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The Total Tragedy of a Girl Named Hamlet explained The Total Tragedy of a Girl Named Hamlet, review The Total Tragedy of a Girl Named Hamlet, trailer The Total Tragedy of a Girl Named Hamlet, box office The Total Tragedy of a Girl Named Hamlet, analysis The Total Tragedy of a Girl Named Hamlet, The Total Tragedy of a Girl Named Hamlet b40a Hamlet Kennedy Just Wants To Be Your Average, Happy, Vanilla Eighth Grader But With Shakespearean Scholar Parents Who Dress In Elizabethan Regalia And Generally Go About In Public As If It Were The Sixteenth Century, That S Not Terribly Easy It Gets Worse When They Decide That Hamlet S Genius Seven Year Old Sister Will Attend Middle School With Her And Even Worse When The Shakespeare Project Is Announced And Her Sister Is Named The New Math Tutor By The Time An In Class Recitation Reveals That Our Heroine Is An Extraordinary Shakespearean Actress, Hamlet Can No Longer Hide From The Fact That She Like Her Family Is Anything But Average In A Novel Every Bit As Funny As Her Debut, Erin Dionne Has Created Another Eighth Grader Whose Situation Is Utterly Unique But Whose Foibles And Farces Will Resound With Every Girl Currently Suffering Through Middle School

  • Hardcover
  • 304 pages
  • The Total Tragedy of a Girl Named Hamlet
  • Erin Dionne
  • 10 March 2018
  • 9780803732988

About the Author: Erin Dionne

I write books for tweens, teens, and anyone who survived junior high.Please note I have changed my review policy I ll no longer be using the star rating system I m an author, not a reviewer or editor, and I d rather support other authors by not ranking their books I write honest brief reviews for each book I read, so please look to those to find out what I loved.

10 thoughts on “The Total Tragedy of a Girl Named Hamlet

  1. says:

