Mad about the boy ISBN: 9780744572612
Published by Walker
While this is aimed at the over twelves (the girl, Joanna, is 15 or 16)there is nothing in it that younger children could not relate to. It is an amazingly good portrayal of a teenager's angst when her dad re-marries and she has to take on a new mum and an older step brother. The 'mad' of the title has two meanings: firstly she is mad/angry about Mark ('Boffin' to her and best friend Dee) and then she becomes mad about him at the very end. The feelings are real, and Jo's thorough dislike of Tatia ('Tarty' to her and Dee) and Mark, because she and her dad have always got along just fine on their own, ring true. Joanna's mother died when she was three, and she can't remember her - a fact that adds to her troubled relationship with Tatia and Mark. There is lots of humour too, and Jo's gradual realisation that they are really quite nice people is paced believably. Girls will respond particularly well to this story.