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Children's Fiction Friendship

Me and the Blondes

Book One Of The Series

by (author) Teresa Toten

Tundra Book Group
Initial publish date
Apr 2006
Friendship, Parents, Adolescence
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2006
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 8 to 12
  • Grade: 3 to 7


“How did your poor husband pass away?”
Make it simple, Mama, I tried to bore into her, simple, simple…
“His brains exploded.”
I heard a gasp. It was me.
“An aneurysm?”
“Okay,” said Mama.
“I’m sorry, hon,” said Mrs. Haver. “At least it was fast.”
“It vas?” Mama looked puzzled. I nodded furiously at her. “Ya. It vas. Yours?”
“Heart attack.”
“Oooo, dat’s good too.”
I could’ve killed her.

Sophie Kandinsky has spent the last six years trying to keep her crazy family life secret. The devil is in the details. The first detail is her larger-than-life, eccentric, Bulgarian mother. The slightly larger detail is the fact that her gentle, poet-father has been charged with murder. All Sophie wants is to be adored and invincible, which is really hard once people find out her father’s in prison.

But this time, after yet another move to another new school, and another opportunity to wipe the slate clean, Sophie has devised a plan. On her first day of school, she will locate The Blondes—that clique of perfect, confident girls who are beyond gossip and reproach—and she will make them her friends. This time, no one will find out the truth. This time, everything will be brilliant.

About the author


TERESA TOTEN won the Governor General’s Literary Award in Canada for The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B, which also won the American Library Association’s Schneider Family Book Award, and was chosen by the International Board on Books for Young People as one of its Outstanding Books for Young People With Disabilities in 2015. She is the author of the international bestseller Beware That Girl and the acclaimed Blondes series, as well as The Game, The Onlyhouse, and, with Eric Walters, The Taming. Teresa lives in Toronto, Ontario. Visit her online at and on Facebook, and follow her at @TTotenAuthor on Twitter.


Teresa Toten's profile page


  • Winner, Governor General's Literary Award
  • Winner, OLA Best Bets for Young Adult Fiction
  • Winner, Ontario Library Association White Pine Award
  • Winner, Canadian Library Association - Young Adult Canadian Book Award

Librarian Reviews

Me and the Blondes

As Sophie Kandinsky prepares to start at yet another new school – her sixth in five years – Mama concludes that it is time for drastic action to be taken: Papa must die! So reluctantly, Sophie goes along with the story that Mama concocts about Papa’s recent passing. Although she is not looking for pity from her peers, anything has to be better than being known as the murderer’s kid. For the truth is that Papa is in the Kingston Penitentiary, and kids can be cruel when they find out about that kind of thing. Determined that this time will be different, Sophie sets her sights on becoming part of the popular clique, the Blondes. Once she’s in tight with them, she will be untouchable. Although her plan succeeds on one level, she learns that even the Blondes – her Blondes – have their secrets, And she discovers that perhaps Papa’s advice to not ever care (“Don’t let them in. Keep your cards close to your chest, Princess.”) was not the best route for her after all.

Teresa Toten’s new young adult novel is filled with both humour and heart. It is delightfully original, peopled as it is with uniquely hilarious characters and a quirky, down-to-earth protagonist. Readers can’t help but root for Sophie, misguided though she may seem at times, not to mention her eccentric mother and the outrageous Aunties. The author creates a realistic portrait of contemporary high school life, including the revelation that even the Blondes may not have it all quite as together as it may seem, nor are they necessarily as... well... Blonde as Sophie had anticipated!

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Spring 2006. Vol.29 No. 2.

H Me and the Blondes

Sophie has spent years keeping her crazy family life secret. Determined to fit in at her new school, she devises a plan for making friends – and this time, no one will find out the truth.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Canadian Children’s Book News. 2007.

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