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Dizzy [Paperback]

Cathy Cassidy


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Book Description

June 28 2004
a ragdoll, a postcard from Marrakech, a rainbow-stripe hat, a dreamcatcher, a silver necklace with a pink stone in. Dizzy's mum left when she was small. But every year, on her birthday, something arrives in the post - a present or a card with her mum's loopy writing on. Dizzy has kept everything. But this year is different. This year's present is her mum, in person. Tanned and skinny with loads of earrings and a huge smile, Storm is a human whirlwind. She whisks Dizzy away for a summer that puts her whole world in a spin.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin UK (June 28 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014131785X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141317854
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.4 x 19.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 159 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,557,349 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-8–When 12-year-old Dizzy is kidnapped by her hippie mother, whom she hasn't seen or heard from in eight years, she thinks that flighty Storm has her father's approval to take her to a solstice festival in Scotland where he will join them. As the weeks go by, Dizzy increasingly dislikes sleeping in a teepee, eating moldy bread, going without hot water, singing for handouts in town, and narrowly escaping arrest. Storm shoves her off on her friend Tess, and Dizzy realizes that Storm isn't the mother she had been wishing for. Dizzy and Tess's son bond and look after the neglected son of Storm's boyfriend. Readers will empathize with the protagonist as she fears that her father has abandoned her, and it takes a serious accident to right things. The eclectic characters and their lifestyle are presented as captivating yet questionable in the girl's first-person narrative, and the well-developed plot fosters concern for Dizzy from the beginning. A unique, satisfying story.–Jean Gaffney, Dayton and Montgomery County Public Library, Miamisburg, OH
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

Gr. 7-9. Birthdays are special for Dizzy because they are the only day each year that she hears from her hippy, carefree mother, who abandoned Dizzy and her father when Dizzy was four. On her twelfth birthday, though, her mother, "Storm," unexpectedly shows up in person, wanting to take Dizzy to a solstice festival. Though her mother's bohemian lifestyle is fun, Dizzy increasingly realizes that Storm isn't the person she wants her to be. The diarylike, first-person, present-tense narrative details Dizzy's experiences, complex feelings, and growth as she learns to appreciate the importance of adult care and trust. With strong supporting characters--among them, 14-year-old Finn, who becomes a friend and more, and troubled seven-year-old Mouse, whom Dizzy comes to care for as a brother--this engaging first novel, set in England and Scotland, will attract kids with its likeable, sympathetic protagonist, whose life illustrates the challenges and rewards of adolescence, family, and love. Shelle Rosenfeld
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
I never sleep, the night before my birthday. Read the first page
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars  22 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars When parents don't grow up. Nov. 2 2005
By J. Marchese - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
A cute YA story about a 12 year old girl named Dizzy whose hippie/traveler/new-agey/punky parents split up when her mom, Storm, couldn't stifle her wandering flakey ways and her dad, Pete, wanted to settle down and raise Dizzy properly. After years of living through annual postcards and assorted gifts from her mom, Dizzy finally gets to see her face to face. Though Storm won't let Dizzy call her "Mom" or function as a proper mom in any way, Dizzy is smitten and allows herself to be manipulated into a summer on the festival circuit. Things aren't all bad, because Dizzy meets a boy named Finn, but Storm turns out to be selfish, self-centered, and exactly not what Dizzy needed. There are some supporting characters in the book that I think could have been explored more fully (primarily Mouse, a little boy essentially abandoned by his parents through their immature lives in the hippie/festival world), but all in all I think Dizzy's personality and fears were examined in a very thorough manner.

It's well written and as I said, cute, but some parts were boring. Granted, I'm 33, so something written for junior high kids is going to be boring on some level. The characters are entertaining and well-written. I think young girls in the 5-7th grade age range with an alternative streak will love this book.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, a little obvious, but well-written Dec 25 2004
By S. Burton - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I bought this book because I was inspired by first-time author Cathy Cassidy's bio. It said a friend challenged her to finish the book she'd been writing and this was the result.

