Inside Out Girl: A Novel

Inside Out Girl: A Novel

by Tish Cohen


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Rachel Berman wants everything to be perfect. An overprotective single mother of two, she is acutely aware of the statistical dangers lurking around every corner—which makes her snap decision to aid a stranded motorist wholly uncharacteristic. Len Bean is stuck on the shoulder with Olivia, his relentlessly curious, learning disabled ten-year-old daughter. To the chagrin of Rachel's children, who are about to be linked to the most-mocked girl in school, Rachel and Len begin dating. And when Len receives terrible news, little Olivia needs a hero more than ever.

But the world refuses to be predictable. When personal crisis profoundly alters Rachel's relationship with a wild, very special little girl, this perfectionist mother finds herself drawn into a mystery from her past and toward a new appreciation for her own children's imperfect lives.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061452956
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 08/12/2008
Series: P.S. Series
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 583,743
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

TISH COHEN is the author of bestselling novels for adults and young readers, many of them in development for film. Her first novel, Town House, was a regional finalist for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book. Her more recent novel, The Truth About Delilah Blue, was a Globe and Mail Best Book. Cohen recently sold an original TV series to ABC/Corus Entertainment, and her short film, Russet Season, premiered at the Toronto Jewish Film Festival in 2017. She lives in Toronto and Creemore, Ontario, where she rides dressage, accompanied by a most inappropriate farm dog, her Standard Poodle, Gracie.


What People are Saying About This

John Elder Robison

“In Inside Out Girl, we meet Olivia, a ten-year-old with ‘neurological differences.’ Compassionate, sweet, and even heroic - you’ll be glad you met her.”

Michelle Richmond

“INSIDE OUT GIRL is brimming with heart, spirit, and most of all, hope. Tish Cohen has written a life-affirming novel about the families we choose, those that are chosen for us, and the possibility of second chances.”

Marti Leimbach

“A spirited, fast-paced novel, INSIDE OUT GIRL is rich in character and heart.”

Patricia Wood

“Inside Out Girl had me from the very first page. Each character is richly drawn and the story poignant and tender. Olivia is a memorable character who will stay in my heart for a long, long time.”

Michael Palmer

“Inside Out Girl is a wise, witty gem, populated with characters who will live with each of us long after the last page has been turned. Olivia Bean has taken her place alongside my favorite literary heroes.”

Customer Reviews

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Inside Out Girl 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Quirky story. Story being told from multiple perspectives helped keep my interest.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Olivia Bean is an odd duck. She is ten years old, wears mismatched clothes sometimes inside out, never brushes her hair, and always talks about rats. She has NLV, which is Nonverbal Learning Disorder. It is a neurological condition that can prevent a person from understanding anything that is not verbal. They will comprehend your words but will not get subtext and can never understand sarcasm.

Len, her father, has been raising Olivia on his own ever since his wife died. It is a very hard life. Then in walks Rachel Berman and her two children, Jamie and Dustin. Jamie and Dustin go to the same school as Olivia and they don't openly tease her - but they wouldn't be caught dead in the same room with her.

As Rachel and Len's relationship becomes deeper, secrets held by all come apparent and empathy comes alive.

I really enjoyed this book. I am a teacher and I like trying to understand many types of learning disorders. My school is dealing with autistic children now more than ever, and since this is one form of autism it is good to understand it.

I feel that young people should read books like this to understand about those "weird" children that attend their schools and realize that they have feelings and can't help what they do. This story also spoke about bullies. Olivia is bullied and doesn't understand why. She isn't mean and wants friends but the other girls are cruel.

