After years of teaching Barbara took a workshop as a requirement for my Master Degree at Manhattan Ville College with the late Paula Danziger. Required for that workshop was to write three chapters of a children’s book. So, taking her youngest daughters experiences Barbara with help and encouragement from Paula and later from her own critique group Barbara after many edits and rewrites produced her debut book “If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor”.
About “If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor”: (Taken from MuseItUp Publishing)
Carolyn Samuels is obsessed with the idea of being popular. She is convinced that the only thing keeping her from happiness is her too heavy for fashion body and not being a cheerleader. Hyperventilating when she gets nervous doesn’t help.
When she is paired for a Math project with the girl who tormented her in middle school, Jennifer Taylor, she is sure it is going to be another year of pain. With Carolyn’s crush on Jennifer’s hunky Junior quarterback Brad her freshman year in high school looks like a rerun of middle school.
After Jennifer’s the only student who knows why she fell in gym class, Carolyn is blackmailed into doing her math homework in return for Jennifer’s silence. Jennifer takes on Carolyn as a pity project since she can’t be seen with someone who dresses in jeans and sweatshirts. When Jennifer invites Carolyn to sleep over to make her over and teach her to tumble, Carolyn learns Jennifer’s secret and lies to her own friends to cover it up. Will Carolyn become a cheerleader and become popular? Does she continue to keep Jennifer’s secret? Or will she be a target of this mean girl again?
If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor is a book that covers many aspects of teen life, and perhaps not just teen, with many reader relating to Carolyn others to Jennifer and though written for girls ages 10 -14, it has also been enjoyed by older women, boys and men.
It is a book for all and one that already has quite a following
As one reviewer put it…
I pretty much only give 4-5 star reviews. If a story doesn't grab me opening chapters, with limited time, I set it aside. This debut novel hooked me opening page and didn't let go. I felt like I was completely immersed in Carolyn's world. Without an excess of drama or unrealistic focus on getting a boyfriend, clothes and makeup, this 14 year old told her story from the viewpoint of an honest kid who genuinely respected and cared for her parents. So refreshing! Her relationship, especially with her mom, was lovely in the fact Carolyn showed wonderful character growth by the last page, and the author didn't need to have abusive parents or hateful teenager to do so.
The hard topics of bullying, self-centeredness, serious health issues some young girls deal with, and so forth was all told so well I could go on and on, but I don't want to give away spoilers. The story left me smiling, certain more teenagers are actually like Carolyn, Jennifer and the rest, capable of doing the right thing, and because of that this novel is on my treasure and re-read pile. In all honesty, If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor is one of the best novels about teenagers I've read.
So listen now and share an interesting, and entertaining show as I chat with my special guest today on A Book and a Chat with Barbara Ehrentreu
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You can find out more about my guest and their books at:
"Barbara Ehrentreu - If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor"
Barry Eva (Storyheart)
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