Title: Dotty’s SuitcaseDotty's Suitcase
Author: Constance C. Greene
Pages: 147
Reading Level: 9-12
Star Rating: ★★

A Yearling Book.

The Story.

 Dotty’s always wanted a suitcase. To her, a suitcase represents all the magnificent things in life – traveling, power, glamor, fame… Oh what she wouldn’t give to star in her own movie, just like Katharine Hepburn.

But she’s just plain old Dotty and nothing exciting ever happens to her – unless she makes it up in her mind. Then comes the day when an adventure befalls her even wilder than one she could have imagined…

Discussion.

Whew. I must say – rarely have I read a story with so exhausting a heroine. She JUST DOESN’T STOP. The whole book was one long, tiresome, rambling, expression of Dotty’s complete absorption with media and the idea that her own life is dull.

Her adventure begins when she and her friend, Jud find a suitcase that has been dumped by a couple of bank robbers. It still has all the money in it, and somehow Dotty decides that instead of going back home with it, she’s going to go visit her friend, Olive, a few cities over. SHE TAKES THE SUITCASE AND ALL OF THE MONEY IN IT WITH HER. And it’s the middle of a snowstorm, and she begins accepting rides from RANDOM MENACING STRANGERS, and the whole time she’s trying to act how she thinks her favorite movie actors would act in the situation. It’s kind of sad, because even as she’s living a wild adventure herself, she can’t help but revert to her old pattern of thinking – how would this happen on the silver screen – instead of reveling in the plain reality of it.

Dotty’s also an incurable white liar. Aaaand she tells tall tales whenever she feels like it, including several ridiculous stories which she assures Jud are absolute truth.

Dotty is almost as boy crazy as she is actor crazy, and she likes to imagine herself romantically involved with different actors. When she falls in with Gary, a sixteen year old boy, she does her best to flirt with him and charm him, but, well, it doesn’t work. (The author had other plans in mind for Gary.) Dotty’s older sisters are even more stereotypically boy, wedding, and fashion crazy, so it’s not surprising that their interests rubbed off on Dotty. Her sisters tell her that at the Chicago World Fair a woman dances in the nude on a stage with a few fans to block the audience. Dotty later recounts this story to Jud in the hopes that it will take his mind off of the bank robbers. Suffice it to say that it does.

Variations of God’s name are used three times, ‘darn’ twice.

Conclusion. Not recommended.

Review © 2014 Laura Verret

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