    Summary of Novel The Total Tragedy of a Girl Named Hamlet , by Erin Dionne is an amusing tale that not only captures some of the pitfalls of middle school it conveys a very crucial and excellent moral lesson about fitting in in life and being true to one s self Hamlet Kennedy, the main character and antagonist in this story, is entering eighth grade, her last year of middle school All she has ever wanted was to fit in and be a normal averaged girl in eighth grade, yet that will be extremely difficult considering the fact that her seven year old sister, Desdemona, is joining her in Howard Hoffer Junior High In addition, her parents, who are Shakespearean eccentrics, will constantly be visiting her to check how her younger sister is doing The reason why Desdemona, is joining Hamlet in middle school, is because she scored very high on her IQ test when she was only two years old Also, she was supposed to go to college this year, yet Chestnut College wouldn t let her declare a major unless she took music and art classes Dionne, 6 Knowing that she will be embarrassed in school and with her classmates, Hamlet agrees to take care of Desdemona while she accompanies her to her daily classes As they walk from class to class, Hamlet constantly reminds Desdemona or Dezzie to act normal and not use any of the Shakespearean quotes she uses at home, so she wouldn t make Hamlet stand out Subsequently, in English class, Desdemona was told to read a part of Mid Summer Night s Dream and when she did, the whole class looked at her in admiration and awe She read that excerpt so beautifully and fluently, that it made it sound as if she practiced reading it for a month Promptly, the teacher told her to play Puck in the upcoming play of A Mid Summer Night s Dream and she accepted yet her only worry was that she didn t want her parents to know about this nor to get embroiled with the play On the other hand, ever since Hamlet knew Carter, her crush, she could not stop daydreaming about him He was very handsome and charming, which made Hamlet wonder if he was the one who put origami pig letters in her locker She can t seem to put a finger on which that person was Could it be Cater She hoped or it might be KC, since everyone says he loves Hamlet but can t express his feelings towards her Meanwhile, in Desdemona s homeroom, Saber and Mauri, the popular girls in school, have been getting closer to her, so they can manipulate her into helping them pass classes and get good grades As time passes, Desdemona doesn t figure out what they are doing to her, yet Hamlet always tries to make her understand One day, while Mauri, Saber and Hamlet were arguing, the teacher sent them to the principle s office and got them all into great chaos Fortunately, Dezzie and Hamlet both said the truth, and ended up with no punishments Finally, Desdemona realized that the girls were only using her to get good grades Hence, she sought to take revenge, and mad a plan with Hamlet They concocted a very cunning plan, in which Desdemona would give Saber and Mauri fallacious answers in their homework and notes for their presentations so they can embarrass themselves in front of the whole middle school Consequently, Saber and Mauri found out that Hamlet didn t want her parents to know that they were studying Shakespeare, so they called them in and made Hamlet look so mortified since her mother wore Elizabethan era clothes and marched into school with a tambourine Right after her Mid Summer Night s Dream rehearsal, Hamlet fled away to the counselor s room weeping She told the counselor all the problems that she is facing and why they are making her feel agitated Later on, Hamlet starts gaining her parents trust after they accused her of breaking the family globe, when it was really Desdemona and her friends Her parents apologized to her, and from that day on she started to feel a little spark of comfort between her and her parents Meanwhile, Hamlet s love life was getting very complicated she heard people say Ty, her best friend, was in love with her while others said that KC loved her Her head was in complete havoc, and then she decided to confront Ty and tell him that she can t fall in love of him because he is like a brother to her Ty was speechless he didn t know what she was talking about Finally, they both found out that there was a misinterpretation about who loves whom Ultimately, KC admitted that he was the one who dropped the origami pig letters in her locker and that he loved her It was time for the play and for the first time in her life, Hamlet felt confident and ready First, Saber and Mauri had to talk about the Bard, and when they did all the facts they said were wrong, because those were the facts from the notes that Desdemona gave them earlier Hamlet played her role in the play and did a fantastic job she did not miss any lines Mr and Mrs Kennedy were gratified by Hamlet s actions Thus, one can see that the theme in this peculiar story was Always be true to who you are, even if you don t fit in It played a major role in defining the main characters personality and struggle in life.ThemeIn this particular story, the theme, Always be true to who you are, even if you don t fit in, played a pivotal role since it conveyed a very crucial message to the audience, a message that easily applies to teens today Hamlet wants to fit in in her community, and she believes that if she s a normal averaged girl she can fly under the radar Dionne, 21 for the rest of her school year However, as the main character grows and develops, Hamlet gets know that she needs to accept herself for who she is and not care what the people around her think First, when Desdemona joins Hamlet in eighth grade, the audience visualizes Hamlet as an insecure girl since she is frightened about what her classmates might think of her Through the author s direct characterization, Erin Dionne describes Hamlet, while telling her sister what to do and what to say in certain times and places at her high school No curtsy this time I d warned Dezzie on our walk to class Dionne, 16 Subsequently, the theme perfectly complements Hamlet s situation as a middle school teenager, because at first she doesn t accept the fact that her parents come dressed with cloaks and march with tambourines to school because she thinks that her friends will make fun of her and look at her in a different manner Moreover, by the end of this novel, there is a coming of age that is portrayed by the author Hamlet takes revenge on the popular girls that were using her sister and she ended up being confident and sanguine on stage while performing her Shakespearean play This was shown at the end when Hamlet said, But also unique, creative, and distinct Maybe being anything but average wasn t a total tragedy after all Dionne, 285 All in all, one can see that self acceptance played a major role in this novel, since it has changed the protagonist s character and developed the turning point and climax of the story.RecommendationAfter reading The Total Tragedy of a Girl Named Hamlet , by Erin Dionne, I would recommend this novel mainly to teenagers that are precisely in eighth grade because, they might find a connection between their own lives and Hamlet s They might feel comfortable knowing that they are not the only ones facing certain obstacles, while going through a transitional period at this time of their lives Also, I believe that this book is relatable to all middle school students, yet mostly for the students that are constantly motivated to learn about history and learn new words This is because this novel requires the reader to have prior knowledge about Shakespeare in order to understand parts of this book s content For instance Kennedy s parents always say Huzzah Dionne, 290 , which signifies cheers or hurray, in Shakespearean Next, I would endorse this novel to those who are self motivated to always have the determination to look up words in the dictionary, since the author uses a variety of high level vocabulary Finally, I would advise this novel to the middle school students that enjoy reading about love stories since they would be able to relate to some of Hamlet s love stories As one can see, the novel The Total Tragedy of a Girl Named Hamlet , by Erin Dionne is considered a very entertaining and intriguing novel It gives the audience a whole new perspective to see life and relate to multiple characters in the book s pool of well rounded and dynamic characters.

