The Humiliations of Pipi McGee

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 17 Sep 2019

Member Reviews

A fabulous read for middle schoolers!

Full of childhood wonder and atrocity, The Humiliations of Pipi McGee by Beth Vrabel is a superb novel packed with comedy and fun. The author explores the horrors of middle school bullying that get kids into sticky situations while offering them hope that things get easier. Although initially I did not care much for protagonist Pipi, as the story unfolded she became more like a friend of sorts to me. Her struggles with school  began from kindergarten and progressed throughout until the end of seventh grade. But now, aged thirteen and in eighth grade, Pipi has a plan to rebuild her reputation, referred to as The List.

I ended up really enjoying Pipi's growth in the novel and the pages in this book seemed to whizz by. The well drawn characters didn't end with Pipi. There was her best friend, Tasha, who was one of the popular kids and she didn't like Pipi's plan; Ricky, with whom The List also didn't curry much favour; Sarah, one half of the Sarah and Kara cousins twosome, who seemed like she might be a friend; Jackson, a friend of Sarah's, on whom Pipi has had a crush since sixth grade. 

Pipi has had some really awful things happen to her and she still dwelt on those bad moments and though this certainly didn't make her a bad person, she mostly wasn't too pleasant, either. Over time, Beth Vrabel managed to win me over, character-wise, as I found myself wanting to know more about every single character in this book. 

The author has fashioned a marvellous novel that I highly recommend, without any hesitation.

I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel, at my request, from Perseus Books, Running Press via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.
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This book was funny and relatable for middle school students.  The illustrations added to the humor and I think students would definitely enjoy this one.
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Hilarious and insightful. 

Pipi is a very resilient character. Although she has had humiliating/embarrassing , maybe even bullying, experiences during her previous years of middle-school, she is determined to turn her last year of middle-school into a year of success (of some sort). As I said, I liked the resilience. I laughed at the strange things/situations. Cringed at some of the, certainly age appropriate, decisions.
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The Humiliations of Pipi McGee, is a fun middle-grade following Pipi, who is in her last year of middle school. Every year since kinder garden, something embarrassing has happened to her, being stuck with her through every year and something her fellow peers never has forgotten. This year, she decides it is time to remake herself and make up for past mistakes. 

I expected a funny middle-grade, and it was exactly what I got! It was funny, heartwarming and sad. Through humor it teaches the reader things that are really important in life. Even though being made fun of is never fun, it is not Pipi’s fault, and it is not her job to change. She realizes through mistakes how wrong she has been, but also how wrong people around her has been. I liked our flawed Pipi and the people around her. Her “unconventional” family, which is not the normal family we usually see (but what kind of family is really normal anymore?). As an older reader I do realize that the thought pattern Pipi has, is not the “correct” one and she will eventually come to learning-point. However, the younger reader might not realize this at once, which makes it not just a fun book, but a fun book with heart! 3.5/4 stars.
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This book was a super quick read and very funny! If you were that awkward teenage who was easily embarrassed in school you will relate to this book. Several times while reading it I had flashbacks to my middle school self.
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Cute pictures.A bit too cutesy for me. Not much of a story line to follow along with. Geared towards elementary and lower middle school students.
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My Thoughts
This is definitely a revenge book. Thankfully there was a lesson to be learned as well. Here are my pros and cons for The Humiliations of Pipi McGee:


1.  I found myself getting irritated with Pipi. She wanted to “reverse” her humiliations, which in her mind meant to get revenge on the people she felt had a hand in causing her humiliations in the first place. At least 2/3 of the book was Pipi enjoying her revenge and I found myself thinking that the joy she was getting from paying people back for what they’d done to her wasn’t a very good message. Thankfully, the good message finally did come toward the end of the book.
2.  I liked that that book emphasized that revenge on someone can, and often does, hurt innocent people as well. That is a good lesson to learn.
3.  The book had some pretty mature themes that were dealt with carefully.


1.  For me, it took too long for the moral of the story to arrive. I felt there was too much emphasis on the revenge.
2.  I hate mean girls. Hate them. It is so rare to read a middle grade or teen book without them and that makes me really sad. Girls can be so incredibly cruel to each other.
3.  Some of the descriptions and writing were way over the top for me, but probably appropriate for the intended audience.

“Hurt people hurt people.” Pipi was told this once and she finally understands it at the end of the book. And I hope the young readers of this book get it as well. Revenge is never the answer because it just perpetuates the problem, brings you down to the same level as the person that wronged you in the first place, and more people end up suffering.

This is a solid story with a good lesson. It isn’t earth-shattering literature, but it is just possible that a middle grade student might learn something from it. I would recommend this book for tweens/young teens – probably from 10-14 years old.

