Young Adult Novels by Norma Howe
Author of Novels and Stories for Young Adults

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Make Me Over

Make Me Over Editor: Marilyn Singer

Published by
Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers
September 2005

Book Description

Do we need cosmetic surgery, dental implants, and a new wardrobe to improve our lives? Or can transformation happen in other ways? What kind of a makeover has the power to change a person, inside and out? These stories, specially written for this collection, delve into our culture's fascination with beauty and present different views about all kinds of makeovers. Sometimes funny, sometimes serious, and always thoughtprovoking, this anthology will open eyes and minds. Authors include Joseph Bruchac, Marina Budhos, Evelyn Coleman, Peni R. Griffin, Margaret Peterson Haddix, Norma Howe, Jess Mowry, René Saldaña, Jr., Marilyn Singer, Joyce Sweeney, and Terry Trueman.


Kirkus review: Star "Pointer Review"
It isn't often that a book of short stories doesn't hold a clunker or two. Singer has avoided that pitfall with this superb collection. Every story is a winner. The combined talents of some of the finest YA writers, such as Margaret Peterson Haddix and Joyce Sweeney, spin 11 stories with a common theme: a makeover of some kind wherin the heros find their own unique selves. From an avant-garde French club student to boys in the hood, and even including a lovesick owl, the entries dip into native American storytelling as well as common high-school adolescent angst, ending with an affecting story of immigration. they have humor, drama, insight and heart-touching warmth, all delivering the moral for which every teen yearns: Yes, you can change; you can become better. A real joy from start to finish.

Gr. 7-10. The teen years are rife with change, making transformation a perfect theme for a short-story collection. An experienced anthologist, Singer assembles another diverse, solid group of stories--from Joyce Sweeney's humorous look at a boy whose self-esteem gets a boost from his posing as a French exchange student to Margaret Peterson Haddix's sobering peek at an immigrant's Ellis Island makeover at the hands of the Ladies' Aid Society. Some of the conversions are more literal, as in Bruchac's first-person account of an Abenaki folk hero, Wabi, an owl that becomes a person. Several are prompted by romantic involvement, such as Norma Howe's story in which a character changes his chaotic lifestyle and cleans his room because of a girl. And a few of the changes are life-saving: Evelyn Coleman's teen exotic dancer, for example, uses her earnings to escape a drug-addicted mother. Readers tired of reality-TV makeovers will rejoice in the characters that use transformation to find their true selves. Cindy Dobrez