The Humiliations of Pipi McGee

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Pub Date Sep 17 2019 | Archive Date Sep 17 2019

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Award-winning author Beth Vrabel writes with humor and empathy about a girl who wants to shed her embarrassing moments before she leaves middle school behind her.

The first eight years of Penelope McGee's education have been a curriculum in humiliation. Now she is on a quest for redemption, and a little bit of revenge.

From her kindergarten self-portrait as a bacon with boobs, to fourth grade when she peed her pants in the library thanks to a stuck zipper to seventh grade where...well, she doesn't talk about seventh grade. Ever.

After hearing the guidance counselor lecturing them on how high school will be a clean slate for everyone, Pipi--fearing that her eight humiliations will follow her into the halls of Northbrook High School--decides to use her last year in middle school to right the wrongs of her early education and save other innocents from the same picked-on, laughed-at fate. Pipi McGee is seeking redemption, but she'll take revenge, too.
Award-winning author Beth Vrabel writes with humor and empathy about a girl who wants to shed her embarrassing moments before she leaves middle school behind her. The first eight years of Penelope...

Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9780762493395
PRICE $16.99 (USD)

Average rating from 109 members

Featured Reviews


Let’s go back to last May, when I was looking through NetGalley and downloaded THE RECKLESS CLUB. That was the very first Beth Vrabel book I ever read. And from there I proceeded to read PACK OF DORKS and CALEB AND KIT and all the rest of them, and I loved every sing one of them. I don’t think there was a single one I disliked. And I heard that THE HUMILIATIONS OF PIPI MCGEE was coming and I was very excited.

I was not disappointed with it.

The idea of a middle-school girl who wants a chance at redemption and revenge for all of her most embarrassing moments was an interesting premise. And I loved the way she ended it all. I also really, really enjoyed the little nods to THE RECKLESS CLUB.

Another classic by Beth Vrabel that I will definitely be purchasing in the fall.

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Pipi no longer likes her nickname, and wants to be called Penelope. She is trying to fix all the mistakes she made in elementary school, but is she willing to do so no matter the consequences? Middle schoolers will love and connect with Pipi McGhee!

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WOW!!!! This was so powerful.
I did receive this for free from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review so keep that in mind.

This story stars out introducing Penelope or as she’s know Pipi Mcgee she’s an 8th grader who wants to finally break out of her embarrassing shadow. Every year like clockwork something horrible happens and she becomes the laughing stock of the school. But this year she’s determined to get redemption and revenge. But at what cost? Friendships are put to the test, the enemy become an ally and betraying a loved one seemed so easy. Things aren’t always what they seem.

I was very pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed this book so much, I tend to stay away from middle grade reads but decided to get out of my same old patterns and comfort zones and I’m very grateful I did. I wouldn’t of come across something this great.

As with some books, I did find some of it a little ridiculous but I had to remind myself that this is middle grade and with coming of age stories there’s some very childlike decisions. I still think that the story taught us so many admirable and good lessons.

It’s says that it’s okay to be weird, gay, wallflowerish, poetic. Fitting a mold doesn’t have to dictate yourself, love yourself is the important thing.

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Entertaining and engaging read, plausible characters and some genuine laugh-out-loud moments. The doodle-style illustrations break up the text nicely and make the book attractive to younger readers. Some serious issues are tacled discretely within the plot e.g families evolving after a divorce, relationships between peer groups during the transition from primary to middle school. I would recommend this novel to upper Key Stage 2 children who enjoy a lighthearted and amusing read.

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***I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review****

4.5 stars.


Eighth grade is going to be the year. The year that Pipi McGee redeems herself from her past Humilations, nose picking, drawing herself as a piece of bacon with boobs, shooting the winning point for the wrong team in basketball and then there's seventh grade...we don't talk about seventh grade. Pipi McGee has a plan to reverse her Humilations, but what happens when it goes to far?

First off,

This book is hilarious! I am definitely buying myself a copy of this when it comes out because, it was so fun to read. I was laughing from page one. I've read a few books of Beth Vrabel's and have really enjoyed both of them and this one was no different. I loved our main character, Pipi she is such a fun main character and I felt like I some aspects that I could really relate to Pipi and how she was feeling in certain situations.

Why I loved it,

This book is the perfect combination of funny, empowering, and silly. I absolutely loved it and I just couldn't put it down. This book is different from other middle grade books that I have read, it has such a unique and funny idea of this character who has had some pretty embarrassing stuff happen to her and she is determined to reverse it. This is a great book about friendship, and revenge...which some can argue is equally as awesome.

This book also has a few diverse characters, Sarah, who we later find out is gay and Eliza who is Pipi's older sister who is teen mom to four year old Annie. This book introduces these characters and portrays them in a good manner. It is always nice to see really different and diverse characters, ecspeially in middle grade.

