Girl from Mars
Written by Tamara Bach
Translated by Shelley Tanaka
Publication Date March 01, 2008
Miriam is fifteen and she has lived in the same little town her whole life, going to school with the same kids who know everything about her. But now she's in high school and wishing she lived in a big city where she could meet new people and see new things. In other words, like fifteen-year-olds everywhere, Miriam is desperately waiting for her life to start happening. Something, anything -- a first love, perhaps.
And then love comes, in a completely unexpected way, when Miriam meets a new classmate, Laura. Suddenly, life is very complicated and unsettling, as Miriam finds herself lying to her girlfriends, avoiding her brother's probing questions, and second guessing every move she makes. Then Philip, Miriam and Laura take a weekend trip to the big city -- a trip that makes everything clear, and more confusing than ever.
Tamara Bach lives and writes in Berlin, where she also works in young people's television and theater.
Shelley Tanaka is an award-winning author, translator and editor. She has written more than twenty books for children and young adults, winning the Orbis Pictus Award, the Mr. Christie’s Book Award, the Science in Society Book Award and the Information Book Award, and she has twice been nominated for the Deutsche Jugendliteraturpreis. Other honors include Texas Blue Bonnet runner-up, School Library Journal Best Books, ALA Notables and IRA Young Adults’ Choice. Her translation of Michel Noel’s Good for Nothing won the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People and was on the IBBY Honor List (Commended). Shelley teaches at Vermont College of Fine Arts, in the MFA Program in Writing for Children and Young Adults. She lives in Kingston, Ontario.
"...Bach's nuanced portrait of small-town ennui is a fresh, detail-driven approach to a universal theme. It succeeds as a coming-out story by treating the coming-out process as incidental to a larger journey of self-awakening...readers will relate to Miriam's evolution from numb to engaged." Horn Book
"...Bach effectively ties her young protagonist's new feelings to her moving into a new, more adult phase of life in general...an evocative treatment of a girl's heady launch into a new view of herself which will stay with her even if its catalyst doesn't." Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Bach's writing and Tanaka's translation offer well-drawn, familiar characters and prose that's spare yet descriptive. Miriam's narration, alive with Bach's insightful handling and clever turns of phrase, provides a sense of depth to the highs and lows of teenage emotions..." School Library Journal
"Debut author Tamara Bach has created an atmospheric and easily relatable novel for teens...Narrating the story in first person, the author has lent an authentic voice to her protagonist...she does an excellent job..." CM Magazine
"It is a testament to Bach's gifts as a writer that this novel has the ring of truth, not just in its evocation of a first, powerful love, but also in its vivid characters and their often quixotic actions and interactions." Globe and Mail