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Book Review: My Big Nose and Other Natural Disasters By Sydney Salter

Welcome to the summer of passion. For seventeen-year-old Jory Michaels, that means three sun-and-fun filled months of spending time with her best friends, obsessing over her crush, trying to find something she is passionate about, and…saving for a nose job. Jory is determined to lose the big, honking, bumpy monstrosity she calls the Super Schnozz-the one thing standing between her and happiness.

So accident-prone Jory takes a job delivering wedding cakes to save up for surgery; she even keeps a book filled with magazine cutouts of perfect noses to show the doctor. To find her passion, she tries yoga; she tries becoming a foreign film buff; but nothing is quite as interesting as finding a boyfriend. And that can’t happen until Super Schnozz disappears…right?

Jory is in for some big surprises when passion finds her-and she discovers the beautiful people she longs to look like are not as perfect as they seem. In her hilarious and heartbreaking debut novel, Sydney Salter delivers a story about broadening your horizons, accepting yourself, and finding love right under your nose.

My Big Nose and Other Natural Disasters

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/Graphia, 2009

Contemporary teen, ages 12-up

345 pages, $7.99

Grandparenting a teen requires a good sense of humor! Here’s a new novel that provides plenty of laughs as Jory navigates her first summer job, attempts to save money for a life-altering nose job, and searches for something-anything-she can be good at. My Big Nose And Other Natural Disasters also lends itself to deeper discussions about making good choices in tricky social situations, accepting our bodies, making good friends, following our passions (in the creative sense of the word), and of course, falling in love.


“Complex, likeable, believable characters, and a fresh, appealing fictional voice pull together this very agreeable summer romance.” – Kirkus Reviews

“The contemporary dialogue is rapid and funny, and teens will enjoy Jory’s comic self-deprecation and the way she gets the signals wrong, both while driving and on dates.” – Booklist

“The tougher side of catching a boyfriend is depicted with humor and understanding in this first novel. Nothing goes as planned, and the results are simultaneously painful and hilarious. Salter captures the awkwardness of adolescence while driving home a message about self-acceptance.” – Publisher’s Weekly


Sydney Salter held a variety of jobs before becoming a full-time writer, including her brief stint delivering pies and flowers, wrecking vans, and destroying wedding cakes in Reno, Nevada. Sydney now lives in Utah with her husband, two daughters, two lazy cats, two dogs, and a pair of tortoises.

She loves reading, writing, traveling, and, of course, baking and decorating cakes (but not driving them anywhere). She is also the author of Jungle Crossing (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, fall 2009, ages 10-up) and the upcoming  Swoon At Your Own Risk (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/Graphia, spring 2010, ages 12 and up). For more information, please see www.sydneysalter.com

Christine Crosby

About the author

Christine is the co-founder and editorial director for GRAND Magazine. She is the grandmother of five and great-grandmom (aka Grandmere) to one. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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