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  • Melanie Martin Goes Dutch
  • Written by Carol Weston
  • Format: eBook | ISBN: 9780307488114
  • Our Price: $5.99
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Melanie Martin Goes Dutch

The Private Diary of My Almost Bummer Summer with Cecily, Matt the Brat, and Vincent Van Go Go Go

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


List Price: $5.99


On Sale: December 10, 2008
Pages: 240 | ISBN: 978-0-307-48811-4
Published by : Yearling RH Childrens Books
Melanie Martin Goes Dutch Cover

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Written by the advice columnist of Girls’ Life magazine, this hilarious companion to The Diary of Melanie Martin finds Melanie off to Holland–with her best friend!

Dear Diary, You will never ever believe this! It is too good to be true!! Guess who is going with us to Amster Amster Dam Dam Dam? Cecily!

Since Cecily’s mom is having surgery, Melanie’s parents invite Cecily on their family trip to Holland. Melanie thinks having her best friend along will be terrific. But things don’t go exactly as expected. First Melanie loses her luggage, and soon it looks like she’ll lose Cecily’s friendship.

But Holland isn’t a total disaster. Along the way, Melanie learns to look through the eyes of van Gogh, Vermeer, and Anne Frank. Soon she discovers that being a good friend means seeing the world through your best friend’s eyes, too.

From the Hardcover edition.


June 15


Dear Brand New Diary,

I can’t believe it!

This was the best day EVER!

School is out, and I, Melanie Martin, am almost a fifth grader.

5th grade!!!

Today at the end-of-fourth-grade party, everybody said my cupcakes were delicious—even Christopher.

Yesterday after we baked, Mom helped me hide them on top of the refrigerator so Dad wouldn’t accidentally eat any. Why? Because last time I made cupcakes, Dad gobbled one up without asking permission—and I ended up with twenty cupcakes for twenty-one kids. The next day on the walk to school, I was balancing my cupcake tray and hoping hoping hoping someone would be absent.

Trust me. It does not make you feel proud of yourself to be hoping that someone in your class is stuck at home sneezing or barfing. It makes you feel like a bad person. But when you don’t have enough cupcakes to go around, everybody except you gets a cupcake, and you have to sit at your desk pretending you didn’t want one anyway.

I am not that good a person!

Anyway, today was perfect. I brought in the right number of cupcakes, the party was fun, and even Miss Sands was in a great mood. Plus, it was a half day, so we got out at 12:00 instead of 3:00! And almost no homework until September!!


(I wrote “almost” because we have to read “at least one long book” and write “at least a hundred words” about what we learned from it.)

The best thing about vacation is that Cecily and I can spend every minute together and have a ton of sleepovers. And not just on weekends!

Mom loves summer vacation too. She just started a five hundred-piece puzzle of a painting of sunflowers. She says puzzles are her “summertime relaxation.”

She also says that the only thing she loves more than teaching is vacationing. She says it’s much easier to keep track of two kids than a whole class.

I wonder if that’s true.

After all, one of her kids is Matt the Brat.

4-EVER yours

Melanie Martin, Almost Fifth Grader

June 22

afternoon on the sofa

Dear Diary,

Is this going to be a bummer summer?

School has been out for only a week, and—even though I would never admit this to anybody—I sort of miss it. I don’t mean waking up early or doing homework or Miss Sands. I mean lunch, recess, art, music, P.E., library, and my friends.

Cecily hasn’t been around at all. She’s been with her dad. She sent me a postcard from Washington, D.C.

I wish my family would go somewhere.

I wish Cecily would come back.

At home, it’s just me and Matt the Brat.

Of all the brothers in the world, I can’t believe mine is Matt. When baby boys were being given out, Mom and Dad obviously got in the wrong line. (I think they got into the reptile line.)

To be perfectly honest, Matt and I were actually starting to get along this spring. But then he got seriously annoying again.

He loves to play games. He has ever since he was two. Maybe even before that. He used to sit in his diaper and play “How big is Maaaaaaatt?” “Sooooooo big!” all day long with a dopey two-tooth smile on his face.

Now all he ever wants to do is play Clue Jr. He lives to shout, “Mortimer Mustard hid the bird in the bank!” or “Polly Peacock hid the turtle in the wig shop!”

It gets old.

Or maybe I’m getting old for junior games.

Last night I mumbled to Dad that I was bored.

“Bored?!” Dad said with absolutely no sympathy. “I can think of plenty of things for you to do.” So he made me put away dishes and alphabetize his CDs and do a million trillion chores.

Chores chores chores! I was going to accuse him of child abuse, but he would have rolled his eyes and said, “Melanie, pleeeease!”

Once, I did say, “Child abuse! Child abuse!” on the subway and Dad got mad and said it’s no joke and what if police officers had taken me seriously? He said I should appreciate the parents I have.

Personally, I think my parents should appreciate me—and understand that I need to be with kids my own age.

My own age: ten and a half. Not Matt’s age: six and a half.


Melanie the Misunderstood

June 26

morning in Dad’s BIG soft chair

Dear Diary,

Cecily gets back today!

I just called her but I wish I hadn’t. When I said, “Is Cecily there?” instead of saying a simple “No,” Cecily’s mom said, “Melanie, it’s more polite to say, ‘Hello, Mrs. Hausner, this is Melanie. May I please speak to Cecily?’”

I mumbled, “Okay.” But I felt like saying, “I wasn’t calling to get a manners lesson. I was calling to talk to my best friend.”

Cecily’s mom is usually pretty nice. I like when she invites me for dinner or to a movie. And I like that she always has big bags of marshmallows and little bags of M&M’s just for us. And I like that last week she helped us have a book sale on Broadway and we both made fifteen dollars.

I don’t like that she’s strict about making us take off our shoes and hang up our sweaters. I also don’t like that I have to call her Mrs. Hausner when Cecily gets to call my mom Miranda. (Not that Cecily ever does. She never really calls her anything.)

Anyway, right now I am trying to write, but Matt found some of that plastic bubbly wrap that Mom uses for delicate objects and he put it on the floor and started driving all over it on his scooter. He says he’s not stopping until he has popped every last bubble.

It sounds like firecrackers.

Matt also has tongue twisters on the brain. He made me say “unique New York, unique New York, unique New York” over and over, so I told him to say “I’m a silly little idiot” five times fast. Then I said, “Matt, if you want to be annoying, go into your room.”

He said, “It’s no fun being annoying by myself.”

Yours with a sigh


From the Trade Paperback edition.
Carol Weston

About Carol Weston

Carol Weston - Melanie Martin Goes Dutch

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! :-)


“[A] quirky kid pleaser”–Vanity Fair

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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