Book Review! The Meaning of Maggie by Megan Jean Sovern

maggieThe Meaning of Maggie
By Megan Jean Sovern
220 pages – ages 9+
Published by Chronicle Books on May 6, 2014

Maggie, a super-smart, very organized, overachieving 11-year-old, was shocked. Her dad had quit his job after his legs “fell asleep” (as Maggie calls it), and their mom had gotten a job. Her dad stays at home, in a wheel chair, working around the house. It is a new scenario for Maggie. She isn’t used to her dad being around all the time, and her mom working. When her science project approached, she decided to do it on what had made her dad’s legs fall asleep – multiple sclerosis. Maggie is determined to find a cure for her dad’s disease. What she finds out is how great her family really is and she can survive getting a ‘B’ in school.

First of all I’ll say I am a bit bias on this book. The “super-smart, very organized, overachieving 11-year-old” in my description above – sounds a lot like me (only I’m 12 – but just go back a year). Speaking as a “precocious” kid (as I am tired of being called),  Ms. Sovern has gotten Maggie’s personality down pat. I felt like I was with her the whole entire time, cheering her on! I like the sibling rivalry between Maggie and her sisters. It felt like a real situation and the characters were believable. I think this is another one of those “Crossover” books – one written on a YA reading level but the story is more for advanced middle-grade readers (as an advanced middle-grade reader, this makes me more bias 😉 ). The book ends extremely well, and although there are some loose ends, they are the right kind that leaves you thinking about what happens next, but you know the characters will be okay. I think that Ms. Sovern has a very distinct writing voice. I would read other books by her.

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

Bonus points for a cool trailer too!


Categories: Age 9+

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36 replies

  1. Great choice! This is such an amazing book, and Sovern does a remarkable job balancing the heartbreak of what is happening to her dad with the humorous way Maggie sees the world. I found that despite the challenges Maggie was facing, this story was incredibly funny and uplifting. Hooray for Maggie!

  2. Sounds fantastic — you always find the best books!

  3. I have heard SO many great things about this book, and your review has prompted me to order it right this second! Awesome trailer, too! 😀

  4. What a lovely review! Very light hearted and engaging. 🙂

  5. Thanks – just put it on hold at the library 🙂

  6. YOU write the MOST ENGAGING reviews! YOU’RE THE COOLEST! Yanno?? 😉 Gonna check it out as I found the library has this.Will buy it if I Iove it as much as I think I will. P.S. While I’m there, I’ll take a picture of YOUR book in my library. *waves madly*

  7. Mom just put the sample of this on her Kindle. She loves Maggie, and YES – she is kind of like you, E. I saw a lot of yummy treats in the trailer. I wanted to eat them, but Mom said they’re only pictures and I can’t eat YouTube. Rats!

    Love and licks,

  8. You are 12 now? But still precocious. I was just offered this book. How did you already review it? I am thinking unfair advantage. As to your review. I loved it. I have not started reading the book (has not arrived), but if Maggie is so much like you I will enjoy this book. Your enthusiasm is selling the book. Good job, that is what a review can do when written correctly.Still, this raises a question. How do you get all these books read so quickly? I’m going to start calling you “Amazing Precocious Erik” or APE for short. 🙂 great work!!

    • I requested The Meaning of Maggie from Chronicle, as soon as I saw it in their catalog. 🙂 So, if you call me APE, I’ll call you Marvelously Optimistic No-pouts, Kind-to-the-Extreme You, or MONKEY for short. 😉

  9. A very intriguing cover! and cool trailer. The book sounds super. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Cool cover, cool trailer, cool review. You, precocious AND a great eater? We wouldn’t have it any other way. 🙂

  11. That is a fun trailer and I love how Maggie’s personality sounds. Will check this book out for sure!

  12. Kids do have to face difficulties. We all wish they didn’t have to grow up too soon, but some of them have to. Stories like these can act as friends to help young people feel not so alone. 🙂

  13. Wow, that’s one of the most well-done book trailers I’ve seen. From the looks of it, I’m guessing this story takes place in the 70s. The subject matter sounds tough, but I love hearing the character depiction is so spot on 🙂 Great review, Erik! 😀

    • The story takes place in the late 80s/early 90s, but I’m not that sure. 🙂

      • Ha, OK, the reason I said the 70s was because of a lot of the stuff that appeared in the video. I guess it carried through to the 80s and 90s and I didn’t realize 🙂

      • Well, the dad is a fan of what I call (and love) the Oldies. Just that they were modern-ish music then. 🙂 He’s also a little full of himself (when riding on a friend’s motorcycle, he said that, no matter what, he wanted to protect his face. 😉 ) I think it was to release the tenseness of the moments. 🙂

  14. Ooh, a slightly OCD protagonist! And the trailer reminds me of a Wes Anderson movie!


  15. Just when I think you’ve reviewed all the best books, you come up with a gem like this! The fact that you could relate so well with the main character proves how well written this book is.

  16. Love your review, how you revealed a bit of yourself here – in a good way (are there any others? Ha!), and was convinced I’d like it until I saw the trailer. Now running to the library!!!

  17. I really like the sound of this one. I love that the author got the main character down pat. 🙂 I can see why you could relate to this book. Definitely want to read it soon. Thanks for sharing!

  18. I’ve read so many lovely things about this novel. Looking forward to reading it soonest.

  19. where does this book take place

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