Random House: Bringing You the Best in Fiction, Nonfiction, and Children's Books
Newletters and Alerts

Buy now from Random House

  • Melanie in Manhattan
  • Written by Carol Weston
  • Format: eBook | ISBN: 9780307829085
  • Our Price: $5.99
  • Quantity:
See more online stores - Melanie in Manhattan

Melanie in Manhattan

Written by Carol WestonAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Carol Weston


List Price: $5.99


On Sale: September 26, 2012
Pages: 288 | ISBN: 978-0-307-82908-5
Published by : Knopf Books for Young Readers RH Childrens Books
Melanie in Manhattan Cover

Share & Shelve:

  • Add This - Melanie in Manhattan
  • Email this page - Melanie in Manhattan
  • Print this page - Melanie in Manhattan


For once, Mel is spending her vacation on her home turf—Manhattan! But she’s not alone. Miguel, the cute boy she met in Spain, is visiting New York, and this time Mel gets to be his tour guide. From the Empire State Building to the Statue of Liberty, from the Central Park Zoo to the Brooklyn Bridge, Mel and Miguel are off on their own adventures. But—uh-oh!—
Mel also meets a boy in math class. And while she is learning lots about the Big Apple, she is also learning it’s harder than you think to like two guys at one time.


March 31

Dear Brand-New Diary,

Whoa! I can't believe my eyes!!!

I am about to be face to face (or girl to statue) with the Statue of Liberty!!

I love the Statue of Liberty!!! She is green from her spiky crown to her big flip-flops, and she's draped in a toga dress that makes her look like a Roman goddess--an American Roman goddess.

We're on a boat because Dad's boss invited us to a party. The invitation said, "Don't be late--the boat won't wait!"

The bad thing is that there are no kids my age. The worse thing is that my brother, Matt the Brat, is acting his age--seven.

He keeps waving at other boats and shouting "Ahoy!" He's even ahoying seagulls. And there are lots of seagulls.

I told him to quit it, but he said, "Ahoy!"

I said, "I hope a seagull poops on you!"

He said, "Ahoy!" again.

There's nothing more annoying than a brother who's ahoying!

Seriously! You'd think Matt would look up at the Statue of Liberty. She is getting closer and bigger

and bigger and

How can he be so clueless? How can he not see what's right in front of him??

twenty minutes later

I couldn't take it anymore, so finally I said, "Hey, Ahoy Boy! Look over there!"

He looked, and instead of saying, "Ahoy!" he said, "Awesome!"

The Statue of Liberty is pretty, but not pretty-pretty. More like: proud. But not show-offy proud. Dignified proud. As though she knows she's done the exact right thing, welcoming new people to America.

It feels like she is even welcoming us back home from our trip to Spain.
Dad came over and took pictures of me sticking up one hand and holding my diary (you) in the other: The Statue of Melanie!

Matt asked, "Can we have a party on a boat someday?"

Dad said, "Don't hold your breath!" So of course Matt started holding his breath--and making a big deal of it. Dad told us that the Statue of Liberty was built by two French guys: Eiffel (who designed the Eiffel Tower) and Bartholdi (who made her look like his mom). Dad also said that her nose is four-and-a-half feet long. I doubt mine is even two inches!

We were getting really close to the Statue of Liberty, and I couldn't stop staring. It was like I was under a spell--a spell Moron Matt kept trying to break! His  freckly cheeks were puffed out and his blue eyes were wide open and he kept shifting from one foot to the other. Finally he exhaled and asked, "Think she could catch a fly ball?"

I said, "No! She would never put her torch down."

"Think she's ticklish under her arm?"

"Ha ha. You're hilarious."

"Think she has B.O. and needs a de-ODOR-ant?"

"Matt, you immature idiot, stop trying to be funny."

"I'm funny without trying."

"No, you are so not funny, it's not even funny. Besides, there are some things you just don't joke about."

"Like what?"

"Like the Statue of Liberty. Duh! Leave her alone!"

Matt shrugged, then he and Dad left me alone. Alone with the most famous statue in America!

Seagulls are squawking and grown-ups are talking, but Lady Liberty is serious, strong, and still. (That's an alliteration.)

And sure of herself. She is the opposite of moody!

What would it feel like to be the Statue of Liberty: to be so solid and so permanent? 
She is now getting farther and farther and smaller and smaller.

We passed by Ellis Island (where immigrants used to arrive) and are heading toward Lower Manhattan (where the twin towers used to be). Mom came to check on me, but since I was writing, she just put her hands on the railing. I can always tell when she is thinking about the towers because she gets extra quiet.

A long time ago, before security people started looking at everyone's shoes at airports, America tried to put out a great big welcome mat for anyone who wanted to come here.

Then things got more complicated.

I'm lucky. I've traveled pretty much and I'm learning about the world. For some reason, though, I don't usually think about being American.

Right now, what I'm thinking is that if I had a flaming torch, I would hold it high and shine it back at the Statue of Liberty. But I really wish I had a magic torch--a torch that could stop time in its tracks! Why? Because I like being in fifth grade and having a best friend (Cecily) and a boy I like (Miguel). I like things exactly the way they are. Life feels . . .

