Cover image for Me Tarzan
Me Tarzan
Byars, Betsy Cromer.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : HarperCollins, 2000.
Physical Description:
86 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
When Dorothy gets the part of Tarzan in the class play, her tremendous yell attracts the attention of increasingly larger and wilder animals.
Reading Level:
580 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 4.6 2.0 39876.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 4.1 5 Quiz: 22185 Guided reading level: P.
Added Author:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf

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Nobody knew Dorothy could do such a tremendous Tarzan yell. Not Dwayne, Dorothy's enemy, who wants the part of Tarzan in the class play more than she does. Not Mr. Mooney, their teacher, who has no choice but to give Dorothy the part. Not Dorothy's parents, who are as uneasy as Mr. Mooney about it. Not even Dorothy! But when the uncontrollable urge comes over her--the smell of the jungle, the sense of raw, primitive emotions, the wildness--Dorothy lets out a Tarzan yell so loud, so effective, they all feel its incredible power. And so do the neighborhood animals. More and more animals gather whenever Dorothy practices. Then the circus comes to town, and a puma escapes to Dorothy's yard after one of her yells. What will happen on the night of the play--which also happens to be the opening night of the circus--when Dorothy is determined to give the yell of her life? Betsy Byars's lighthearted story is as exuberant and surprising as Dorothy's Tarzan yell.

Author Notes

Betsy Cromer Byars was born in1928. She graduated from Queens College in Charlotte, North Carolina. While she was in graduate school, she began writing articles for The Saturday Evening Post and Look.

Byars writes novels for young people. She is an expert at tapping in to the pain of adolescence, using bits of her own experience to flavor her characters. She is author of more than 23 books and has won numerous awards. Her book about a 14-year-old girl and her mentally retarded brother, The Summer of the Swans (1970), won the Newberry Award as the most distinguished contribution to children's literature that year. Other books include The 18th Emergency (1973), The TV Kid (1976), and After the Goat Man (1995).

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 3^-5, younger for reading aloud. What if Tarzan were a girl? And what if she lived in the suburbs right now? Dorothy gets to play Tarzan in the school play because she can do the Tarzan yell better than anyone else. But it's more than an acting role. It's as if she knows the jungle. She feels the wildness, the primitive emotions. And when she throws back her head and beats her chest, the animals hear her and come running: first the neighborhood cats and dogs, then the creatures in the woods, and finally the lions, tigers, and elephants in the traveling circus. There are no drumming savages in Dorothy's suburban jungle, but she does have a boy companion called Dwayne. And each time Dorothy yells, "AHH-AHH," the depiction of the sound spreads further across the pages. Byars does a great parody in this chapter book that combines wild farce with deadpan realism in a conventional school and home setting. Besides pleasing Tarzan fans, this will appeal to those who remember Mary Hoffman's terrific picture book Amazing Grace (1991), about the girl who gets to play Peter Pan. --Hazel Rochman

Publisher's Weekly Review

"Frequently funny lines surface throughout this light-as-cotton-candy, fast-paced novel," said PW of this tale about Dorothy, who lands the starring role (Tarzan) in her class play. "This smooth if wild ride should attract readers of both genders." Ages 7-10. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 2-4-When Dorothy lands the role of Tarzan in the class play featuring book characters, her tremendous yell is so effective that it attracts more and more animals each time she rehearses it. With each call, she feels, hears, and smells the jungle, releasing an inner desire to escape the confines of her surroundings and become one with nature. When her teacher realizes the effects of her cry, he asks her to substitute a familiar cartoon ending ("Th-th-that's all, folks") on the night of the performance. Instead, Dorothy does what she feels is right, which causes the circus animals to make their way to the school auditorium. At her parents' and the ringmaster's urging, she unleashes one final yell, causing the displaced creatures to stampede back to where they belong. All ends well and Dorothy finds a new friend in her former rival, Dwayne, who tells his part of the story in alternating chapters. Black-and-white sketches of jungle plants and animals appear more frequently once the circus comes to town. This very funny story, peppered with likable characters and on-target dialogue, will delight readers, particularly those who would like to unleash their own Tarzan yell from time to time.-Janet Gillen, Great Neck Public Library, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.