Thank you NetGalley and Running Press Kids for a free eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Thank you NetGalley and Publishers for granting me early access to "The Humiliation of Pipi McGee". I'm currently in the middle of a major move, but I will come back at a later time and write out a full review and rating.
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*Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an ARC of this book in return for a fair and honest review. 
Anyone who is or has ever been a middle schooler will be able to relate to this hilarious YA novel by Beth Vrabel. Pipi Magee, the school outcast, begins 7th grade with a plan of revenge and redemption for all the humiliations she has suffered since Kindergarten...and the list is long. It's a novel of friendship, bravery and being true to yourself. I'm looking forward to reading it to my middle school students! Very highly recommended!
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Thank you @netgalley for the review copy of this book. All opinions are my own. 

Let me start by saying that I adore @authorbethvrabel . She has quickly become one of my absolute favorite middle grade authors. Her stories are full of humorous, relatable and heartwarming characters that teach the reader wonderful lessons. 

Pipi won me over immediately.  She’s a feisty young lady who has endured her fair share of embarrassment. One of those people who just finds themselves in completely awkward moments, but unfortunately suffers the repercussions for years because her fellow classmates make all of her actions a running joke. Those situations were equally entertaining to read, yet heartbreaking at the same time. Maybe I didn’t personally have as many publicly humiliating moments every grade level as she did. But I was teased quite often for being shy and completely naive. I wish a story like this would have been around back then. 

Pipi teaches you that everyone goes through those moments, but it’s how you move on afterwards that makes a difference. She shows you that a crush on a popular boy often times disappoints you once you get to know them. She learns that you can’t change a wallflower because it will alter their magical personality and that real, true friends accept your quirkiness and stick by you know matter what. Actions and situations are often misperceived and shouldn’t be dwelled upon. She discovers the hard way that revenge is never a good retaliation. “Hurt people, hurt people” It turns you into a bully, alienates the people that matter and eventually leaves you feeling pretty low about yourself. 

Aside from Pipi, this book is full of so many wonderful and diverse characters who are battling their own issues as well. I especially loved Ricky, Sarah, and Pipi’s dad. That entire nose piercing scene was beyond fabulous. It was also wonderful to have Jason, a character from The Reckless Club, make an appearance and connect with Pipi. 

I can’t recommend this book enough. I will definitely purchase a copy and enjoy reading it with my daughter. I think it will be a great way to open up some wonderful and important discussions before she heads into middle school.
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I'm sure this is an enjoyable book for Middle Graders and High School students. I'm not sure if it's fun to read for adults, I felt a bit too old for this book sometimes. Some Middle School books can be enjoyable for all ages, but I'm not sure this book fits that range. I did like some of the characters and was eventually curious about the ending.

Illustrations: Some of the illustrations really added something to the story and it also gave the book a more Middle Grade feeling. I loved the bacon-drawing, which is a big part of this book. It made me laugh so hard.
Annie: By far my favorite character. I love me a quirky, smart Kindergartner, and that's exactly what Annie is. She is funny and serious at the same time. She's overly cute and really won my heart! I'd love to have her in my classroom.
Secret: A big part of the book was about a big secret from 7th Grade that Pipi doesn't want to talk about. It made me so curious and I didn't guess what it was. The revelation came at the right moment in the story as well.
Curious: I was curious about the ending. Pipi is that kind of a character that just makes sure that everything that can go wrong, will go wrong. I saw a big disaster coming from far away, but I had no idea how it would play out. It made me want to read the ending and also helped me to finish the book.

Jealousy: Jealousy and small-mindedness is a huge part in this book. It was all so negative at some point that it made me cringe. It was kinda weird that a good friend won't grant you time and friendships with others without being overly dramatic and negative about it. It just isn't a good example for Middle Graders to my opinion.
I'm too old?!: I really felt too old for this book. All the drama, negativity and predictability in a big part of the book took away a big part of the fun for me. I am curious to the opinion of maybe younger readers. I do think this would be a book for girls/boys who are about to go to High School.

An enjoyable story with loads of characters. I'm sure there is a character for everyone to like. The book was good in keeping some things a mystery and that made me curious. I do feel like I'm a bit too old for the drama in this book...
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Middle School is HARD and Pipi's eighth grade experience made me so glad to be so far away from my experiences.

Pipi has had something humiliating happen to her every year since she started kindergarten (and she won't even talk about what happened in 7th grade) but she has decided that 8th grade is going to be different. She is going to make up for each humiliation and make it her best year yet. But will she be able to do that without becoming like the people she has grown up being hurt by?

This novel is fun, heartwarming, and has a good message. It's a book for all of the "weird" kids who are having a hard time with classmates. It's a call to action to embrace your inner weird and live your best life. Vrabel has created a cast of characters with depth, intense backstories and from different life experiences. And she has helped me figure out what I want to be when I grow up: Bacon with Boobs!

