Joy School Paperback – Mar 24 1998
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Elizabeth Berg's previous novels about the feminine experience in its various stages of girlhood, adolescence, and adulthood have won her a loyal following for their emotional accuracy and powerful voices. In Joy School, Berg's newest book, young Katie's first experience of intense romantic love--with a much older man--becomes not just a crucible for the lessons of love in its various guises, but a rite of passage. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From School Library Journal
A 13-year-old girl falls in love with a 21-year-old garage mechanic who saves her life. From this unrequited love and other sorrows, she learns about the joys of life.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
These words sum up this story, about a 13-year-old girl, Katie, transplanted to Missouri after her mother's death, and subject to the mercurial moods of a stern, inaccessible father; she finds solace in the housekeeper and in her two friends - Cynthia, who is odd and whose grandmother actually interests Katie, with her loud, Italian ways and her penchant for cooking pasta in the middle of the night - and Taylor, a shoplifter, who introduces Katie to her larcenous skills and to make-out sessions at the drive-in theater.
And then there is Jimmy - a 23-year-old married man, who comes to her rescue one day when she has fallen through the ice while skating - and who pays her the kind of attention she is sorely lacking in her everyday life.
This coming-of-age tale skillfully describes a young girl who is out-of-place in her world - a world set in the fifties or sixties - and who searches for some kind of kinship with the cast of characters placed in her path.
We connect with her, in that the author paints a picture of this isolation in such a way that we can relate. We think - Oh, yes, I know what that feels like. And as the story comes to an end, we can feel the hope - just as she experiences it.
Joy School is memorable, hilarious and heartbreaking.
By Laurel-Rain Snow
An Accidental Life, etc.
I was like yea, I remember being like that. I remember feeling those unbelievably deep emotions. I remember loving an older boy who did not love me back. And yea, I knew beautiful girls like Taylor and hated their guts!
Katie's voice is delicious. She is trying to come to terms with moving to a new state, changes taking place in her body and mind, her own individuality, her first crush...
'He is the most beautiful boy, a Paul Newman look-a-like. I will NEVER love anybody like him as long as I live!' (been there)
Berg gives Katie insight. We hear her 13 year old thoughts, dreams, and her hilarious observations.
She says about one of her teachers...
"He gives some idiotic assignment,which he probably doesn't even know, then sits there reading a newspaper for the entire hour. He gets paid for this?!"
Berg, once again, captures the 13 year old voice we remember.
(Been there, done that!) We adore her for taking us back in time.
The only thing that makes this book better is the Reader, Jen Talor. She is simply superb and Elizabeth should have her read all of her books!
This is another wonderful exploration of what it means to be a girl growing up without a mother and raised by a father who just doesn't really understand. Berg is a beautiful writer and her characters spring to life with a single sentence, a single thought, a single motion. All three books in this series are really short (about 200 small pages), but they are jam-packed with intensity, hilarity, and agony. I highly recommend the full set to anybody who loves coming-of-age novels.
Most recent customer reviews
The voice of the main character of this novel is compelling, funny and easy to relate to. Although this may be subjective, this novel was an easy read for me - full of humor,... Read morePublished on May 16 2014 by Tara
I've been wanting to read this for over a year now. Not sure what I was expecting, but it just wasn't "there". Read morePublished on May 9 2004 by Amazon Customer
I absolutely love Elizabeth Berg and started to fall in love when I first read her novel "Open House". I was soooo excited to finally read "joy school". Read morePublished on Jan. 8 2004 by dicey23
I enjoyed this book. I hesitated buying it for quite a while and once i began reading, I couldn't imagine why. The narrator is so enjoyable, you just can't get enough of her. Read morePublished on June 20 2003 by Alicia Walker
Joy School has a wonderful flow and explores themes of losses, loves, and friendships of different kinds. Read morePublished on May 10 2003
After reading this book, I was hoping that there would be another book written about Katie. I am so glad to find out that there is! Read morePublished on Feb. 3 2003 by laeney
Underneath actions and feeling, there is a truth which Elizabeth Berg seems to grasp so easily. It's so honest. Read morePublished on Sept. 7 2002 by Ariadne Samuels
This is the fourth Elizabeth Berg book I've read, and it has cemented my admiration for this writer. Read morePublished on July 2 2002 by Margaret M. Bell