Read 42 Miles by Tracie Vaughn Zimmer Online


JoEllen’s parents divorced when she was very young, so she was used to splitting her time between them, shuttling four blocks from one Cincinnati apartment to another. But when her dad moved to the old family farm last year, her life was suddenly divided. Now on weekdays she’s a city girl, called Ellen, who hangs out with her friends, plays the sax, and loves old movies. AJoEllen’s parents divorced when she was very young, so she was used to splitting her time between them, shuttling four blocks from one Cincinnati apartment to another. But when her dad moved to the old family farm last year, her life was suddenly divided. Now on weekdays she’s a city girl, called Ellen, who hangs out with her friends, plays the sax, and loves old movies. And on weekends she’s a country girl, nicknamed Joey, who rides horseback with her cousin, Hayden, goes fishing, and listens to bluegrass. So where do her loyalties lie? Who is the real JoEllen? Linked free-verse poems, illustrated with a quirky array of found objects and mementos, create the vivid, realistic portrait of a young girl at a defining moment in her life....

Title : 42 Miles
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780618618675
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 80 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

42 Miles Reviews

  • Becky
    2018-10-26 22:44

    What the jacket says: "Linked free verse poems combine with scrapbook-style illustrations to create the vivid portrait of a girl who is trying to find herself amid the pieces of her life."Loved this one. Just loved it. JoEllen (Ellen to her city friends; Joey to her country friends) divides her time between her two parents. Since her parents' divorce, she spends part of her week in the city with her mom, and the rest of the week (or should I say the weekends) with her dad in the country. Living a separated life isn't easy. Her dad and mom not to mention her city friends and country friends all see her differently. Which identity is her real identity? Who is she really when she's not trying to be all things to all people?Many young adult novels focus on identity. Teens and preteens coming of age, coming to term with who they are and what they want. 42 Miles is a great example of this. Here we have an intelligent young girl beginning to transition into young adulthood. Just beginning to define who she is and what she wants. There's always a fine line between trying to be who your parents what you to be and being true to yourself. JoEllen is just beginning to discover this. Trying to define what is important to her.

  • Valerie
    2018-11-16 21:05

    There isn't much to say about this book because it was so short. It does packs a significant story in all the 64 pages it contains. Since it is also in verse the story can be read in less than an hour. I like stories to be more developed. What I did get from the book was that JoEllen is a smart girl. She knows what other people expect and she know what she has to do but she wants to stop being two different people and just decide for herself who she wants to be. There was one other book of Zimmer's that I loved so I thought that this one wouldn't be so bad even if it was in verse. It just didn't really keep my attention as well as Reaching for Sun.Not bad at all just wanted more.

  • Eden
    2018-10-20 01:57

    I LOVED IT! It depicts adolescence and the wonderful time of blooming it can be, despite personal hurts. A girl book – but most of the poems, if read aloud apply to all adolescents, especially those of either gender who split their time between parents. Some truly timeless poetry here.1.JoEllen goes by two different names in her two very different lives. Do people call you by more than one name? Describe the circumstances between being called by different names by different people.2.Opening day of the Cincinnati Red’s baseball season is her Mother’s ‘self-proclaimed holiday.” Take out a piece of paper and jot down three events that could be your own ‘self-proclaimed holiday”. Be prepared to tell us what it is and to justify why the Principal should give you an excused absence for that day.3.In Proof, p. 53, JoEllen says “I realize they don’t see in me the mirror image of their mistakes or even what they hated in each other but the best that each of them had to offer.” Describe how realizing that she is the best her parents had to offer affects her decisions in the final poems of this book.4.If you were in JoEllen’s situation, would you have made the same request of your parents regarding your name, your birthday party, and the time you spend with each? Describe what you think would have happened to JoEllen if her parents had said NO to any of her requests?5.Why is the book titled 42 Miles? Working with partners, come up with a suggestion for an alternative title for the book.6.List with details what parts of JoEllen’s life she has that represents her mother and what parts represent her father.

  • Kim
    2018-11-12 22:54

    This book was right on so many levels. The prose was perfect - not intimidating or trite, but honest and lilting. The character, struggling to figure out where she fit in the world, between her parents expectations, those of her peers, and her own heart - priceless. And the artwork complimenting each poem/detail compliments the ideas without becoming saccharine or compromising the integrity of the story at all.LOVED IT.So much so that I'm reading it again tonite. And maybe even tomorrow, too.

