Anything But Ordinary
Farrar Straus & Giroux, 2007 (2007)
Reviewed by Lyn Seippel
ernie Federman moves to Pittstown when he is thirteen. New to the school, he is a back-row kid wedged between the gangsters and the makeup girls. He meets Winifred, who is a front row girl with a pop-up arm - no matter what the question. Winifred is smart and about as popular as cafeteria meatloaf.
fter starting numerous school clubs and having no one join them, Winifred starts the
Green Hat Club
. Teased and beaten down, Winifred stops raising her hand but refuses to give up her olive green hat with a bright red pom-pom on top. Bernie sympathizes, finds the ugliest green hat he can and joins her club.
pposites in almost every way imaginable, they fall in love. Through middle school and high school they make plans for their future together when they'll go away to college and get out of Pittstown.
he year of their graduation Bernie faces a tragedy that throws him off course and Winifred goes to college alone. Taken up by her savvy roommates who remake her, Winifred becomes
and for the first time in her life begins to fit in. Realizing he has lost her, Bernie travels across country to find her.
inifred and Bernie's unusual love story is touching, funny, and heartbreaking. Will Bernie reach his potential and will Winifred trade his love for being normal?
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