Thanks to Running Press Kids and Netgally for a copy of this book!
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I really enjoy Beth Vrabel and their writing but I feel like I’m reading very similar stories every time I read one of their books. However, I think my middle grade patrons will enjoy this book because it’s funny, realistic, and well-written.
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This is the second revenge-ish story I have read this week, and I have to say they are stressful. I don't think I care for them. This one is nicely balanced with other great story elements to offset the angst of Pipi's efforts to overcome her past. I adored Pipi's family. Their scenes were my favorites in the whole book; the birthday party was fantastic.

Pipi's humiliations are pretty significant, if not in the actual event then in the fall out with her classmates. I appreciated her efforts to clean the slate before high school, but she made some poor choices along the way. Everything wraps up in a satisfying way in the end. I wouldn't have minded another chapter or two about where things went from there. Nice connection to the author's fantastic 2018 book The Reckless Club. That made me want to go back and re-read Reckless.

I especially love that this is part of a trend from publishers to produce books for the middle school crowd - upper middle grade/10-14 year olds. This is definitely a more intricate plot and an emotionally mature story that would be lost on many 3rd or 4th graders. I think The Reckless Club would work well for this age group, too. Perfect for middle school classrooms and reading lists. (LGBTQ+)
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4.5 Stars bumped because I just really enjoy Beth Vrabel's writing and her well-rendered characters.

In something of a sequel to The Reckless Club, author Beth Vrabel explores the horrors of middle school bullying that get a kid into a Reckless Club situation while offering hope to middle graders that "it gets better."

Pipi McGee is a thirteen-year-old girl who has been picked on since kindergarten. Every school year has brought her new humiliations. From her kindergarten drawing of her future self as a slice of bacon with boobs to the vomitathon she caused in a school bus to the stuck zipper event that got her that dreadful nickname (even her family calls her Pipi) to the event that shall not be named in seventh grade, Pipi has a reputation so awful that its been called the Pipi Touch. Pipi has a plan to save her eighth grade and rehabilitate her reputation. It's called The List. Her one friend, her best friend Tasha, is one of the popular kids and she is having a hard time wit Pipi's plan. Her other friend, the one she hasn't really noticed as her friend, Ricky, is also a bit odd about The List, and wishes she'd just let it go. Sarah, one half of the Sarah and Kara cousins twosome, seems like she might be a friend. And then there's Jackson, a friend of Sarah's, who Pipi's been crushing on since sixth grade. Frau Jacobs is a sad teacher who is Pipi's nemesis after seventh grades "that which must not be talked about" event. Rounding out her family situation there is her sister Eliza, a teenage mom who had her daughter Annie when she was in high school, and who took the GRE to start college early and will soon graduate, and Pipi's mom, dad, and stepdad. Eighth grade is a transition point and change is swirling all around Pipi but what she wants most is to change herself in the eyes of others.

At first I have to say that I really didn't like Pipi which made me feel bad because she's had some really bad stuff happen to her. She still lives in all those bad moments and while it certainly doesn't make her a bad person, she isn't a very pleasant one. As time went on, though, I was equally frustrated by Tasha, who seemed a little too fond of her role as rescuer of Pipi, and as Pipi started to have success and more independence, Tasha didn't just seem like she was being neglected, but as if she wasn't liking a less needy Pipi. Pipi starts harboring secrets, some pretty mean, but some about her new friends. Ricky and Sarah have their own secrets to hide, and even Frau Jacobs has a secret backstory that Pipi has to make a choice about sharing. She despises Frau Jacobs, but should she share information that could really hurt her? She's been that hurt and embarrassed person. What did it teach her?

Over time, Vrabel manages to win the reader over, and toward the middle of the book, the more frequent cameo appearances of Reckless Club members like Jason, Lilith, Ally, and Rex (now all high schoolers), keys readers of her earlier novel as to the arc of this one. "Hurt people hurt people" as one teacher says and Jason is on hand to tell Pipi at key moments that there's always a way out of the cycle of hurting. Even her stepdad is on hand to point out that if Pipi has a problem she can't fix, there's a lesson there about her. I ended up really enjoying Pipi's growth in the novel, along with that of Ricky, Sarah, and Eliza.

This is another great middle grade book, for every kid that has thought about "going dark" on those who have bullied them. The only way to stop a cycle of bullying is... to say "enough!" But how you do it matters. Here's to Pip or Pippa, on her way to ninth grade with a pack of new friends.