  • Karol
    2018-11-12 18:44

    I would have liked 42 Miles more if it were longer and more developed. I did not feel like I got to know JoEllen, Joey or Ellen. Whatever the case may be. Children living with devorced parents can relate to the different lifestyles at each home and the roles they have dealing with their parents. 42 Miles was a very brief story written in prose that covers a very significant coming of age transition. Parts were emotional and other parts felt glossed over.

  • Amy
    2018-11-09 22:00

    **Finished this book last night and am still basking in the glow of reading a beautifully written book of poetry! And I am NOT a poetry lover! I kept reading passages out loud to my husband and then sighing. I wish I could use words so eloquently!Loving this simple, beautiful book told in free verse poem with charming, scrapbook like illustrations about the life of a 13-year old girl split between the 2 worlds of her divorced parents. Extremely well-done so far!

  • Penny Ramirez
    2018-10-22 19:49

    I read this as part of my library's Reading without Walls challenge, and I'm glad I did. It was a quick read, yet very powerful - the combination of brief poems and black and white illustrations really conveyed JoEllen's life in a meaningful way. I enjoyed how she resolved the conflict between her farm self and her city self, and came into her own.

  • Catherine
    2018-11-01 21:06

    A cute, short, free-verse story. I liked how the poems showed how she changed and matured.

  • Madigan McGillicuddy
    2018-10-26 22:53

    Told in free-verse poems, this short novel explores the feelings of a girl whose parents have been long divorced, hence the “42 miles” that JoEllen must commute between them both. JoEllen finds her father's move to the countryside tough to navigate, as she is forced to re-arrange her schedule around her divorced parents needs. "Joey" spends countryside weekends with her father cooking, exploring the outdoors and visiting her cousin. During the week, "Ellen" hangs with her friends, orders take-out and lives a totally hip, urban lifestyle. She feels split and conflicted over this. She misses seeing her pals on the weekends, she's tired of having to put on a brave face, and mostly, she's exhausted by the constant effort of censoring herself in front of her parents who each wish to see her as their own little girl, without the influence of the other parent. Lacking a King Solomon figure to protect her, JoEllen decides to take a stand for herself. She insists that her parents call her by her own full name. She demands that her father respect her own social calendar by not claiming every weekend with her and that he create a more welcoming space for her in his farmhouse. She lets her mother know that she isn't willing to continue pretending to be someone else, or pretend that her father never existed. JoEllen explains her feelings this way, “Mom doesn’t see Joey./Dad rarely meets Ellen./And no one ever asked/if that’s fine, just fine/with me.”The book is illustrated with various “found” objects and realia. Ephemera such as movie tickets, photographs, advertisements, recipes and ribbons make up a collage that symbolize JoEllen's pieced together life. I cheered for JoEllen when she finally felt empowered enough to stand up to her parents and the school bully, give herself a make-over, and invite both her city and countryside friends to her 13th birthday party.

  • BrooklinH
    2018-10-30 21:10

    I read 42 miles by Tracie Vougnn Zimmer. This book is realistic fiction and was published in 2008. I give this book 4 stars, it had a good story line and was interesting for me to read because it was on a topic that I couldn't relate to, so I was able to learn from it. In this book JoEllen is the main character or protagonist. JoEllens parents were divorced and so she had to live two separate lives, I can't relate to that, so it was interesting to read. JoEllen is tall, lean, with hazel eyes and straight brown hair. She plays the saxophone and lives in both the city and the country. JoEllen struggles with having to live two separate lives because her parents are divorced. She either has to be Joey or Ellen, and all she wants is just to be both, to be able to be herself. With that said, I felt the theme was to be yourself. All through the beginning of the book JoEllen had to be two different people. At the end of the book though, she realized that she needed to just be herself no matter what anyone else had to say about it. This book was believable, but predictable. It was believable because the situation is pretty common. It was predictable as well because since the conflict was that she had to be two different people, that needed to be resolved at the end by her just being herself. This book was definitely written for children, because this book is shorter and in verse. It is an easier book and about a topic of a kids' situation, so more children than adults would enjoy this book.

