


25 Kimberly May 9, 2010 at 2:17 pm

This sounds like an endearing book. My 10 year old niece would love it!


26 Rebecca May 9, 2010 at 9:24 pm

would love to give this to my granddaughter-she loves to read as much as I do


27 Karyn Hostetter May 10, 2010 at 7:49 am

This would be great for my 11 yo girl–She loves to read almost non stop! Would love to try a new series for her!


28 Marc May 10, 2010 at 12:05 pm

I’m sure my daughter would love this.


29 Diane Baum May 10, 2010 at 2:13 pm

Sounds like a great book for my students!


30 Jonnie H May 10, 2010 at 2:42 pm

My niece is just about to turn 12. This would be perfect for her.


31 Jason Nickolay May 10, 2010 at 3:32 pm

My daughter would love this. Thanks for the chance



32 HOPE TEICH May 10, 2010 at 6:21 pm



33 Ed Nemmers May 10, 2010 at 7:33 pm

For my niece!


34 Charlene May 10, 2010 at 8:37 pm

My niece would love this, thanks!


35 Lori Walker May 10, 2010 at 9:44 pm

sounds fun


36 Helen Gibbs May 10, 2010 at 10:33 pm

Sounds like a nice book.


37 Carolyn May 10, 2010 at 11:27 pm

This book looks very cute!


38 chris A May 10, 2010 at 11:32 pm

I have a 12 year old daughter who loves to read. This sounds like one she would really enjoy. Thanks for the chance to win.


39 Ron S. May 11, 2010 at 1:08 am

Sounds like itll be cool =)


40 Diane F May 11, 2010 at 7:20 am

Great Review! Would love this book for my daughter! Sounds like a good series!


41 Melissa B. May 11, 2010 at 7:51 am

My daughter is the perfect age for this book.


42 SUSAN May 11, 2010 at 8:13 am

I am sure my daughter would love this book!


43 susan smoaks May 11, 2010 at 9:26 am

i would love to enter, thanks for the giveaway!


44 kathy pease May 11, 2010 at 10:00 am

Thank you for the Great giveaway please count me in :)


45 Susan Smith May 11, 2010 at 10:44 am

Sounds like a good book


46 heather May 11, 2010 at 10:58 am

Sounds like a cute book!


47 Lean May 11, 2010 at 2:11 pm

I would like to read this


48 Crystal F May 11, 2010 at 4:41 pm

Sounds like a great book for my daughter! Thank you!


49 anne May 11, 2010 at 5:13 pm

THanks for this lovely giveaway.


50 Lily Kwan May 11, 2010 at 7:07 pm

Please enter me into the contest. Thanks!


51 Mozi Esmes Mommy May 11, 2010 at 7:11 pm

I’d love to read and share this!

janemaritz at yahoo dot com


52 Gianna May 11, 2010 at 7:20 pm

Please enter me :)


53 Jennifer Riggs May 11, 2010 at 9:50 pm

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