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Looking For Alibrandi [Paperback]

Melina Marchetta
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)
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Book Description

March 1 2002 Puffin Books
For as long as Josephine Alibrandi can remember, it’s just been her, her mom, and her grandmother. Now it’s her final year at a wealthy Catholic high school. The nuns couldn’t be any stricter—but that doesn’t seem to stop all kinds of men from coming into her life.

Caught between the old-world values of her Italian grandmother, the nononsense wisdom of her mom, and the boys who continue to mystify her, Josephine is on the ride of her life. This will be the year she falls in love, the year she discovers the secrets of her family’s past—and the year she sets herself free.

Told with unmatched depth and humor, this novel—which swept the pool of Australian literary awards and became a major motion picture—is one to laugh through and cry with, to cherish and remember.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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From Amazon

Seventeen-year-old Josephine Alibrandi is no stranger to conflict. If she's not caught between her strict single mom and her even stricter grandmother, then she's trying to choose between wealthy good boy John Barton and working-class bad boy Joseph Coote. Josephine is always in trouble with the nuns at her Catholic school (who everyone calls "penguins because of them wearing wimples and all that Sound of Music gear") because she fights with native Australian kids over her mixed Australian/Italian heritage. Just when she thinks her situation couldn't possibly get more complicated, her mysterious, long-lost biological father comes back and Josephine must decide if it's worth getting to know this person who abandoned her and her mother. But through it all--including a startling revelation from her grandmother and the suicide of a close friend--Josephine manages to hold on to her sense of humor, as in this reflective moment: "I could have been a model for Hot Pants. Except that when I finally put my glasses on, reality set in. Hot Pants would have to wait."

