Cover image for Skinny Melon and me
Skinny Melon and me
Ure, Jean.
Personal Author:
First American edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Henry Holt, 2001.

Physical Description:
202 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Cherry keeps a diary about her parents' divorce, her new stepfather Roland Butter who draws rebuses for her, and the coming stepbrother or stepsister.
Reading Level:
830 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 5.5 5.0 46315.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 5.4 9 Quiz: 33574 Guided reading level: U.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



A smart and sassy novel about the inevitable changes that come with divorce, remarriage, and step-parents.
""One of the worst things about Roland Butter is his name. I thought at first it was just one of his dorky jokes, like: "Where do pigs leave their cars? At porking meters." Ha ha ha -- I don't think so. . . . I am certainly not going to change my last name to Butter, which is what Mom would like me to do. Cherry Butter How could you get anywhere with a name like that?""
Cherry Waterton wants a dog. She wants to keep a diary (which she does), and she wants to someday become a pop singer--or even a judge. Cherry Waterton knows what she wants. What she most decidedly does "not" want is a step-father. Especially if he's goofball Roland Butter, who pushes silly coded messages under her bedroom door. She especially does not want him. Or does she?
In a fresh format that switches between Cherry's diary, her mother's letters, and Roland Butter's rebus notes, this clever and funny novel relates a young girl's struggle with her mother's divorce and remarriage, and of course, the everyday quirks of adolescence.

Author Notes

Jean Ure is the author of over seventy children's books ranging from picture books to young adult novels. Ms. Ure lives in Croydon, England with her seven dogs and four cats.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 5^-7. In recent years the use of a diary format has become familiar, as has first-person voice: usually female, often belligerent, and inevitably amusing. This time it's British 11-year-old Cherry Waterton who is keeping a diary--not because she wants to, but because a teacher tells her it will "clear out her cupboard." Cherry's cupboard is rather full these days: she's angry about her mother's marriage to picture-book illustrator Roland Butter and disgusted that they are having a baby. Roly tries to be nice, pushing rebus letters under Cherry's door, but Mrs. Butter is writing her own letters to a friend, detailing how miserable Cherry's behavior is making her. It's this triumvirate of writings that elevates the book above other middle-grade problem novels. Cherry's diary makes an interesting counterpoint to Roly's sweet, hopeful messages and Mrs. Butter's letters, which show her as suprisingly unaware and often unsupportive of her daughter. Readers, especially those who have experienced divorce and remarriage, will see something of themselves in Cherry, but parental fears and feelings will come more into focus as well. --Ilene Cooper

School Library Journal Review

Gr 3-6-Cherry Waterton is miserable. She hates her new stepfather, a skinny, bearded man who illustrates children's books for a living and is always trying to win her over by slipping silly coded messages under her door. She is especially upset when his allergies cause her mom to break her promise to buy a dog. Worst of all, her mother suddenly announces that she is expecting a baby. Cherry misses her dad, who lives miles from London with his new wife and has a job that keeps him busy. She complains about her problems to her best friend, Melanie, aka Skinny Melon, but Melanie thinks that Cherry is lucky to have someone like Slimey Roland for a stepfather. The story is told through Cherry's diary entries and sketches, supplemented by Roland's notes and occasional letters written by her mother to a friend in Texas. Ure does a wonderful job of capturing the misunderstandings that come between the 11-year-old and her mother, Roland's well-intentioned attempts to win the love of his new stepdaughter, and Cherry's growing appreciation for her quirky and compassionate stepdad. Although some of the British words may make Roland's rebus messages difficult to decipher, they are eventually explained. The title is a little misleading, since the story focuses more on Cherry's relationship with Roland than on her friendship with Skinny Melon. A wonderfully entertaining, humorous, and thoughtful novel.-Ashley Larsen, Woodside Library, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.