The Disturbed Girl's Dictionary

The Disturbed Girl's Dictionary

3.88 (1,180 ratings by Goodreads)
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A 2019 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults Selection

A 2018 New York Public Library Best Book for Teens

Macy's school officially classifies her as disturbed, but Macy isn't interested in how others define her. She's got more pressing problems: her mom can't move off the couch, her dad's in prison, her brother's been kidnapped by Child Protective Services, and now her best friend isn't speaking to her. Writing in a dictionary format, Macy explains the world in her own terms--complete with gritty characters and outrageous endeavors. With an honesty that's both hilarious and fearsome, slowly Macy reveals why she acts out, why she can't tell her incarcerated father that her mom's cheating on him, and why her best friend needs protection . . . the kind of protection that involves Macy's machete.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 344 pages
  • 150 x 218 x 31mm | 545g
  • Carolrhoda Lab
  • Minneapolis, United States
  • English
  • 1512439762
  • 9781512439762
  • 969,016

Review quote

The events that led to Macy Cashmere's stay in a mental institution unfold through mostly alphabetically-arranged 'dictionary' entries that piece together a harrowing and ultimately empowering story of survival. Macy's dad is in prison, her mother flits from one so-called 'boyfriend' to another, and her little brother Zane is in foster care after Child Protective Services was tipped off by neighbors. But Macy's primary concern is that her best friend Alma is uncharacteristically withdrawn. Ramos presents the raw, real voice of a fiercely protective and determined young woman who eventually takes up her grandmother's machete to protect herself and her friend, an act that lands her in the institution. Like Sapphire's Push (1996), it's almost too much at times--or would be if it weren't so believable. The dictionary format and nonlinear exposition work beautifully to slowly reveal the reasons for Macy's actions, while her wry humor and sharp tongue leaven the first person narrative. An ambiguous but realistic conclusion will provoke discussion. Ramos is a voice to watch; her exceptional writing and compassionate realism will draw many readers, not just fans of urban fiction.--starred, Booklist

-- "Journal"
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Rating details

1,180 ratings
3.88 out of 5 stars
5 33% (392)
4 36% (419)
3 21% (248)
2 6% (74)
1 4% (47)
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