It was an interesting story and unique, one that almost no one else could tell. I mean, what's it like to be a modern, wandering hippie? I couldn't tell you. The author writes like she knows what it's like to be there. My problem with it is that I'm not sure that I really wanted to know. The subject matter was a little unsettling. A lot of the pages in this book were devoted to the first Festival experience. As soon as they moved away from that environment I liked the book better.

I'm an adult, so I don't know if kids reading this book would find the plot as obvious as I did.

Mouse's character was the most awkwardly handled of any in the book. That's understandable since he was the most disturbed. We were shown throughout the book that Mouse was unpredictable, but his fire juggling propensity still seemed to be introduced too abruptly; aside from that, this kid is only seven! His skill level was astonishing and, frankly, unbelievable. Despite the blatant foreshadowing of tragedy, the tragedy at least was not the exact one we were expecting.

I found Dizzy's insecure feelings about her dad more and more believable each time they came up. I thought that was handled exceptionally well. It seemed obvious to me that her dad loved her and was out of his mind with worry, but I also became convinced of Dizzy's uncertainty about his feelings for her.

The "kidnapping" was very obvious from the start, but I'm hard-pressed to figure out how it could have been less so. Arggh! Storm was so selfish and manipulative. Tess was wonderful.

I liked the relationship between Dizzy and Finn. I was uncomfortable that they kissed, but at least it wasn't a major theme or repeated.

I liked the ending. It was tidy and satisfying without being too engineered. It didn't drag on forever.

I'm glad I paid the whole $15.99 at the bookstore for this book instead of waiting for the paperback. I would recommend it to other readers (along with Ashwater Experiment by Amy Goldman Koss and Kevin Henkes' Olive's Ocean--I loved that book). I look forward to more books (as promised in the bio) by this author.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SO GOOD!!!! AMAZING BOOK!! Jan. 19 2006
A Kid's Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I read this book, and i just LOVED it! I looked at the cover and i thought it was going to be way different. But it turned out to be way better. Its definitly one of my favorite books by far. I loved the characters and in a way i felt like i was watching it and i was there. It was an amazing book. I would recommend it to people who like surprises and lots of fun and adventure! It is so worth the money.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A favorite in my home library........ March 2 2007
A Kid's Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Dizzy is turning 12. She lives with her father in a flat in England with an ordinary outer life and a mysterious background. The only memories of her mother are currently tacked to her corkboard, and her father--and his girlfriend--are quiet over the whereabouts of Dizzy's runaway parent. But things suddenly pick up speed when Storm, a hippie woman with wild clothes and a cocky attitude, shows up at the front door, who sweeps Dizzy right off her feet and whirls her around the green hills of Scotland in a patchwork van.

I bought "Dizzy" last year in the 8th grade and read it in a matter of days. I adore this book. Cathy Cassidy, being British herself, is a genius when it comes to writing. Her style is fresh and simple, with sybolism that isn't put in your face. Yes, I found the beginning obvious as well, but I was able to get myself over this and enjoy the rest of the story. Many people might find this book slow and boring and action-less, but I loved following Dizzy around the forests with Finn (a boy with dreadlocks and his soul in a guitar), Mouse (a confused, trouble-making orphan), and Leggit (a scruffy, laughable dog) and throughout the festivals where she hangs out with fourtune-tellers and paints faces.

And the story is very real, tackling subjects some authors overdo and exaggerate--parental disappointment, the confusing times between pre-teen and teen, responsibility, and the different sorts of love between family and friends. I loved the whole "New Age Traveler" topic and I guess this story can really show that love--and, unfortunately, disappointment--can come from all different walks of life, and that life really is just a spinning, ever-changing, dizzy experience.

Cassidy's other books, Indigo Blue and Scarlett, are both very special reads, and she has also written Driftwood (only released in UK) and soon-to-be-published Sundae Girl (UK) and Lucky Star (UK) are bound to be heart-warmers.

Read "DIZZY"!!!!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Nine Year Old's Review April 1 2012
A Kid's Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I was just at the library, and Dizzy caught my eye. I read the back of it, and it seemed interesting. I started it, and it turned out to be that kind of book where I just want to know what happened next. This book is really good! I wish there was a sequel to Dizzy!
I guess this book is sort of predictable, but Dizzy is now one of my favorite's!!!!!!!

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