The Secret Life of Amanda K. Woods
By Ann Cameron
(Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR), Hardcover, 9780374367022, 208pp.)
Publication Date: April 1998
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Amanda Woods is discovering that there are some things in life that you just can't change, like who your parents are or how your older sister treats you, but she is determined to change what she can. To begin with, she's not going to be just plain Amanda Woods (the girl her mother seems to think is just average). She's going to be Amanda K. Woods - someone who is proud and strong and sure of herself, someone who can have a French pen pal and a best friend of her own choosing, someone who finds four-leaf clovers and can get perfect scores on her math homework. There is more to Amanda than anyone else can see, things about her that Amanda herself doesn't even know yet, but she's finding out. In her first novel for older children, Ann Cameron presents a heroine who is philosophical and honest as only a twelve-year-old can be.
"Cameron paints a sensitive portrait of an 11-year-old loner in this story set in 1950s Wisconsin...[Amanda's] growing pains, gracefully conveyed though quiet, contemplative narrative, will hit home with many readers." --Publishers Weekly
"Cameron displays a virtuoso gift for precision, telling observations, and creative but unforced imagery." --Starred, Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books