Reviews for Here's to You, Rachel Robinson


Horn Book Guide Reviews 1994
A straight-A student whom teachers keep recommending for accelerated programs or extracurricular activities, Rachel feels enough pressure at school without her older brother, Charles -- at home after being expelled from boarding school -- wreaking havoc in her family life. Rachel is a companionable heroine in the realistic, balanced portrayal of strained family dynamics and typical adolescent anxieties -- a sequel to [cf2]Just as Long as We're Together[cf1] (Orchard). Copyright 1998 Horn Book Guide Reviews

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Kirkus Reviews 1993 October
Blume returns to the trio of seventh graders introduced in Just as Long as We're Together (1987), where Stephanie's narration was colored by her parents' new separation. Here, superachiever Rachel takes center stage with her account of the stresses created when her brother Charles is kicked out of boarding school before he's finished ninth grade. Charles's description of his family is one-sided but cruelly on target: Dad (who gave up law for teaching) is a ``wimp,'' Mom (just appointed a judge) an ``ice-queen,'' acne-scarred older sister Jessica a ``potato head''--while Rachel, who at year's end is just beginning to realize that she won't be able to play the flute, take leading roles in drama and a peer-counseling program, do advanced study at a local college, and be class president (all things suggested to her) is Mom's ``clone,'' and more than Charles can bear. His acting out is genuinely, painfully obnoxious; it's a credit to Blume's skill that his vulnerability also emerges, and that the rebalanced family dynamics following his disruptive return is sufficiently muted to be credible. With a good tutor and a stronger bond with Dad, Charles mellows enough for Rachel to see him as more than a destroyer of family peace- -and for him to admit she may be developing a sense of humor. A good, solid, working-the-family-problem story, with sure appeal for fans. (Fiction. 11-14) Copyright 1999 Kirkus Reviews

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 1993 August #3
Continuing the story begun in Just As Long As We're Together , Blume here focuses on Rachel, one of three best friends. This gifted, highly motivated student who, according to her mother, was ``born thirty-five,'' feels somewhat out of sync with Stephanie and Alison as seventh grade draws to a close. Then, when Rachel's acerbic older brother is expelled from boarding school, life at home becomes equally unsettling--and decidedly unpleasant. Rachel's incisive, first-person narration easily draws readers into her complicated world as she learns to cope with the pressures brought on by her relentless quest to be the best at everything and by her troubled family situation. Perceptive, strong storytelling ensures that other characters' points of view (particularly Rachel's brother's) can also be discerned. Blume once again demonstrates her ability to shape multidimensional characters and to explore--often through very convincing dialogue--the tangled interactions of believable, complex people. Ages 11-up. (Oct.) Copyright 1993 Cahners Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 1993 November
Gr 5-8-This is the second book in what will likely become a trilogy revolving around three 13-year-old friends, Stephanie, Rachel, and Alison. In Just As Long As We Are Together (Orchard, 1987), Stephanie described the turmoils of the first half of seventh grade. Here, Rachel picks up the narrative. Her intelligence and drive have always set her apart, and now her emotions are in a state of turbulence. The unwelcome return of her rebellious brother from boarding school unsettles her family, which is dominated by the intense and highly successful Mrs. Robinson. Charles wreaks havoc through his volatile behavior and cruel, but often insightful, attacks on his sisters and parents. Rachel also struggles to find a balance at school, where increasing pressures threaten to overwhelm her. While dealing with these concerns, she becomes attracted to an older man and longs for her peers to accept her. A master at conveying the values and mores of the upper-middle class, Blume excels in her descriptions of family life and adolescent friendships. Her characterization is powerful and compelling. Rachel's strong narrative voice, couched in simple, direct language, realistically conveys her intense self-preoccupation. Though Rachel is an unusual personalitity, the author never loses sight of the common threads running through the lives of all teenagers. She draws on the universal themes of awakening sexuality and emerging identities to capture and hold her audience. Preteens will snap this one up.-Maggie McEwen, Coffin Elementary School, Brunswick, ME Copyright 1993 Cahners Business Information.

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