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Book cover of Looking for Alibrandi: Original Screenplay

Looking for Alibrandi: Original Screenplay

by Melina Marchetta

Publisher: Currency Press
Pages: 120
Paperback
ISBN: 9780868196237






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Overview of Looking for Alibrandi: Original Screenplay

For as long as Josephine Alibrandi can remember, it’s just been her, her mom, and her grandmother. Now it’s her final year at a wealthy Catholic high school. The nuns couldn’t be any stricter—but that doesn’t seem to stop all kinds of men from coming into her life.

Caught between the old-world values of her Italian grandmother, the nononsense wisdom of her mom, and the boys who continue to mystify her, Josephine is on the ride of her life. This will be the year she falls in love, the year she discovers the secrets of her family’s past—and the year she sets herself free.

Told with unmatched depth and humor, this novel—which swept the pool of Australian literary awards and became a major motion picture—is one to laugh through and cry with, to cherish and remember.


During her senior year in a Catholic school in Sydney, Australia, seventeen-year-old Josie meets and must contend with the father she has never known.

Synopsis of Looking for Alibrandi: Original Screenplay

Seventeen-year-old Josie Alibrandi worries about all the things girls worry about during their last year of high school, but she has the added complication of being illegitimate...and coming face-to-face with her father for the first time in her life.

Publishers Weekly

Although this involving novel is set in the author's native Australia, American readers will feel right at home, thanks to the charismatic, outspoken narrator, 17-year-old Josephine Alibrandi. A scholarship student at a tony Catholic girls' school, Josie is aware that she is different from her affluent "Aussie" classmates: she's illegitimate, and she's closely tied to her Italian immigrant community. She feels periodically rebellious against her classmates' snobbishness, against the nuns' authority at school, against her community's mores. Even so, Josie clearly regards the women in her life--her single mother, her grandmother and even some of the nuns--with affection as well as exasperation. Josie has less experience dealing with guys until senior year, when three members of the opposite sex complicate her world. Her father, who has not previously known of her existence, arrives on the scene unexpectedly, and she can't help feeling drawn to him. She also becomes involved with two boys her own age: the upper-class but desperately unhappy John Barton and the wilder, iconoclastic Jacob Coote. The casting or plot may sound clich ed, but the characterizations are unusually insightful and persuasive. In articulate, passionate prose, Marchetta weaves the intricate web of Josephine's relationships, juxtaposing her revelations about her family history against current crises (these include John's suicide). If the author loses momentum at the end, straining for tidy closure, she does, simultaneously, leave open new doorways for her heroine. Ages 14-up. (Apr.)

Reviews of Looking for Alibrandi: Original Screenplay

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Editorials

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly

Although this involving novel is set in the author's native Australia, American readers will feel right at home, thanks to the charismatic, outspoken narrator, 17-year-old Josephine Alibrandi. A scholarship student at a tony Catholic girls' school, Josie is aware that she is different from her affluent "Aussie" classmates: she's illegitimate, and she's closely tied to her Italian immigrant community. She feels periodically rebellious against her classmates' snobbishness, against the nuns' authority at school, against her community's mores. Even so, Josie clearly regards the women in her life--her single mother, her grandmother and even some of the nuns--with affection as well as exasperation. Josie has less experience dealing with guys until senior year, when three members of the opposite sex complicate her world. Her father, who has not previously known of her existence, arrives on the scene unexpectedly, and she can't help feeling drawn to him. She also becomes involved with two boys her own age: the upper-class but desperately unhappy John Barton and the wilder, iconoclastic Jacob Coote. The casting or plot may sound clich ed, but the characterizations are unusually insightful and persuasive. In articulate, passionate prose, Marchetta weaves the intricate web of Josephine's relationships, juxtaposing her revelations about her family history against current crises (these include John's suicide). If the author loses momentum at the end, straining for tidy closure, she does, simultaneously, leave open new doorways for her heroine. Ages 14-up. (Apr.)

