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Paula Danziger

Can You Sue Your Parents for Malpractice?

Buchbesprechung von Tanja Kaufmann

About the author

Paula Danziger was born in Washington, D.C., and raised in New York. She has known since second grade that she wanted to be a writer. Beginning her career as a teacher, Danziger taught at the high school and junior high school levels as well as the college level. She received her Masters Degree and during that time she wrote her first best-selling novel, The Cat Ate My Gymsuit. She returned to teaching, but the success of her book encouraged her to become a full-time writer. It has been non-stop for Danziger since then. Among her titles are:

  • Remember Me To Harold Square
  • The Divorce Express and
  • Can You Sue Your Parents For Malpractice?

Passionate about life, she loves to travel, see new places, meet new friends and play pinball! She is often known for "borrowing" children (only the ones she knows) for her inspiration. Paula Danziger has homes in New York City, Woodstock, New York, and London, England, where she is a guest contributor to the BBC's "Live & Kicking," hosting a segment on books for children.

The plot

Lauren Allen is a 14 year-old girl. She is the main character of the story. She has two sisters, Linda, a 10 year-old girl, and her older sister Melissa, who is 19.

Bobby Taylor is Lauren's first boyfriend. He is 17 years old. Sandy Linwood, a 16 year-old cheerleader steals her boyfriend, because she goes further than Lauren ("SEX"). So Lauren is very sad and her sister Melissa would like to help her. The sisters have a very good relationship.

With her younger sister she often quarrels. Linda is a very happy girl who likes to make jokes.

Laurenís best friend is Bonnie. Bonnieís mother isnít so strict as Laurenís father because Bonnie is a single-child. Bonnie has a good friend. Zack is a boy form California. He is in 8th grade. Lauren and Zack are in the same course that Mr. Matthews teaches. The class have to do projects about one special part of the law affecting children and young people.

Zack wants to do the project with Lauren and phones her. She says yes and they want to start to work at the school-libary. Bobby and Sandy are there, too, and then Lauren leaves with Zack holding her hand. He brings her back home and gives her a quick kiss. At home there is a quarrel because Melissa wants to stay with her boyfriend Mike at a flat. The next day Melissa leaves and the father tells her not to come home again.

Lauren feels sad about Melissa and about Zack, because he is younger than she is and so everyone talks about her and him. Lauren doesnít know what she should do and needs a talk with her sister Melissa. She tells her not to listen to the other pupils.

But then something happens. Bobby and Sandy break up. Bobby wants to come back to Lauren. Lauren talks to Zack. Zack is very sad, but he understands her. Lauren has a date with Bobby, but it is so terrible that she sees that Bobby isnít right for her. She goes back to Zack and he is very happy to have Lauren again. Now Lauren understands why she should not listen to what the other pupils are saying. It is better to do what she herself wants to do.

My opinion

To read that book was very nice. It was very easy to read and the story was very nice, because it was a teenage-love-story.

Lauren is a very sensitive girl who thinks a lot about everything, like the privileges of her sister or about other pupils and boys in particular. She isnít stupid. For her it is very difficult to understand the pupils and she wouldnít like to be the subject of general talk.

Linda is a happy, nice girl who likes to make her sister angry. Melissa is a better mother than her mother is because she can talk with Lauren and so Lauren needs her when she has a problem. Her mother is a good housewife, but she doesnít really understand her girls. Okay, she helps when the father is angry, then she does something so that he will be more quiet, but this is not really a solution to the original problem. She doesnít really tell her husband that he canít deal this way with the children. The father is an old, angry and unhappy man. He is the boss, and what he says must be done. When I read the book I was so angry about him, but I know that there are so many fathers like this one.

The story was very interesting and I feel that it shows family-life quite well. I like the book!