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Tallahassee Higgins [Paperback]

Mary Downing Hahn
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

April 1 1998 Avon Camelot Books
Tallahassee Higgins, who has enjoyed a vagabond lifestyle with her free-spirited mother, moves into her conventional aunt and uncle's suburban home when her Mother goes to Los Angeles to try her luck in TV and movies.

Product Details


Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

In Hahn's sensitive and witty story, Talley learns that she will always love her flighty mother, even though they may never be able to live together. Ages 8-12.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-8 Twelve-year-old Tallahassee Higgins, raised by her free-spirited single mother Liz, has lived a life without cufews, study times, and well-balanced meals. Except for curiosity about her father's identity, it is a life Tally loves and a life she is about to lose. Liz is moving to California with her current boyfriend to chase a Hollywood acting dream, leaving Tally in Maryland with an uncle and aunt whom she has never met. Aunt Thelma is a critical strict woman who is determined to keep Tally from following in Liz' irresponsible footsteps. Tally isn't much more welcomed by other townspeoplesomething she can't understand until she learns who her father was and the truth about her parents' relationship. Torn between love and loyalty for her mother and the increasingly obvious realities of Liz' nature, Tally vacillates between anger and fantasy until a crisis forces her to confront and accept her life and loved ones as they are, not as she wishes they were. This novel is memorable for its realistic portrayal of human vulnerabilities and the careful balance of humor and heartache. Hahn writes about contemporary issues with all of the necessary elements of good fictionan interesting story with a beginning, middle, and end; sympathetic main characters who grow through experience; and a cast of well-rounded supporting characters. There are no weak links in this literary chain. Heide Piehler, Shorewood Public Library, Wis.
Copyright 1987 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
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fine book, though it could have been much better. July 11 2002
By Meaghan
Format:Paperback
Tallahassee Higgins reckon's she's got to be the unhappiest twelve-year-old in the world when her free-spirited, unconventional, flighty young mother Liz leaves her at an aunt and uncle's house while Liz goes off to Hollywood to hit it big. She does poorly in school, her only friend's mother hates her guts, and she has to have things like bedtimes and is made to do her homework. Tallahassee, who is not used to following rules, constantly argues with her Aunt Thelma over them. Every day she hopes Liz will hit it big and send for her.
There are two principal conflicts in the story. The first and most realistic in my opinion is Tallahassee's longing for her mother, longing to be with her. It is obvious to the reader and all the characters except Tallahassee herself that Liz is not going to pick her up anytime within the near future. Quite conceivably Tallahassee will be living with her aunt and uncle for years. Liz, like Kathy in Rainbow Jordan, loves her daughter in her own way but is not capable of taking care of her. And, like Rainbow, Tallahassee doesn't see this and regards her mother as something close to an angel. She's got a lot to learn.
The second conflict is Tallahassee's pondering as to who her father was. Liz never said. Tallahassee only knows that she isn't blonde and beautiful like her mom; she has freckles and big teeth and red hair. "You take after your father," Liz always said. Tallahassee never gave the matter much thought till she saw a photograph of Liz's long-dead childhood sweetheart who used to live in the neighborhood...and he looks just like her.
The young man, who was killed in Vietnam, does in fact turn out to be Tallahassee's father.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  20 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book for all girls! Nov. 15 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
It's a wonderful book for girls of all ages. It was very sadbecause her mother has left her several times. She has to stay withher Aunt Thelma and Uncle Dan. She meets a new friend, Jane, but Jane's mother does not like her. She meets a woman named Miss Russell and she walks her dog every Saturday. She doesn't know who her father is, but has a suspicion. You must read the book to find out more! It's wonderful!
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This book is pretty good... May 9 2005
A Kid's Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book is pretty cool. It is about this 12-year-old girl, Tallahassee Higgins[named after the place she was born]and her Mom, Liz. Her mom leaves with her boyfriend to go to California to become famous. Tallahassee has to stay with her phsycho Aunt and awesome uncle. While she stays with her aunt and uncle, she learns alot about her family's history and her mom's past. I gave this book 4 stars because the story plot rocked, but the main character was weird. She wouldn't stop crying through the whole story.
4.0 out of 5 stars Intimately felt, flawed characters July 5 2014
By Swankivy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Yes, this is about a girl named Tallahassee. (I knew very well what "Tallahassee" was, considering I'd recently moved to Florida when I read this and that was the capital of my new state.) Poor Tallahassee kind of has an abusive mom, but not in the more obvious way. Her mom has been stringing her along and refusing to maturely provide a stable existence for her daughter, routinely uprooting her and making her follow her across the country as she chases fame and success. And all along, Talley has felt like she and her mother are more like friends or sisters than they are mother and daughter.

Eventually Tallahassee's mother decides to plop her down with her uncle Dan and her strict Aunt Thelma so it will be easier for her to pursue her fanciful dreams out west. Tallahassee believes just about as much as her mother does that one day everything will turn out great for them and then her mom will send for her, so she has no qualms about telling everyone she meets about her mom the future movie star and how she isn't going to be living with Aunt Thelma's insufferable rules and condescending comments about her immature mom very long.

But slowly, she starts to listen to the messages her more mature aunt gives her about her mother, and she realizes that her mother isn't a perfect person who can do no wrong. I remember poor desperate Talley spending her silver dollars trying to get as far west as possible, no plan in hand much like her mother, and all the pain she had to deal with in accepting that sometimes you love and trust people who just aren't good for you, even if they're related by blood. I also really liked that Aunt Thelma, despite being much better for Tallahassee's stability and emotional growth than her mother was, did have some flaws and was sometimes harsh (can you say judging the apple for the sins of the tree?)--it was enough to really make me feel for Talley. I love when books don't have just a Wise Old Adult who's perfect and all their wisdom is shown as Ultimate Truth by the end.
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this book as a kid, and now my kid loves it! March 4 2014
By Candace Odom-cook - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am not a book critic, so feel free to take my opinion with a grain of salt lol. I read this book (as well as most of Hahn's books) as a kid and I LOVED this one. It's a great story of a girl whose immature mother leaves her with her uncle with no promise of returning. She awkwardly finds her place, with the help of a couple new friends, and solves the mystery of her father's identity. Along the way, she discovers what it means to be part of a family.

My nine year old son reads faster than books can be written (so it seems lol) so I am always trying to find new material for him to read. I had the idea to find some of my old favorites and see if he likes them. While he finds them a little old-fashioned (Why can't she just Google it? What-there was no internet? You're old, Mom!), he seems to like the actual stories. We've gone through about 10 of my old favorites, and this one seems to be one of his faves too.

I could have gotten this at a used book store for less, but I didn't have time for the trip. So I was perfectly fine paying for a new one...and luckily the paperback was pretty cheap!
4.0 out of 5 stars So Sad Feb. 19 2014
By crying women - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I like this book because it's so sad that talahasse's mom leaves her and tells her to stay with her aunt and uncle and then she comes backs and tells her that her dad died in a war and then tells her that she is going to New York to become an actor and leaves her daughter behind.
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