  • 529_Amalia
    2018-10-24 20:49

    42 Miles by Tracie Vaughn Zimmer and illustrated by Elaine Clayton, is a story told in free verse about a girl living between two families, her mothers and her fathers. JoEllen travels 42 miles from her downtown apartment with her mother to her county farmhouse with her father every weekend. Joey, while she is with her dad on the weekends, goes fishing, rides horses with her cousin Hayden, listens to bluegrass and invents new recipes with her dad. Ellen, while she is with her mom during the week, hangs out with her friends, plays the saxophone, works in a second hand shop with her friends and eats takeout with her mom, lives two separate lives. While these lives never meet, she decides on her thirteenth birthday that the two lives are going to meet. “And when I make a wish/over my birthday candles, /I’m saying it out loud:/I want everyone to call me/by my whole, real name:/JoEllen, /‘cause I’ll be the one/to define myself, /thank you. /” Kirkus recommends ages 9-12. Zimmer does a great job with the free-verse text to enlighten us as readers how this pre-teen deals with her parents moving from just 4 blocks away to 42 miles away. She “traces the hopes and fears of a thoughtful teen who optimistically merges the best of her two lives into an even better ‘new me’.” Clayton’s use of mixed-media collage and scrapbook like black and white illustrations complement each poem. A good book to introduce free verse text to the younger end of the spectrum. Tracie Vaughn Zimmer’s web page has a teacher resource link for each of her books,

  • Jennifer Lee
    2018-10-29 01:46

    Two names, one girl. JoEllen’s name comes from her father’s and mother’s names (Joey and Ellen). Now that her parents are divorced they can’t seem to call her JoEllen anymore. It reminds them too much of each other. So she is called Joey by her dad and Ellen by her mother. No one bothered to ask her if this was okay with her. And it seems they didn’t bother to ask her about a lot of things – such as if she minds spending the week with Mom and the weekends with Dad, traveling the 42 miles from one house to the other, each time leaving behind parts of her. Two lives, one girl. JoEllen undergoes an amazing transformation in 42 miles - from city girl where Mom lives, to country girl with Dad. Neither asks how she spends her time when she’s gone, and JoEllen doesn’t volunteer the information. So she leads two very separate lives, held together by one winding road.Two families, one girl. Just once, she would like to have the whole family together. Her 13th birthday is fast approaching, and she would like more than anything to have one celebration, with everyone she loves in the same room. Told in free verse, this book illustrates the difficulty children have when their parents have joint custody. Like JoEllen, they are often stuck in the middle and feel responsible for the separation. Read 42 Miles to see how JoEllen finds her voice and finally asserts what she wants and needs.

  • Tiffany
    2018-11-15 01:56

    JoEllen is about to turn 13. Her parents have been divorced since she was still in diapers, but until last year, they only lived a few blocks away. Now, her dad has moved back to his family's farm, 42 miles from the city where JoEllen lives with her mom most of the week. Having separate parents, separate houses, and separate names (her mom calls her Ellen, her dad calls her Joey) has caused JoEllen to feel that she has two separate identities. The poems in this book lead the reader through JoEllen's life now, her perceptions of her friends and family, and how she finally pulls it all together.The short poems offer up snippets of her life, the important ones, through the use of powerful imagery, and a free form, non-rhyming style. They captured the parts of growing up that I remember being important at 13. It doesn't have the feel of an adult's recollection, but as a teen's experiences. The illustrations, put together scrapbook style, fit perfectly with the flow of the poems. As I finished the book, I wished it was longer, but it was more that I wanted to keep reading about JoEllen, and what happened to her after the book finishes. This was a great story, not just for teens whose parents are divorced/separated, but for anyone who can sympathize with trying to define themselves.READ MORE REVIEWS AT

  • Jennifer Wardrip
    2018-10-20 22:55

    Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for TeensReadToo.comJoEllen leads a double life. It's a bit like the old fable about the country mouse and the city mouse. Since her parents divorced long ago, JoEllen has divided her time between her father, who lives in the country, and 42 miles away in the city, where her mother lives. It isn't just the living arrangements that divide JoEllen's life. She explains that even back when her parents named her they couldn't agree. Her name became part Joseph and part Eleanor - a piece of her father and a part of her mother. The city half of her life consists of girl friends, shopping, and movies while the country half involves horseback riding, fishing, and listening to bluegrass music. Even her friends get confused and can't understand how JoEllen copes. It's the only life JoEllen has ever really known, but now that she's almost thirteen, she is wondering which life is truly hers. Maybe she isn't either one but perhaps someone completely different. This short novel written in verse tells of a young girl's struggle to find herself. Surrounded by two loving parents, albeit 42 miles apart, she realizes that neither life truly reflects the person she is inside. Any reader searching for their personal identity will be able to relate to this touching tale.

