Booktalks

Absolutely Maybe Booktalk

  • Grades: 9–12

Absolutely Maybe video booktalk

Maybelline is named after her mother’s favorite mascara, doesn’t know who her father is, and is on a road trip to find out.

There are some constants in Maybe’s life. She will never be the charm school, beauty pageant winner that her mom Chessy was and wants her daughter to be. She’ll always have to put up with the name her mom gave her, Maybelline, after her favorite mascara. She’ll also have to put up with her mom’s bad taste in husbands. Jake, the current contender, is number seven, and is a perfect example of scraping the very bottom of the barrel.

But, on the positive side, Maybe knows her two best friends, Ted and Hollywood, will always be there for her, no matter what. They don’t care about her pink and orange hair, kohl lined eyes and dark purple lipstick, or the beat-up jeans and Ts that she always wears. With them on her side, she can put up with her mom and Jake, even though there isn’t really anything she can do.

Everything changes when Maybe wakes up in the middle of the night with Jake all over her, hands under her shirt, and trying to pull her pants down. She screams and fights, but Chessy walks into the room and assumes that Maybe came onto Jake, in spite of the evidence to the contrary, and calls her a tramp. After that, nothing matters. Maybe slips out of the house, knowing only one thing—she is never going back.

Where is her father? Chessy never married him, and she never talked about him. All Maybe knows is that he’s in LA somewhere. Well, Hollywood is driving to LA to go to the USC film school, so she and Ted decide to go to LA with him.

At first, it’s an adventure, but after they get to LA, things kind of fall apart for Maybe. She has nowhere to stay. Hollywood has a roommate and a job, and can’t have overnight guests. Ted becomes the assistant to an aging movie star, with his own apartment on her lavish estate—and he can’t have overnight guests either. Maybe is on her own like she’s never been before. She’s out of money, out of friends, and homeless.

Perhaps LA wasn’t such a good idea after all. Unless her luck changes.


The booktalk was written by Joni Richards Bodart, university professor, librarian, consultant, and internationally know booktalking expert.

  • Subjects:
    Parents, Friends and Friendship, Moving
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