Atta Girl! A Memoir

Genie Zeiger
  • Review
By – July 9, 2012
I am so full of ques­tions, I’m going to burst.” So declares 11-year-old Genie Zeiger in this can­did mem­oir of grow­ing up in Queens in the 1950s. As she strug­gles to make sense of the world, Genie often feels that she has no one to turn to. Her moth­er encour­ages her to do some­thing con­struc­tive,” her father is dis­tract­ed, her lit­tle sis­ter is too young to under­stand, and God cer­tain­ly doesn’t seem to be lis­ten­ing. An aspir­ing writer, Genie finds solace in books bor­rowed from the library, but these too often open the door to more ques­tions. After read­ing and re-read­ing The Diary of Anne Frank, Genie won­ders why her par­ents have nev­er told her about the Holo­caust, and how God could have allowed it to hap­pen. At the same time, like many pre­teen girls, Genie is also pre­oc­cu­pied with thoughts of friends, school, and boys. Though some­what scat­tered and chop­py at times, Genie’s voice is fun­ny and upbeat, and pro­pels the read­er along at a brisk pace. Mod­ern teens will iden­ti­fy with Genie’s search for answers to life’s ques­tions, and adult read­ers — espe­cial­ly those who came of age in the 1950s — will enjoy a trip down mem­o­ry lane. Ages 10 and up.
Ali­son Kel­ly holds a B.A. in Amer­i­can His­to­ry from North­west­ern Uni­ver­si­ty and an MLS from UCLA. She is a librar­i­an at Stephen S. Wise Tem­ple Ele­men­tary School.

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