Publishers Weekly

"Although this involving novel is set in the author's native Australia, American readers will feel right at home, thanks to the charismatic, outspoken 17-year-old narrator," said PW. Ages 12-up. (May) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

KLIATT

To quote the review of the hardcover in KLIATT, March 1999: Josephine Alibrandi is in her senior year at a Catholic high school in Sydney, Australia. She's a smart-mouthed scholarship student who lives with her mother, with a big chip on her shoulder about both her illegitimacy and her Italian heritage. She squabbles constantly with her grandmother, who clings to her Italian circle of family and friends and always worries about what people will say. When Josie unexpectedly meets her father for the first time, she's taken aback and swears she'll have nothing to do with him; but when she gets into a fight with another girl at school who calls her a wog, she calls her father, a lawyer, to come to her defense and they gradually develop a relationship. Meanwhile, Josie acquires a boyfriend. He wants to be a mechanic, while Josie plans to study law. Their different aspirations, and her refusal to have sex, lead to tension. She learns to appreciate her grandmother when she relates the sad and shocking story of her true love from long ago, which helps to explain some family background. And when a friend commits suicide, Josie realizes that elite students she has always envied are under pressures of their own. It's a year of change and growing self-awareness for the outspoken, emotional 17-year-old, and it's a pleasure getting to know her through her ups and downs. Bits of Australian slang (fairy toast, dunnies) shouldn't slow readers down much, and they'll find Josie's concerns about family, friends, boys, and identity easy to relate to. KLIATT Codes: SA—Recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 1999, Random House, Knopf, 313p., Ages 15 to adult.
—Paula Rohrlick

Children's Literature - Kathleen Karr

Australian Marchetta tears into hidden prejudices Down Under in this novel about seventeen-year-old Josie coming to terms with her mother, her grandmother, and her Italian heritage. Branded all her life as both a "bastard" and a "wog," scholarship student Josie is fiercely defensive of her single mother, and equally fierce in her hatred of her Old World grandmother until her missing father re-enters the scene. Senior year of high school becomes chaotic as Josie learns the secrets of her past and tries to adapt her new knowledge to relationships at home and at school. As much as she wants to be an Aussie, Josie's fiery Sicilian temperament takes over again and again. She's a believable character, intelligently woven into her landscape by Marchetta. The reader is left knowing a lot more about the stresses within Australian society, while cheering the heroine on.

School Library Journal

Gr 9-12-Melina Marchetta's novel (Orchard, 1999) is an insightful portrait of an intense yet humorous young person. Though illegitimate, the 17-year-old Australian protagonist, Josephine Alibrandi, is a universally recognizable teen wrestling with many of the same worries that assail all high school students. Josie copes with the usual concerns about boys, friends, and where she fits in as a scholarship student at a Catholic school in a Sydney suburb. At the same time that she is trying to sort out complex relationships with her tradition-bound grandmother and her warm, no-nonsense mother, she is confronting her long-absent father. This is a deftly crafted story, and the characters have the ring of reality in their dialogue and actions. Marcella Russo's narration is equally fine, with each character distinctive. She conveys a special piquancy in the accented speech of the immigrant grandmother. Chapter and cassette breaks are underscored with light, jazzy music. This audiobook is a solid selection for any young adult literature list, and a must buy for libraries where teens borrow audiobooks.-Barbara Wysocki, Cora J. Belden Library. Rocky Hill, CT Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|

Kirkus Reviews

In this Australian import, Marchetta gets the voice of teenage angst just right in a hormone saturated coming-of-age story. Josephine Alibrandi, 17 and of Italian descent, is torn between her traditional upbringing, embodied by both her immigrant grandmother and her overprotective mother, and the norms of teenage society. A scholarship student at an esteemed Catholic girls' school, she struggles with feelings of inferiority not only because she's poorer than the other students and an "ethnic," but because her mother never married. These feelings are intensified when her father, whom she's just met, enters and gradually becomes part of her life. As Josephine struggles to weave the disparate strands of her character into a cohesive tapestry of self, she discovers some unsavory family secrets, falls in love for the first time, copes with a friend's suicide, and goes from being a follower to a leader. Although somewhat repetitive and overlong, this is a tender, convincing portrayal of a girl's bumpy ride through late adolescence. Some of the Australian expressions may be unfamiliar to US readers, but the emotions translate perfectly. (Fiction. 13-15) .

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