Almost perfect,
Melanie in Manhattan

P.S. It's a good thing I put you in my backpack. Normally I keep travel diaries--which I did in Italy, Holland, and Spain. This will be my very first Melanie At Home diary!

April Fool's Day

Dear Diary,

It's April Fool's, but I swear I'm not making this up.

Over spring break, while I was off in Spain having my first kiss with Miguel, our mice, Milkshake and Pancake, were here having a whole entire family!

They multiplied!

We didn't even know they were pregnant!

We didn't even know they were a boy and a girl.

Now instead of two, there are ten!

The babies are red, blind, bald, teeny tiny, and somewhere in between cute and disgusting. (To be honest, they are more on the disgusting side.)

They keep hanging on to the mother to nurse. Poor Milkshake! She must be exhausted. You know the song "Three Blind Mice"? Well, she has eight blind mice.
Pancake is already trying to make more babies (if you know what I mean). It's like a TV nature show.

In the world, mice get eaten up by cats and owls and other predators, so Mother Nature has to make sure that each mouse pair makes tons of babies so that a few can survive to make tons more babies. In Matt's room, however, there are no predators. (Matt can be an Annoying Little Brother, or A.L.B., but at least he doesn't eat mice.)

What are baby mice called anyway? Baby dogs are puppies; baby cats are kittens; baby owls are owlets; baby ducks are ducklings. But baby mice aren't micies or micetens or micelets or mouselings.

Whatever they're called, Matt is excited about them. He said:

It's kind of nice to have 10 mice.

Mom and Dad are not excited. They are the opposite.
Me, I'm . . . 
In between,
Mouse owner Mel
Carol Weston

About Carol Weston

Carol Weston - Melanie in Manhattan

Photo © Robert Ackerman

Hey! I’m so glad that you clicked onto this page!

I’m Carol Weston and I could tell you where I was born and where I went to school, but you can find all that out at carolweston.com. What I really want to tell you is that I love writing Melanie Martin books–and I hope you love reading them.

Melanie is smart and funny and gets embarrassed easily. She likes doodling and making up little poems. She keeps a diary everywhere she goes. She also worries a lot; she can’t help it. Melanie lives in New York City with her art teacher mom, history buff dad, and little brother Matt the Brat. The Martin family (or the four M’s: Melanie, Matt, Miranda and Marc) love to travel. Melanie has different crushes, but just one best friend, Cecily. She also has a new enemy, Susan. Mel calls her Suze the Ooze because she’s always saying, "No offense but…" and then saying mean awful terrible things. It drives Mel crazy! Melanie’s stuffed animal is a hedgehog, Hedgie, who is cute cute cute but sometimes gets lost.

In every book, Melanie goes someplace different. Melanie is ten when the family goes to Italy and Holland, and eleven when she discovers Spain and Manhattan. If you read her diaries, here’s what you get:
1. A sneak peek at a girl’s most private personal thoughts (this can be fascinating stuff whether you’re a girl or a boy) and
2. A tour of every site that Melanie visits (from the Leaning Tower of Pisa, to Anne Frank’s house, to a bullring, to the Empire State Building).

When I write these books, I do my best to make them funny and suspenseful. Thanks to Matt the Brat, every diary is also loaded with silly jokes. Like: "Where do hamsters go on vacation?" "Hamsterdam!" I try to share cool facts about different countries and cultures too. When the family goes to art museums, for instance, the mom tells stories about Vermeer or van Gogh. (But, shhhh, Melanie and Matt always play their favorite museum game: Point Out the Naked People!)

You can also learn foreign languages with Melanie. Spanish is español which she spells out as S Pon Yole. But watch out. Once Melanie wanted to tell a boy she was embarrassed, so she said she was embarazada and, uh oh, that meant she was pregnant! And that was really embarrassing!!!

You can read the books in any order, but here’s how I wrote them:

The Diary of Melanie Martin (they go to Italy)
Melanie Martin Goes Dutch (they go to the Netherlands)
With Love from Spain, Melanie Martin (they go to Spain)
Melanie in Manhattan (they stay home and Melanie finds out that it’s harder than you think to like two boys at one time!)

The diaries are about family, friendship, and first love, and they can all double as travel guides. I promise you’ll like them! If you want to write me, my email is at carolweston.com. And you know what? I’ll write you back!

Ciao for now--

Carol Weston

P.S. If you still want answers, I grew up in Armonk, New York; I live in Manhattan with my husband, two daughters, and cat; I studied French and Spanish literature at Yale; I earned an M.A. from Middlebury; I’m the "Dear Carol" advice columnist of Girls’ Life; my books for older kids include Girltalk, For Girls Only, and For Teens Only; and I love visiting schools! Ooops, teachers would call that a run-on sentence! :-)


"Fun. Fun. Fun." --Kirkus

"Appealing young heroine" --Vanity Fair

"Agreat children’s book" -—New York Daily News

"Achingly real…especially gratifying" —-Booklist

"Laugh out loud funny" --School Library Journal

"Charming…right as rain" --Family Fun

"Big fun for wise kids and their parents" --Philadelphia Inquirer

Your E-Mail Address
send me a copy

Recipient's E-Mail Address
(multiple addresses may be separated by commas)

A personal message: