Form and Content

(Critical Edition of Young Adult Fiction)

In Me, Me, Me, Me, Me: Not a Novel, young adult author M. E. Kerr (who was born Marijane Meaker) presents a series of vignettes from her own adolescent years as a response to requests from her readers. In several autobiographical sketches, which are not necessarily in chronological order, Kerr records her reminiscences of the 1940’s and informs her audience about the real-life occurrences that she has transformed into fiction in her novels. The title does not reflect egocentrism but instead reminds the readers of the author’s initials and also signals Kerr’s struggle for independence and identity during her adolescence.

Each of the sketches identifies a significant episode in Kerr’s life occurring at various ages: ten, thirteen, fifteen, eighteen, and twenty-one. Therefore, the book contains stories from middle school, high school, junior college, and college, concluding with the author’s first successful publication in 1951 at the age of twenty-four. This distribution may also account for its appeal to a wide range of readers. The vignettes also give a sense of life in the 1930’s and 1940’s, the period of history during which Kerr grew up. Kerr even includes songs, political slogans, historical events, and the journal entries of her father to help her readers understand the context of the times during which she struggled to attain maturity and self-identity.

Furthermore, in bold print at the end of each chapter, Kerr...

(The entire section is 453 words.)


(Critical Edition of Young Adult Fiction)

Kerr, M. E. Blood on the Forehead: What I Know About Writing. New York: HarperCollins, 1998.

Kerr, M. E. Me, Me, Me, Me, Me: Not a Novel. New York: Harper & Row, 1983.

The M. E. Kerr and Mary James Web site.

Meaker, Marijane. Highsmith: A Romance of the Fifties. San Francisco: Cleis Press, 2003.

Meaker, Marijane. “Marijane Meaker.” In Something About the Author. Vol. 20, edited by Anne Commire. Detroit: Gale, 1980.

Nilsen, Alleen Pace. Presenting M. E. Kerr. Updated ed. New York: Twayne, 1997.

Sutton, Roger. “A Conversation with M. E. Kerr.” School Library Journal 39, no. 6 (June, 1993): 24-29.