  • Laura
    2018-10-24 00:46

    I really liked this collection of free verse poems. The poems are interconnected and tell an entire story while the multimedia illustrations provide visual interest. Yes, it's a quick read, but I like having a variety of things to read and this is a great way to add a short, meaningful read to your list. JoEllen lives with her mom in the city during the week and with her dad in the country on the weekends. She assumes two identities: Joey to her dad and cousin, Ellen to her mom and school friends. As she gets older, JoEllen struggles to define herself and form a single identity. This growing tension leads her to ask her parents, friends, and cousin to celebrate her 13th birthday at a single event. I loved that JoEllen is clearly fond of both her lives and wants to bring them together. There are several small plot points that help the story feel authentic too -- JoEllen faces a school bully, has a hard time figuring out what instrument she wants to play, and is annoyed with her appearance. Totally recommended for middle school girls, particularly reluctant readers, voracious readers (variety is the spice of life!), and those who aren't sure what to read next. Short, satisfying, and meaningful.

  • Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
    2018-11-15 22:00

    JoEllen lives two lives-- one as Ellen with her mother in the city, and one as Joey with her father in the country. As she approaches her thirteenth birthday she becomes increasingly dissatisfied with her two completely separate lives. Will she have the courage and ability to merge the two? This short novel in verse surprised me at the end. My favorite poem is the penultimate one in the book (p.70-71):The Poems I Like BestThe poems I like bestwear classic blackwith vintage accessoriesand smell like a new book, the spine just cracked.They're the chitchat overheard on a city busor nonsensevolleyed between toddlerson swings at the park.My favorite poems squeeze your handon a crowded street and say:Look.The poems I like bestwear blue jeansand smelllike the tack room of a barn:worn leather and horse.They're the varied verses of a mockingbird's songor syllables traded between brothersscratching scruffy chinsover the dark mysteries of an engine.My favorite poems hold a wooden spoon of words and whisper:Taste.

  • Marfita
    2018-11-10 01:53

    One thing you can say about novels in verse is that it doesn't take that long to read them. They don't weigh you down with superfluous dialog or too much detail. 42 Miles is the story of JoEllen's life caught in the middle of her parents' divorce. Although each separate existence (one in the city and one in the country) sound idyllic on their own, JoEllen has to be two people, one Joey and one Ellen, depending on where she is. This dichotomy of herself is wearing her down and she would like to be a whole entity all of the time. Eventually she starts to assert herself, both at school and with her family. The poems are lovely and evocative (slight boo-hooing from me) and the illustrations by Elaine Clayton are more like the accumulations from the pockets and notebooks of a young girl.

  • Calie04
    2018-11-08 23:06

    This book was very good,although it was a very easy read. 42 miles by Tracie Vaighn Zimmer is about a girl named JoEllen who has to separate lives, and she doesnt know how to combined the two. Her parents are divorced and when shes with one or the other her lives are very different. With her mom, Ellen, she is always on the go because they live in the city. But when she is with her dad, Joe, her life is very easy going and layed back because they he lives in the contry. I feel that this book is about bravery because she has to build courage to bring her two lives together and she doesnt know how her family and friends are going to take it. I learned that when you want to do something follow what you want to do and not what your family and friends are going to think. Be who you want to be and not two different people.

  • Alee
    2018-11-06 00:42

    42 Miles tells the story of JoEllen, a young teen trying to navigate big changes in two separate worlds. Her parents are divorced. During the week she goes by Ellen and stays with her mom in the city. There her life is filled with school, friends, and fun urban activities. When the weekend rolls around she stays with her dad in the country, where she goes by Joey and enjoys a laid back, carefree farm life.Written as a free verse novel, 42 Miles depicts JoEllen's struggle to fit into both of these worlds, and follows her journey as she works to connect them. I haven't read a free verse novel for quite a while, and really enjoyed this one. The pictures add a lot to the story, and I highly recommend 42 Miles as a great, quick read.

  • Tamarah
    2018-10-27 00:43

    JF Zim grades 4-upJoEllen’s parents divorced when she was very young, so she was used to splitting her time between them, shuttling four blocks from one Cincinnati apartment to another. But when her dad moved to the old family farm last year, her life was suddenly divided. Now on weekdays she’s a city girl, called Ellen, who hangs out with her friends, plays the sax, and loves old movies. And on weekends she’s a country girl, nicknamed Joey, who rides horseback with her cousin, Hayden, goes fishing, and listens to bluegrass. So where do her loyalties lie? Who is the real JoEllen? Linked free-verse poems, illustrated with a quirky array of found objects and mementos, create the vivid, realistic portrait of a young girl at a defining moment in her life.

  • Heidi
    2018-11-01 21:41

    JoEllen is a girl with two names, two houses, two sets of friends, and really, two different lives. In the city, where she lives with her mom, she's Ellen--a girl who plays the sax, hangs out with her girlfriends and goes to movies. 42 miles away, in the country, she's Joey--a girl who loves to ride horses with her cousin and listens to bluegrass. What could a girl with two lives want for her upcoming thirteenth birthday? To join her two lives into one, to be JoEllen! How will it be possible to span the miles and the differences? Read this story told in a series of linked free verse poems, illustrated like a scrapbook to find out! Absolutely one of my all time favorites--loved the beautiful poetry, loved JoEllen's story.

