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The Cat Ate My Gymsuit Hardcover – September 15, 1974
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- Publisher : Delacorte Books for Young Readers; Eighteenth edition (September 15, 1974)
- Language : English
- ISBN-10 : 0385281838
- ISBN-13 : 978-0385281836
- Grade level : 10 - 12
- Item Weight : 10.4 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.75 x 0.75 x 8.75 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,283,720 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #73,541 in Teen & Young Adult Literature & Fiction
- Customer Reviews:
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Then she gets a new English teacher. Ms. Finney is not a traditional teacher. She encourages her students to write and to ask questions. She comes up with interesting assignments and keeps them reading new material. They make commercials for the books they read instead of writing out another book report. They help Sherlock Houses, the defective detective, solve a case. They have fun learning, and Marcy finds herself speaking out more, less afraid of what the other kids in her class will do when she does.
And Marcy is not just finding her voice at school. At home, she is learning to speak up against her dad’s yelling, letting her feelings out. Sometimes it makes things better and sometimes it makes things worse, but she doesn’t let that stop her.
The school principal and some members of the school board don’t like Ms. Finney. They want her to follow all the school rules, like saying the Pledge of Allegiance every morning. But she believes that she should be able to choose. They don’t like that she uses non-traditional teaching methods or that she’s teaching her students to talk about their feelings. But she believes that everyone deserves to have their voice heard and their opinions respected. They fire her, but she fights back.
Marcy and several of her classmates make plans to protest Ms. Finney’s getting fired. But the principal finds out and suspends Marcy and 3 of her friends. What will happen to their plans to help Ms. Finney? What will happen when Marcy’s dad finds out what she’s done? And what will happen when Ms. Finney faces the school board?
The Cat Ate My Gymsuit was one of my favorite books when I was a kid. Paula Danziger had a way of making me feel seen through her characters. Although this was originally published in 1974, and there are things that feel dated, Danziger’s characters never do. Their feelings, their insecurities, their dreams live on. And while now we know more about bullies than we did back then, the truth is that they still exist, and they can still be scary. But even now, after decades, Marcy’s courage is inspiring, and I hope it inspires readers today to find their voice and grow into their strength.