  2. says:

    This was a pretty good interesting book, pretty simple and bland I feel like I would have liked it a lot if I had read it when I was in middle school or early high school not college lol But if your those ages I highly recommend the book

  3. says:

    Erin Dionne s done it again Her first novel, MODELS DON T EAT CHOCOLATE COOKIES, won praise and garnered some excellent reviews The latest, THE TOTAL TRAGEDY OF A GIRL NAMED HAMLET, another mid grade novel, is sure to have students talking and reading Dionne s sense of humor is woven throughout her tightly written plot, filled with funny situations that would give any student angst In honor of the main character, appropriate quotes from Shakespeare s play are sprinkled throughout the review Something is rotten in the state of Denmark William Shakespeare, Hamlet Just how embarrassing can your parents be In Hamlet s case very Imagine your parents walking around dressed like they just teleported from Shakespeare s England and saying things like, Goodwill to you and Huzzah in the halls at your school More humiliating, imagine they named you, their little girl, after a guy in a Shakespearean tragedy Hamlet s life seems pretty rotten, right But wait, there s and it gets worse To be, or not to be that is the question William Shakespeare, Hamlet If you ve ever had to follow in the shadow of high achieving older siblings, then you will surely commiserate with Hamlet She has a little sister, Dezzie, who s a genius and is going to attend Hamlet s middle school Oh, the embarrassment Although Hamlet reluctantly shines in drama, she is struggling in math In the meantime, guess who becomes one of the math tutors Dionne does a fabulous job illustrating the perils of middle school, as Hamlet tries to juggle not wanting to stand out against the attention she s receiving The author also adeptly shows Dezzie s forays into the tangled world of cliques We are torn between rooting for normalcy for Hamlet and wondering why she doesn t embrace her own gifts It really is tough to be in eighth grade This above all to thine own self be true William Shakespeare, Hamlet As the novel progresses, Dionne manages to keep the pace and the humor moving forward The mystery of the Globe, wondering whether or not she will see her talents, and hoping the family can learn to speak one another s language keeps us turning the pages In the end, we await discovery if Hamlet will be true to herself A rhapsody of words William Shakespeare, Hamlet The Total Tragedy of a Girl Named Hamlet is well crafted and an enjoyable read Erin Dionne is a skillful writer who has captured the life in a typical but funny middle school Her use of voice and interspersed dramatic vignettes shows how carefully she crafts her work This novel is perfect for a class set for reading together or literature circles, as it is a wholesome book that has themes of family, friendship, and discovering oneself It would make a great gift for a mid grade level reader I highly recommend it Coming in January 2010 from Dell Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin Group, Inc Preorder from a bookstore near you Support independent booksellers keep our neighborhood bookstores alive

  4. says:

    Let me explain how I found myself reading this book My dad bought me a book that I already had, so he took me back to the bookstore to exchange it for a new one I saw this book, read the back cover, and decided to give it a shot I read the first page and stopped reading Then months later I picked it up again and finished it in two days That s how I read a lot of books, don t ask me why.This book is an easy 4.5 stars, no questions asked The story of Hamlet is so unique and realistic Hamlet is your average middle schooler, just with Shakespeare crazy parents Hamlet, like everyone, just wants to fit in, but when her genius sister Dezzie is sent to her school, Hamlet s finds that fitting in will become of a challenge What I really liked about this book is that along the way, Hamlet faces real life problems like mean girls and crushes Hamlet is a perfect character, with emotions that don t take over her when she needs to stand up for herself All I can say is this is definitely a to read for anyone Love this book.

  5. says:

    Loved the title and the cover art yes, I tend to judge a book by it s cover , but the book itself was a bit of a disappointment It could have been a kind of fun middle grades read, but it seemed a little too silly, too melodramatic even for middle school , and just overall trying too hard It was hard to sympathize with the whiney protagonist or to really envision an 8 year old her college level intelligent little sister talking or acting the way she did And the parents were just too over the top as well I mean, just because they are both Shakespeare professors who really, really love their subject matter, it doesn t mean you would expect their characters to embrace the dress, language, and mannerisms of the Shakespearean age Or never allow their children to use contractions Maybe if the author could have thrown in some humor, it would have been a worth while read.