  • Ryne
    2018-10-30 00:02

    Very short and very good. I liked the premise/story underlying the poems and they were a pleasure to read. There WERE a few poems that didn't seem part of JoEllen's journal, though--they talked about random abstract topics and they kind of seemed thrown in as something evocative that the author liked, but they didn't sound like the character of JoEllen as I got to know her. Also, there's a bit of buildup with the central conflict of the novel (JoEllen figuring out who she is/what's her identity) but then that conflict was magically resolved in one sudden moment, in about two pages. Oh well. I read the whole book in about 15 minutes, I think. It was worth it.

  • Jennifer
    2018-10-20 22:58

    42 miles is the distance between JoEllen's mom's apartment in the city and her dad's home in the country. When she's with her mom during the week in the city, she's Ellen. When she's at her dad's on the weekends, she's Joey. She leads two very different and seperate lives. As her 13th birthday approaches she wants to find a way to meld her two identites and become JoEllen again.This book is written in free-verse poems. Although the story was good and felt very realistic, the poetry didn't always ring true with the voice of a 12-year-old. This is a WAW nominee, and I'll be interested to see what the kids think of it.

  • Fizzy
    2018-10-30 02:06

    The premise of '42 Miles' by Tracie Vaughn Zimmer was good. The writing was actually very good. The difficulty is with the way it was laid out. It was very difficult to follow the story at times. I think the attempt to mirror a book of poetry while remaining prose created a conflicting storyline. The way the pages jumped to different ideas while at other points tried to tell a chronological story left me feeling a little out of the loop. The story and writing has amazing potential but fell flat of what the intentions were.Originally posted at https://fizzypopcollection.blogspot.c....

  • Emily Bardin
    2018-11-01 18:59

    "Linked free-verse poems combine with scrapbook-style illustrations to create the vivid portrait of a girl who is trying to find herself amid the pieces of her life." These lines from the summary perfectly describes this verse book about JoEllen, a budding teenager who feels torn between her two lives in the middle of Cincinnati and out in the country and between her two parents who call her completely different names.The format of this books is so interesting to me. It lends to the theme of a mismatched, scattered life that it portrays.

  • Erik
    2018-11-02 19:03

    Fabulous book! It is written in poetry prose and is quite short, but... it is remarkable in its brevity. Some pieces of the poetry easily stand up on their own (not just because they are part of the story) and the story itself is very transformative. The story of a girl whose parents are divorced and who feels like two different people when she is with each of them. It is not a simple or light topic, but the author does a good job of making her predicament real for the reader, and the resolution is good enough you want to cheer for her.

  • Pamela
    2018-11-04 22:50

    "As her thirteenth birthday approaches, JoEllen decides to bring together her two separate lives - one as Joey, who enjoys weekends with her father and other relatives on a farm, and another as Ellen, who lives with her mother in a Cincinnati apartment near her school and friends." I liked this novel-in-verse story OK, but the verses were awkward and choppy. Half the time the line breaks worked as punctuation, half the time the punctuation was there. It got annoying. It felt like the only real purpose for the verse structure was to stretch a short story into the length of a book.

  • Gregg
    2018-11-04 22:09

    A collection of free-verse poems describes JoEllen's life with her divorced parents. During the week she lives an urban lifestyle in the city with her mother, and on the weekend she experiences a rural life on the farm where her father lives. She loves both places in their own way, but as she is becoming a teenager, she strives to integrate these two disparate sides of her life and find a less fractured identity.

  • Kristine
    2018-11-06 20:52

    I love books done in free verse. It's a great new genre that's emerged over the past 10 years. This book, by Ohio author Tracie Zimmer, takes place in Cincinnati, OH where the main character lives with her mother, as well as on a rural farm 42 miles away where her father lives. A quick and engaging read, intermediate aged girls will really enjoy the story and the "scrapbook style" illustrations.

  • Bonnie
    2018-10-26 01:45

    This one literally fell into my hands, off the shelf of my K-5 library as I was putting others back. A lovely story told in free verse, it will appeal to fans of Sharon Creech's Love That Dog and Heartbeat, as well as any girl trying to figure out who she wants to be and how to get there in spite of everyone's expectations of her. A lovely counterpoint to the slew of creepy books on my to-recommend list.