I received a Digital Review Copy from Hachette via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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After eight years of humiliation in school, Pipi McGee is ready for something different in her eighth grade year. She is looking for revenge. She’s made a list of all the things that have happened, from her kindergarten self-portrait as bacon to second grade’s starting a chain reaction of vomiting during a bus ride to fourth grade’s peeing in her pants (in her defense on that one, her zipper stuck). 

Each year, after each humiliation, her classmates kept the shame going with their name-calling, egged on by bully Vile Kara Stanton. 

But this year, Pipi promises her friends and herself, this year will be different. 

While her best friend Tasha encourages her to simply let it go and focus on what makes her happy, Pipi refuses to listen. She has a list, and she wants to make it right. Going down the list, year by year, she wants to find a way to redeem or avenge each and every thing that has gone wrong those previous years. And maybe if she can accomplish that, then she can go to high school as a phoenix, rising from the ashes a new person. 

But do things ever really go as planned? 

The Humiliations of Pipi McGee is a sweet middle grade book that looks at the nature of popularity and friendship and the sacrifices that school kids make for both. Written by Beth Vrabel, author of The Reckless Club, this novel moved me far more than I expected. 

It starts out focusing on Pipi’s perspective and her former embarrassments at school, and the shame and anger she felt at that, and at that point the story felt like exactly what I was expecting from this story. As I kept reading, however, and saw more of Pipi’s relationships and interactions with her friends and family, I felt like I was settling deeper into her story. She grew more complex and interesting, and I wanted to spend so much more time with her. I went from liking this book to loving this book to finding it impossible to put down. I highly recommend this one for any middle schooler who is struggling with their identity, and honestly, isn’t that all of them (and many of us adults too)? A really lovely story, with so much more depth and complexity than you’ll expect. 

Galleys for The Humiliations of Pipi McGee were provided by Running Press Kids through NetGalley, with many thanks.
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Pipi McGee has a life filled with humiliations.  She can't seem to stop herself from being an embarrassment to her peers and she has had enough.  She makes a vow that this year will be different, that she is going to correct all her wrongs and be able to put the past aside.  But as Pipi begins her corrections, she realizes that it is not as easy as she thought it might be; that she could potentially mess up plans for others around her.

This story is a cute coming of age story of a young teenager.  Pipi has many issues that others can relate to.  The plot flows well and the characters are This books discusses many social issues that are relevant in todays news.  A great story for a middle school student.
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The Humiliation of Pipi McGee by Beth Vrabel is a delightful young adult book.  Pipi has had some tough school years, but her last year of middle school will be different.  I loved this book, and it made me laugh.  I recommend this book for all middle school age children, I already ordered one for my grandson.  

I reviewed a digital arc provided by NetGalley and the publisher. Thank you.
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A perfect read for middle schoolers or about to be middle schoolers. 

I hated middle school. I felt awkward with who I was and who I wanted to be. Luckily though I did not have the experiences Pipi did kindergarten through 7th grade. I felt embarrassed for her as I was reading.

Lesson one learned: Revenge is never as satisfying as you think it will be. If only adults would learn this as well. Kids need to learn this lesson early on and a lot of unnecessary heartache and drama would be avoided. The author handles this so perfectly with Pipi and Vile Kate. 

Lesson two learned: Everyone is fighting something inside themselves you don’t know about. Being kind to even the nastiest person will make you feel better in the long run. My favorite line in the entire book: “hurt people hurt people.” Oh, how true is this statement. Once we understand that it is much easier to overlook the nasty in others.

Parents, aunts, grandmothers buy this book for the tween in your life. Read together and let it open up a world of discussions between you. I think you’ll be happy you did. 

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, Perseus Books, Running Press, through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.
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Poor Penelope!! Every year something happens to this poor eighth-grader that makes her the laughingstock of her class. From wanting to be a bacon with boobs when she grows up, to an incident with a stuck zipper which resulted in the unfortunate nickname Pipi, she’s experienced it all. But she vows that eighth grade will be different. And the first day of school, she’s humiliated once again. When that picture she drew as a Kindergartener of a bacon with boobs gets put up on the screen, she’s immediately the laughingstock of her class. 
She’s had enough and puts a plan into action that will help her to stop being the unfortunate Pipi McGee and blossom into Penelope McGee, the girl she’s always wanted to be. The only problem is, she might lose friendships she’s had for years to make herself into someone she might not be meant to be.
I absolutely loved this story. Most of us have been there, something happened in school and we ended up being laughed at by others. It’s a normal part of life, something we’ve rolled with. But, not many have had the problems that Pipi had, or had as many incidents. 
I cringed, I laughed, I giggled, I enjoyed. I’m purchasing a copy so that my 6th grade daughter can read it. I know she’s going to enjoy it just as much as I have. This was my first book by Ms. Vrabel, and I can’t wait to dig into more. 
*I received a copy from Netgalley and this is my honest and voluntary review.
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