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Young adult book reviews for ages 12 and up - middle school and high school students

*The Nannies* by Melody Mayer - young adult book review


The Nannies
by Melody Mayer
Young adult 288 pages Delacorte September 2005 Paperback    

Three teens are looking to find a way out of their “stuck” lives. Kiley lives in Wisconsin, far from her ideal college—Scripps—in California. Her family doesn’t have the money to send her to such a costly university, so she decides to take a risk in order to achieve her dream. She signs up for a reality television show called Platinum Nanny, a competition to become a nanny for a famous rock star in California. Now all she has to do is win.

Lydia’s parents shunned their luxurious lifestyle in Texas to become aid workers in the Amazon. After eight years and a small amount of access to popular media and trends, Lydia desperately wants to return to the U.S. Her opportunity comes when her tennis star aunt and her partner hire Lydia to watch their children while they work. Lydia gets to live in a mansion, and all she has to do is take care of children, how difficult could that be?

Esme’s parents have worked for a wealthy Beverly Hills family since gang activity and his illegal alien status drove them from Fresno to Echo Park in L.A. Their lifestyle isn’t much better, but a wonderful turn of events has Esme hired to care for her parents’ employers’ newly adopted Spanish-speaking daughters. Esme is good at her job but is finding it difficult to have one foot in her previous lifestyle and one in this posh world. Can she find a balance?

The Nannies follows each of the three girls in their quest for freedom and finding out who they are. Each character has a clear voice, and the reader will have no problem following their particular situations. One problem, though, is that not much is developed in the way of their nanny storylines. It becomes more of a side issue than central to the plot. It takes quite awhile for each character to get their nanny job and meet the other two. It’s obvious this will become a series, since nothing is really resolved by the end.

The second book, The Nannies: Friends with Benefits was released in May 2006, and the third book is due for release in September 2006. Hopefully these get deeper into the story. The characters do get to hang out with the wealthy, in clubs and at parties that they never would have been admitted to before. Those descriptions make the book fun and entertaining. For fans of this style of book (Gossip Girls, The Clique, Au Pairs) The Nannies is a kicky new series to get involved in.
Young adult book reviews for ages 12 and up - middle school and high school students

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