Taking Care of Terrific

Taking Care of Terrific

by Lois Lowry


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Going to the park to broaden his horizons, fourteen-year-old babysitter Enid enjoys unexpected friendships with a bag lady and a black saxophonist.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780395340707
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 04/27/1983
Pages: 176
Sales rank: 508,889
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.63(d)
Age Range: 10 - 12 Years

About the Author

Lois Lowry is the author of more than forty books for children and young adults, including the New York Times bestselling Giver Quartet and popular Anastasia Krupnik series. She has received countless honors, among them the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award, the California Young Reader’s Medal, and the Mark Twain Award. She received Newbery Medals for two of her novels, Number the Stars and The Giver. Her first novel, A Summer to Die, was awarded the International Reading Association’s Children’s Book Award. Ms. Lowry lives in Maine.
Twitter @LoisLowryWriter

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Taking Care of Terrific 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
raizel on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read this at the same time that I read Brat Farrar by Josephine Tey and Father's Arcane Daughter by E.L. Konigsburg. They are all about an outsider coming into a family and making changes for the good: in other words, they are a subset of Elijah stories about families. This story is a bit pat---breaking the rules works here and and people may not be as poor as they seem. Most of the action is in Boston's Public Garden; the swan boats play an important part. Enid, who would prefer to be known as Cynthia, babysits for a four-year-old boy whose mother is overly protective. They break her rules, have good adventures, learn something about the homeless (if you treat people as if they don't matter then these people come to believe they don't and vice versa). SPOILER: The one thing that was, unfortunately, absolutely true to life was that when the police come across 20 bag ladies, two teenagers, a four-year-old, and a black man doing something illegal, the only one they handcuff is the black man, who like Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., is a Harvard professor.
HomeSchoolBookReview More than 1 year ago
Fourteen year old Enid Irene Crowley lives on Marlborough St. in Boston, MA, with her lawyer father, her radiologist mother, and the family’s somewhat eccentric live-in housekeeper Mrs. Kolodny.  She goes to the Carstairs School where her best friends are Trina Bentley and Emily Wentworth but definitely not Seth Sandroff whose father owns a television station and whose mother is a famous child psychologist, though with her other friends away at their camps she starts hanging out with Seth.  Named for her father’s very rich great aunt, she hates her name and calls herself Cynthia.  For the summer she has enrolled in a morning art class at the Museum of Fine Arts but will be babysitting four year old, over-protected Joshua Warwick Cameron IV, who doesn’t like his name either and wants to be called Tom Terrific, in the afternoons, planning to take him with her to the Public Garden to play while she draws assignments for her class.      In the Garden, Enid/Cynthia and Joshua/Tom make friends with a tall African-American saxophone player called Hawk and a bunch of old bag ladies.  One day Tom counted 24 bag ladies in the park.  After a successful adventure organizing a picket with the bag ladies to bring back root beer flavored popsicles, they concoct another adventure, with Seth’s help, to give the bag ladies a ride on the swan boats.  The project is top secret, and they plan things very carefully so nothing can go wrong.  Or can it?  And what will Enid do when she is accused of kidnapping?  There is actually a cute story somewhere in here, but author Lois Lowry, who has won two Newbery Medals for Number the Stars, which I liked, and The Giver, for which I personally didn’t care, has loaded it down with a lot of unnecessary baggage.  The name of God is used as an exclamation, and the term “omigod” appears rather often, along with childish slang terms (crap, pee) and euphemisms (heck, darn).        Perhaps worse than this, Enid signs a petition regarding transvestites, talks with Mrs. Kolodny about “preverts,” speaks of Mrs. Kolodny’s gothic romances as stories in which heroines are seduced by sinister men, has a discussion with Seth about heroin-using prostitutes, jumps to the conclusion that when Ms. Cameron says that she is going away on a business trip she is really going off on a weekend with her boyfriend (which seems to end up being true), talks with Mrs. Kolodny about one of her soap operas that involves a lot of immorality, says that a man looks as if he were stoned, and describes Ms. Cameron’s dress as “low necked with lots of cleavage.”  Most godly parents would probably rather not have their pre-teen and middle-school children introduced to such sordid topics.  In addition, Enid does some lying and breaks Ms. Cameron’s rules for Joshua, and their escapade in the Garden involves some actual criminal activity—but, of course, it’s all in the name of a good cause, which is simply saying that the end justifies the means.  There are also references to drinking wine and beer and to slow dancing.  I’m sorry, but I really can’t give this book a very good rating, especially for children.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its a good book because there is a war between bag ladies vs a popscicle man
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wow!This is a great book.In this book you get to realize how Lois Lowry can go to a setting in denmark(Number the stars)to the Public Garden in Boston (Taking care of terrific).Enid discovers a wonderful friendship with strangers in the public garden and realizes some risk are worthwhile in a lifetime.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I liked this book because it was very interestinbg and taught me about different types of people. I also thought that it was good that Enid and Seth finally become girlfriend and boyfriend. The housekeeper was really cool!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Taking Care of Terrific isn't really all the great. Personally I didn't really get why she wanted to change her name at the beginning of the book. Lowry really let me down this time. I don't really recommend this book.