Award-winning Australian author Melina Marchetta has created a strong and sassy role model in Josephine, whom girls with growing pains on both sides of the Pacific will love. With its accurate and insightful portrayal of a young woman's coming of age, Looking for Alibrandi will have female teens waiting eagerly for Marchetta's next novel. (Ages 12 and older) --Jennifer Hubert --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Although this involving novel is set in the author's native Australia, American readers will feel right at home, thanks to the charismatic, outspoken narrator, 17-year-old Josephine Alibrandi. A scholarship student at a tony Catholic girls' school, Josie is aware that she is different from her affluent "Aussie" classmates: she's illegitimate, and she's closely tied to her Italian immigrant community. She feels periodically rebellious against her classmates' snobbishness, against the nuns' authority at school, against her community's mores. Even so, Josie clearly regards the women in her lifeAher single mother, her grandmother and even some of the nunsAwith affection as well as exasperation. Josie has less experience dealing with guys until senior year, when three members of the opposite sex complicate her world. Her father, who has not previously known of her existence, arrives on the scene unexpectedly, and she can't help feeling drawn to him. She also becomes involved with two boys her own age: the upper-class but desperately unhappy John Barton and the wilder, iconoclastic Jacob Coote. The casting or plot may sound clich?ed, but the characterizations are unusually insightful and persuasive. In articulate, passionate prose, Marchetta weaves the intricate web of Josephine's relationships, juxtaposing her revelations about her family history against current crises (these include John's suicide). If the author loses momentum at the end, straining for tidy closure, she does, simultaneously, leave open new doorways for her heroine. Ages 14-up.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Finding Josie Nov. 7 2003
Format:Hardcover
Looking For Alibrandi, by Melina Marchetta, is a novel set in Sydney, Australia about a high school senior named Josephine Alibrandi. She is a confused, rambunctious, carefree, Italian middle-class scholarship student searching for her identity. Although sometimes she is emotionally unstable due to being ridiculed by her peers, she has a good heart and is fun to be with. Her religion and Italian background play major roles in her life. Josie has never had a male influence; her mother became pregnant at age sixteen, and her father´¿s family moved away soon thereafter. Because of her pregnancy without being married, Josie´¿s mother, Christina, is an outcast in her traditional Italian community. Her critical and traditional grandmother makes sure she follows the rules of her community, while her teachers try to keep her out of trouble, although she normally finds herself in it. But Josie´¿s senior year at St. Martha is different. First, her father comes back into her life, and she finds out two nice boys, John Barton, popular and rich, and Jacob Coote, a working rebel, both like her. John Barton becomes one of Josie´¿s good friends, but he has many problems because of all the pressure he is under from his father. Jacob Coote, on the other hand, ends up becoming deeply involved with Josie. Josie has many ups and downs, which makes the story interesting and relative to life. But with the support of her family and friends, she survives all these hardships. She is so grateful to have a loving father by her side, and three wonderful best friends to look up to for help. This year Josie finds herself. She learns more about her background and culture, deals with issues such as boys, stress, suicide, and leaves behind the naivet├ę little girl she once was.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Looking for Alibrandi April 4 2003
Format:Hardcover
For as long as she can remember, seventeen year old Josephine Alibrandi has believed her life to be anything but fortunate. Born to a single impecunious mother from a strong Italian background, Josie has never met her father and doesn't fit in at her elitist Sydney Catholic school on account of her scholarship and inability to conform. She also refuses to embrace any part of her heritage, including her grandmother. However, to make her existence even more of a nightmare, she is constantly reminded of these factors by arch- nemesis "Poison Ivy." Not only is Ivy her superior as school captain, but she is also after the charming, white-collar, extremely wealthy, John Barton. The very same man Josie believes she is destined to be with.
Just when Josie thinks her life couldn't possibly become anymore convoluted, she is finding herself more and more attracted to blue-collar bad boy Jacob Coote. And what does her fathers reappearance after a seventeen year absence mean for her? Not to mention having to bear the burden of a thirty five year old secret, her Nona's been keeping, after mistakenly stumbling across it. Will this new information threaten to make her feel more estranged from both her family and heritage than she already does, or will it bring her closer to them. And will she be strong enough to cope when tragedy strikes so close to home? That is all of course without even contemplating the stresses of her upcoming HSC.
Set in Australia in the 1990's, this book is a turbulent ride of self-discovery, which deals with themes deemed extremely topical in today's modern teenage society. Not only does Marchetta build realism through creating strength within her characters, she further authenticates them by making their struggles identifiable to a majority of teenagers.
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5.0 out of 5 stars looking for alibrandi Dec 17 2002
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
This is a fantastic book and i have read it many times.The story is about a 17 year old girl named Josephine Alibrandi and her life during her last year of high school. Josephine is constantly trying to fit in at her private Catholic school, but many of the girls don't want to know her because she isn't rich and because she is a "wog"(someone who has european decent). Her home life is not much better either-josie's family and especially her grandmother, are constantly reminding her that she was born through sin, as her mother had her when she was 17 to the boy next door.
Josie's life is turned upside down when her father Michael, whom she never met, turns up on her grandmother's doorstep. All hell breaks loose when her grandmother discovers that he is her father, because she never knew! Josie also has another dilemma when she discovers she has feelings for a boy named Jacob Coote, as she also has feelings for her best friend John Barton, who dies in tragic circumstances. These things all occur when she is trying to complete her HSC (higher school certificate)so it is a very stressful time for her.
I love this book because it deals with important issues such as suicide, relationships, racism and the stress of school as well as being funny. I can also relate to the story as I am 16 years old and live in the same society as in which the book is set. I have also seen the movie version of the book which is fantastic too.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Looking for Alibrandi Aug. 26 2002
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
D. Rousseau
Looking For Alibrandi
Over the summer I read a great book called "Looking for Alibrandi". The author is Melina Marchetta, and although it is fiction it is a great story.
I really like how expressive the Author is throughout the whole book. Sometimes she is so specific that I actually felt like I was in the book with all the characters. I also liked the part when Jose & Anna were in the McDonalds parking lot when Greg Sims was harassing them, then Jacob Coote came and saved the day. I liked that part because it showed that Jacob really did care about Josie. Another part I liked was when Josie broke Carly's nose because of the racist things she had said. I was really proud of her for standing up for herself even though it was wrong to break Carly's nose. I also enjoyed reading about her relationship with her Dad, especially the part when he took Josie on the trip with him. I thought that was really great because it showed how she and Michel were finally getting along well when at first she hated him.
I have to admit I haven't read many novels like this one. In fact I don't think I've ever read one that expresses so much and that gives a really good meaning of some of the bad things that happen in life, but that something good does come to people who are true to their heart. The novel that this book comes closest to would probably be "Island of the Blue Dolphins". It is very detailed just like "Looking For Alibrandi" and I was very touched after I read both novels.
This novel has a very good theme to it. If anyone were to ask me for a good book to read I would definitely recommend reading "Looking for Alibrandi". Although it is a very good book I probably wouldn't recommend it for anyone under the age of 11.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Fantastic!!!
This is one of my favourite novels. Its charming and witty. A must-read for teens.
Published on July 9 2007 by cielo_sereno
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic Read
This book was given to me when I was 16 from one of my Australian relatives, and has become one of my favorite books of all time. Read more
Published on Feb. 17 2004 by "mmagee83"
5.0 out of 5 stars Looking... and Found a Classic
If one reads any of my other book reviews it is not hard to tell that I have a flare for the unusualy, but the novel was one that I enjoyed never-the-less. Read more
Published on Dec 6 2003 by NorthofCB
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read
The story of Josephines emotional journey to adulthood, although not a literary masterpiece, is still a pretty good read. Read more
Published on Nov. 12 2003 by The Dark Assasin
5.0 out of 5 stars not my usual type of book
I'm an avid reader, in fact, I read so much that my family actually grounds me from reading sometimes (though not very often because I'm not really a trouble-maker). Read more
Published on Sept. 19 2003 by FairytaleHistories
5.0 out of 5 stars Best read/movie ever
This is just a short review
"Looking for Alibrandi" was a sensational movie and even better book. Read more
Published on July 10 2003 by Tyson Williams
4.0 out of 5 stars Looking for Alibrandi
Reading "Looking for Alibrandi" was a pleasure. Although the ending was rather deppressing I had fun reading up to that point. Read more
Published on Sept. 2 2002 by bassrocker410
4.0 out of 5 stars Looking for Alibrandi
Reading "Looking for Alibrandi" was a pleasure. Although the ending was rather deppressing I had fun reading up to that point. Read more
Published on Sept. 2 2002 by bassrocker410
5.0 out of 5 stars Looking for Alibrandi -- Moving and Realistic
Looking for Alibrandi is a realistic book about the powerful struggles of a seventeen-year-old girl of Italian descent living in Australia. Read more
Published on Aug. 23 2002
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