Parental Embarrassment-Why Oh Why Must It Be?
Whats worse than being named after a flower and having a little sister named after a dead president? Yep, having a free-spirit, performance artist mother who doesnt understand you. And thats just what thirteen-year-old Marigold Bailey has. This is her third school in four years because whenever her mom, Becca, gets disgusted, they move.
So, its February 23, Maris first day at Samuel J. Crampton Middle School, and shes standing outside her homeroom wearing yellow flannel monkey pajamas. Why, you might ask? Because Becca thought the newspaper she used to line Beezer, the dogs cage, said it was Pajama Day. Well, its not. So, Maris being called Banana by classmate Brody, being pitied by head clique girl Jada and what does Becca suggest? Exchange clothes. There is no thirteen-year-old girl who is going to wear her mothers sweats. Its just not going to happen. The alternative, go to the nurses office and pick out some clothes from the just in case pile. Unfortunately, that alternative isnt any better; seventies pants and a pink polka dot top which makes Mari look like she has the chicken pox. Day One at Crampton Middle School was not a rousing success.
A few more things to note as you read Trauma Queen by Barbara Dee.
1. Becca has performed a few odd pieces, such as wrapping herself in Saran Wrap for a piece called Plastic Surgery or &sitting onstage with a huge gooey chocolate cake, which she either eats or doesnt eat, depending on her mood.
2. Mari left her best friend, Emma, behind when she moved. Becca did an improve performance about Emmas mother, Trisha, who is up-tight, domineering and opinionated. Trisha didnt take it well and, in return, started bad-mouthing Becca. It became an ugly scene, prompting Becca to pack up. Trisha wont let Emma speak to Mari. (Thanks, mom!) Embarrassing, to say the least.
3. And, now, to make life worse, Becca is starting an after-school improve club at Maris school and all her friends are going to join.
What else can go wrong? That you have to find out for yourself by reading Trauma Queen but be assured something else will. Barbara Dees characters are endearing, especially Maris Gram, the voice of reason, and even Becca herself, at times. The predicaments that Mari finds herself in are funny. Mari has an interesting outlook on life and it seems that embarrassment follows her wherever her mother goes. After chuckling through the book, youll be glad that Becca isnt your mother&or will you? For a fun look at seventh grade, Trauma Queen is my recommendation.