  6. says:

    Poor Hamlet She just wants to hang out with her close group of friends and make it through 8th grade by flying under the radar and not standing out Kind of hard when Hamlet s 7 year old genius sister Desdemona Dezzie who up to now has been home schooled, will now taking classes at Hamlet s middle school Dezzie is ready for college but still needs to take music appreciation and art classes to fill out her transcript On the first day of school Hamlet just wants to connect with her friends and blend in Not going to happen Instead of being able to arrive at school alone like before, Hamlet has to show up on the first day not only with Dezzie, but also her mother in full Elizabethan attire Both of Hamlet s parents are extremely enthusiastic Shakespeare scholars who teach at the local college Both parents wear full Elizabethan regalia around town and at home, prepare and eat only authentic Shakespearean meals such as pottage, and distain the use of contractions, calling them commoner s speech.Hamlet describes that first day like this I hadn t figured out a way to stop time, join the circus, or make myself invisible I hadn t been able to contract a serious but not life threatening illness, change my identity, or get into the witness protection program I hadn t even been able to talk my mother into staying home or waiting in the car Instead, I had to follow Mom dressed like an Elizabethan superhero with purple velvet cloak billowing and bells a tinkling down the hall I had to escort my sister to the main office I had to act like this was normal.Into the school office they go where Hamlet s mother issues her standard greeting, Goodwill to you Oh boy You get the picture.Hamlet loves her little sister, although she doesn t quite understand her, nor do they have much in common Dezzie s IQ is 210 I didn t know anyone could actually have an IQ of 210 Sheesh, can they really test someone s IQ that high I guess so She is certainly highly intelligent and book smart but has no clue or experience about being with other kids her age or making friends Hamlet tries to help by instructing her on the ins and outs of the middle school social scene Hamlet clues her in that, unlike at home, commoner s speech and slang are a communication necessity, Huzzah , her mother s favorite exclamation, and other Elizabethan terms are not effective communication tools, and blending in is the ultimate goal Hamlet tells her that not blending in can make you a target for teasing and other mean things kids do, to which Dezzie replies, It s the preadolescent sociological phenomenon at work, isn t it Fascinating I ve read about it, of course, but to experience it firsthand, will be a treat Oh, gosh, how I loved Dezzie, and Hamlet too Both girls really stole my heart.Just when Hamlet thinks things can t get any worse than having your 7 year old sister be one the school s math tutors when she s flunking pre algebra, it s announced that the class project in language arts will be on Shakespeare and they will be performing A Midsummer Night s Dream Growing up in a house that is all Shakespeare, all the time, Hamlet wants nothing to do with this But, try as she might to get away from performing in the play, she finds out that all those years of listening to her parents talk has given her a real ear and voice for Shakespeare She finds, much to her amazement, that she has a natural fluency when reading the Bard s words She realizes that she, and not just everyone else in her family, is worthy of attention As Shakespeare said, It s not in the stars to hold our destiny, but in ourselves Hamlet ultimately finds that being from an unusual family can give a girl license to find her own brand of extraordinary Nothing tragic about that Loved, loved, loved this book 5 enthusiastic stars I highly recommend it.

  7. says:

    4.5 Stars All s not fair in life and middle school No truer words have been spoken And while I think it would be cool having parents who are Shakespearean scholars that dress in Elizabethan era clothing in public and serve dinners from an Elizabethan era cookbook, I can see how that might cause a few problems for a middle schooler Add to that a genius 7 year old sister, who is matriculating in the same grade as you because she needs the art credit for her college courses as well as the socialization, and well, you have a tale of woe for one Hamlet Kennedy.I initially purchased this book for my younger daughter I hoped it would give her some perspective and something to laugh at as she was is dealing with a similar situation no, I don t dress in Shakespearean regalia She didn t get far into the book because she felt it was a bit too close to her real life but now that I ve finished it, I m going to encourage her to give it another chance.Ms Dionne did an excellent job of describing the pitfalls and problems facing middle schoolers She also provided options for navigating these tricky waters From mean girls, friend issues, academic struggles, and parental embarrassment, Hamlet proved nothing is insurmountable Ms Dionne also seems to be sending a few messages about following your passion, not worrying about what others think, being true to yourself, and having fun Hamlet had been surviving by trying to be invisible, not standing outbut she learned that having a talent being seen isn t all that bad.I truly enjoyed Hamlet s story It jarred some memories for me as well as gave me some insight into the world my two youngest children inhabit And although I intended Hamlet s story to maybe soothe my daughter s feelings about her situation with her younger brother, I realized my son may have a few things to work through having entered middle school a few years before his time.I probably got out of this story than a middle schooler will particularly since my circumstances are similar, but I think it s a great read for any middle schooler It s a chance to see their problems are normal and maybe aren t so badplus it offers examples of ways to deal with those problems And it provides lots of laughs along the way.