This book is a good mix of humor and serious-ness. In the book we explore topics like bullying and friendship and we have a character who is discovering her sexuality (our characters are in eighth grade, about to transition to high school).

Age recommendation

Ages 8-13

No explicit content or swearing


I absolutely adored this book, it was funny and well written. The characters were enjoyable and we'll developed. I loved this and I can't wait to read more of Beth's work in the future!

4.5 stars.

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This was a super cute book. Well Written and easy to get into. And I love the cover. I could relate to this character so much even as a grown woman I can remember vividly what Pipi is feeling. This book would be great for anyone struggling with life.

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I read this out loud to a fifth grader and a third grader during a long car trip. The fifth grader adored it, which the third grader bobbed in and out. Personally I was less interested, but the intended audience seemed to find it relatable, funny, and engaging.

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This is a powerful story of an 8th-grade girl, Pipi going through a lot of stuff at school and at home. She’s holding onto many embarrassments from her past school years and is having a hard time letting go, to the point of being in a negative mindset toward the classmates who have been laughing at her, treating her like she is a virus, and being mean to her (in her eyes at least) since kindergarten, even feeling anger and jealousy toward the ones who haven’t really done that much to her, like Sarah who seems genuinely nice.

Pipi sees Sarah as a bad guy when the book starts because she is best friends and cousins with her main bully Kara. Pipi has to open her eyes and realize that there is more to people than what she sees. She is so focused on all the mishaps that happened to her over the years that she never realized everyone around her are having them as well.

She is so caught up in her humiliations that she thinks she needs to save younger children from having any. She has to realize when she tries to help the younger kids, she is taking away who these kids are and Pipi needs to learn who she herself really is!

There is a full range of emotion being expressed in this book and I enjoyed it fully. I love how funny it can be, but it can be just as sad as it can be hilarious. Annie, who is Pipi's niece, is the funniest 4-year old I've ever read about. This is a fast paced book. It has such heart and a scene or two made me tear up.

This book has every diverse group you could think of (small exaggeration, maybe?) and it works. It doesn’t feel too forced. I’m glad we’re starting to get more diverse children books.

I want to point out that Pipi's school has a strict dress code and it might be a sore spot for some people who are going through or did go through it. It's a very sexist mindset that our schools have. It’s the whole “she was wearing *that* so she was asking for it.” The girls have so many rules, but the boys rules are “must be clean and neat.” It is even quoted in the book that the girls are a distraction to the boys.

There is also some homophobia in this book, so be aware of that going in if that is a topic that would hit close to home.

The book is real. It’s raw. The ending packs a punch. It really tugged at my heartstrings. It’s not just a children book. It is and should be important for all ages.

I really loved this book.

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The Humiliations of Pipi McGee by Beth Vrabel tells the story of one chronically unfortunate middle-schooler, Pipi, as she comes to terms with her repertoire of embarrassments and seeks revenge against those who contributed to them. A definite coming of age story, the book follows Pipi’s ups, downs and learning curves as she discovers who she is and what it means to be cool or uncool.

One of my favourite things about this book was its focus on representation. Pipi’s story is infused with plenty of diversity, I many forms, in a way that normalises difference. Reading the book, I was invested, entertained, included. I felt Pipi’s hurt and embarrassment. Even when I disagreed with her actions, I liked her and wanted her to seek improvement.

Overall, The Humiliations of Pipi McGee shows a lot of promise, and could be a definite middle grade favourite! In its pre-publication state, some of the writing, grammar and formatting (at least for kindle) could use some tightening, and I would have loved a slightly ‘rounder’ ending where Pipi’s relationship with friends Ricky and Tasha was concerned. I look forward to seeing what others think of this book when it releases on the 17th of September, 2019.

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no one should bring up seventh grade, ever.

that said, pipi mcgee and her redemption/revenge plan is such an eight grade dilemma and i love it so much. she's a very likeable character, however vindictive. bonus points for cute blended family dynamics, sisterhood rising and the importance of forgiving your friends, but not letting mean people get the best of you. extra bonus points for the artsy nerdy kids bonding. all the former eight grade weirdos and misfits will appreciate it.

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An amazing novel! The characters are well-drawn and truly pull at your heart strings. I couldn't put the book down till I reached the final chapter. Highly recommended.

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I loved this book! I felt so much second-hand cringe for Pipi throughout the book. The illustrations were adorable. The friendships portrayed in this book were very truthful to what I see in my middle school students, and I loved that Pipi was a flawed main character. She messed up. A lot. She had to fix her mess-ups and own up to them.

The supporting characters were great. Pipi's whole family was complicated and messy and beautiful.

There was so much going on in this book it never felt boring or slow to me, but it did make me laugh quite a few times and it definitely gave me all the feelings of being awkward in middle school.

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