1,473 Pages


Shug is a children's realistic fiction novel, written by Jenny Han, and published in 2006.

Annemarie Wilcox, or Shug as her family calls her, is beginning to think there is nothing worse than being twelve. She's too tall, too freckled, and way too flat-chested. Shug is sure there is not one truly amazing thing about her. And now she has to start junior high, where the friends she counts most dear aren't acting so dear anymore–especially Mark, the boy she's known her whole life through. How is a person supposed to prepare for what happens tomorrow when there's just no figuring out today?

Reader's Reviews


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Critics' Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-8 At first blush, Shug seems to be a typical contemporary novel about a middle school girl. But Han offers something more with her penetrating observation of Annemarie (Shug) as she becomes more aware of the people around her and of how they differ from her previous perceptions of them. Foremost on the 12-year-old's mind is her best friend since childhood, Mark, on whom she has developed a crush. Then it is her father, who breezes in from his business trips less and less frequently and stays for as little time as possible. Then it is her attractive mother, who reads Foucault and whose criticism of her fellow residents in their small North Carolina town starts to seem less like a matter of clear-eyed appraisal than of alcoholic bitterness. The bad boy whom Annemarie is forced to help with his schoolwork; her not-so-perfectly adjusted older sister; and even her popular new friend, the only Korean-American student in town, all receive reappraisal. Something has awakened in Annemarie, all right, and Han depicts the change with a delicacy and nuance that sets this first novel above the rest of the pack of similar books. This new author bears watching. Miriam Lang Budin, Chappaqua Public Library, NY

Parental Guidance

  • Reading Age: 11+
  • Read aloud age: 11+

Mild language. Shug's father stays away on business for much of the time, while her mother drinks. Shug herself thinks she is in love with her childhood friend, Mark. The book will appeal much more to girls.

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