  8. says:

    I loved Models Don t Eat Chocolate Cookies Oh man I did love that book I was excited to read this one Sadly it wasn t as good as the authors first one Most of the characters seemed to blend together and even with the names I had a bit of a difficulty picking and choosing who was who.The main character herself was entertaining I thought it was a bit odd that she took origami pigs as a compliment and not an insult, but that sort of made me like her She is, after all, Hamlet I might learn to make those Sounds fun DDezzie OH I loved her so much in the beginning of the book She reminded me a bit of a robot at first, cause of her language, but after a little while she did come across well, being a genius 7 year old I didn t absolutely love when she found her friends and became a meany If she had such a hard time just understand why she needed to fit in, shouldn t she be philosophical about being mean Their parents were so confusing and odd But I guess they were ok.Anyway The whole Ty thing was not written out as skilled as I know Erin is She wrote it to be exactly what Hamlet saw, and not giving any hints about what may actually be going on I guess there were a couple of holes.Carter the Meringue Or Chicken I like that It actually made me laugh out loud.KC was entertaining Loved the display at the end during the play XDThe Ice Cream shop made me feel right at home I wanted a Cookies n Cream sitting at their table I could smell the stick milky ice cream.Over all I was a bit disappointed with the author, but enjoyed the book itself.

  9. says:

    When I finished THE TOTAL TRAGEDY OF A GIRL NAMED HAMLET, I closed the book, still laughing, and had a few thoughts.1 I wish Erin Dionne had gone to my junior high school From her writing, you can just tell that her sense of humor and empathy make her totally the kind of person you d want to sit with at lunch You d probably be laughing so hard you d have milk coming out your nose But it would be worth it Note I ve met Erin a couple times at conference book signing things, and she IS really funny and nice, but I m really just basing this observation on the book 2 This book is going to be a great one to share in the classroom because it makes Shakespeare who is really, truly funny to kids if you can help them understand how seem like an absolute riot Hamlet Kennedy s parents are Shakespeare scholars, which makes 8th grade stressful enough, but on top of that, her gifted seven year old sister, who takes college courses, has enrolled at Hamlet s junior high school to meet her arts requirement There are liberal doses of Shakespearian insults really fun ones sprinkled throughout the book, and the whole family also finds perfect times to quote Shakespeare I m not going to give away my favorite of the quotes, since it d be too much of a spoiler, but the end of this book had me laughing and cheering simultaneously.3 I loved it This is one that s perfect for kids who want a true middle school book and aren t quite ready for the edgier YA stuff Recommended Reviewed from an ARC that my friend loaned me This book will be released from Dial in Feb 2010.

  10. says:

    I chose this book because it was on my book shelf and I hadn t really known if it interested me The Total Tragedy of a Girl Named Hamlet is about a middle school who tries to fit in and have the best school year so far, seeing as she s now in eighth grade All hope of that wish coming true comes two an end when her genius, seven year old sister begins attending school with her Hamlet s family is anything but ordinary, if her name is any indication Her parents passionate about the Bard and could practically live in the Elizabethan Era It seems that everything they do has to do with Shakespeare and when Hamlet discovers she ll have to deal with Shakespeare at home and school, she determines that this would be her worst year ever Then, as if she didn t think life could get any difficult, her little sister becomes friends with her archenemies So as she sees it, the boy she likes doesn t even know she exists, her genius sister is at her school, making friends with the wrong people and Shakespeare is everywhere trying to make her life miserable In the end she gets trough some of her struggles and embraces her life the way it is I enjoyed this story because it was different form the book that I usually read and I could or less relate to Hamlet in a way I would recommend this book to other young readers because I think that they would be able to relate to Hamlet s life as a middle schooler.

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