INSIDE OUT GIRL is a wonderful story that sends a good message about how we treat others.
donnareads911 More than 1 year ago
This is a lovely little book, chock full of "issues", from divorce to a learning disabled girl, from a widower to a possibly lesbian teenager, to the birth of a relationship and the search for a child that was adopted out; well, it seems like a lot to fit into a story but Tish does it well. It seems a little "much" to cover but every bit of it is taken well in hand. The characters are extremely likeable and by the end of the book, I truly didn't want it to end. The books is a quick read, done in a few hours, but great for a plane trip or a beach read. And no, you won't embarass yourself by a hanky moment. It gets close, but doesn't go over the top or get sappy. Well done!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Rachel Berman has inherited her parents¿ magazine, Perfect Parent, and tries to live up to its ideal. But even as she struggles with the idea of publishing articles about special-needs children, Olivia Bean shows up in her life. Olivia¿s father, Len, has done the best he could in raising his daughter alone, and still struggles with her Non-Verbal Learning Disorder. Rachel¿s kids can¿t believe their mother is dating the father of the weirdest kid in school, the one they call Inside Out Girl. But as this makeshift family gets to know each other, everyone finally comes to realize how special Olivia really is. When Len faces a personal crisis, he turns to Rachel to be there for his daughter, and Rachel doesn¿t disappoint him. And in the process she finally faces a skeleton that¿s been haunting her from her own past Tish Cohen has created a real and believable cast of characters. Heartbreakingly pathetic at times, Olivia is stubborn, funny, and hard not to love. Rachel¿s kids, and especially Janie, show tremendous growth and maturity in accepting Olivia into the family. And Rachel learns it¿s okay to not always be a perfect parent. But in the end, it¿s Len who will steal your heart as he does everything he can to take care of his daughter, and I couldn¿t stop myself from crying as the story came to a close. Tish Cohen handles this sensitive subject masterfully, and I highly recommend this powerfully moving book. Reviewer: Alice Berger, Bergers Book Reviews
Guest More than 1 year ago
Inside Out Girl was just released last monthand is on my 'You've got to read this one!' list. Rachel is a single mother of two who obsesses over accident reports, parenting tips and ensuring her children are safe.It is out of character for her to pull over and help a man and his daughter change their flat tire. Len is the widowed father of Olivia. Surprising herself further, Rachel agrees to a date with Len. As they continue to date, Rachel's children are horrified to find out that Len's daughter Olivia is the ' Inside Out Girl' who attends their school. Olivia has non verbal learning disorder. Although very bright, she is unable to process facial and voice cues, resulting in socially inappropriate behaviour and anxiety. She often chooses to wear her clothes inside out, thus the name. She is extremely well informed about rats, frequently quoting rat facts in times of stress. As she falls in love with Len, Rachel is forced to face some issues from her own past. Her children are also going through difficulties that she is unaware of. Could this relationship really work? Cohen's writing is so real. I found myself furious at the bullying of Olivia, nodding in sympathy with Rachel's angst and applauding the parenting of Len. Cohen has done a remarkable job with all the characters - they truly come to life - especially Olivia, who will make you laugh, make you cry and cheer for the little girl who can teach us all a thing or two - and not just about rats. This would be a great read for a book club. I'm off to find a copy of Town House - Cohen's first novel for adults, which has been optioned for a movie.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Len is a widower with a ten year old, special needs child, Olivia. He begins dating Rachel who has two early teenagers in the house. It is a heartwarming story of finding someone to love and the love that holds families together. It is also a look at the life of a teenage girl who is exploring her sexuality and the life of a precious girl who doesn't fit into the world the way everyone else does. I think you'll fall in love with Olivia.
omphalos02 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Cohen ("Town House") produces another winner with "Inside Out Girl." The title girl suffers from Non-verbal Learning Disability (NLD) and is ostracized because of it. Cohen writes remarkably well, and her characters all have depth that give her story a realism and humor that stand out. Highly recommended.
samantha.1020 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I recently realized that I was falling behind in my 2009 reviews while trying to catch up on the leftover books from 2008. Inside Out Girl had been sitting on my review pile for some time patiently waiting for me to read it. I'm so glad that I finally did pick this book up as I really enjoyed it.Inside Out Girl introduces us to Olivia and her father Len. Olivia has NLD which is a nonverbal learning disorder. We are also introduced to Rachel, a single mother of two, owner of a parenting magazine, and a overly cautious parent. When Len and Rachel start dating, Rachel's children are furious as they go to school with Olivia whom they know as "inside out girl". Before anyone knows it, certain circumstances will change all of their lives forever.Ms. Cohen really knows how to weave and tale and made me really care about Olivia and what happened to her. There are many different situations that the characters had to deal with throughout the story. I thought that this helped me as the reader see the characters grow and change in ways for the better. I really enjoyed this story and am so glad that I finally gave it a chance. A great way to start 2009 off on the right foot.
drebbles on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As publisher of Perfect Parent magazine, single mother Rachel Berman tries to live up to the title of her magazine and consequently she is at times overprotective of her children -Janie, 14 and Dustin, 12. Still trying to cope with a heartbreaking decision she made years earlier, she is not one to take chances and is surprised to find herself helping stranded motorist Leonard Bean and his ten year old daughter Olivia. Leonard is a single parent himself, struggling to raise Olivia who has NLD (Nonverbal Learning Disorder). Rachel and Len start dating but soon will be dealing with circumstances that will forever change both their lives. "Inside Out Girl" is a moving if somewhat melodramatic novel. Author Tish Cohen has created two believable lead characters - Rachel and Leonard - who are doing the best they can as single parents. Len is the more believable of the two as Rachel sometimes seems out of touch with the real world and her children's feelings. Olivia, of course, is the real stand out character. Cohen paints a vivid picture of what a child with NLD is like and it's heartbreaking to see how she is bullied and misunderstood by the other children and adults (and it's hard not to cringe at times reading about Olivia's hamster). Janie is the other standout character - she hides her feeling behind jokes and it is at times painful to read as she struggles to attract the attention of her first crush. Dustin didn't really register as a character for me. While the book is interesting and at times hard to put down, it is a bit overdone. There is not a lot of happiness in the book and a great deal of sadness. It seems like everything that can happen to these two families doeS - including illness, death, bullying, accidents, money worries, etc. A little of this goes a long way and a little humor would have made the book easier to read. "Inside Out Girl" is a well written novel, but tough to take at times.
rudebeck More than 1 year ago
Great read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
...and sad
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As a parent i can identify