Once Upon A Romance

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Mandy the Outsider by Norma Jean Lutz

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Cover art: Mandy the Outsider
Reviewer: Danielle Mason
Title: Mandy the Outsider: Prelude to the Second World War - Sisters in Time
Author: Norma Jean Lutz
Publisher: Barbour
ISBN-13: 978-1-59310-353-8
Release Date: September 2004
Genre/Sub-genre: Youth Inspirational Historical Fiction
Publisher’s Age/Grade Recommendation: Ages 8-12
OUAR’s Age/Grade Recommendation: Ages 8-12
Year/Setting: Seattle, WA- late 1930s-early 1940s
Overall Rating: 4.5
Norma Jean's Website/Blog: None found


It's 1939 and Mandy McMichael has had to move out of the neighborhood that she loves and also quit attending the school she loves to relocate with her family to Seattle for her father's job. None of this comes at a good time because there is talk of war and tensions are high everywhere you turn.

It's especially hard for Mandy and her family because back in their old neighborhood they were best friends with a family that is Japanese. Right now in her world you just don't associate with "those types of people." It's like now with some people and the Arabians after 9/11. It's not right but it is what is happening regardless. In Mandy's new school she is facing a ridicule that is completely different but happening nonetheless. Mandy is a very bright girl and loves to read. This is frowned upon by a certain group of girls. So, Mandy to keep them from bothering her is purposely not doing well on her spelling and homework. Finally after standing up to a fellow student with a disability Mandy decides she just wants to be herself and starts doing what she knows is right!

I really like this book for little girls. It gives them good insight into how life was back then. I also think its the way life is now. It's just a different time and a different race of people. Also even though this book is based in the late 30s early 40s it gives the girls someone to relate to. I know I saw myself in Mandy when I was a little girl and it was fun to remember me in school back when I was her age!!

Danielle

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