Saturday, July 9, 2011

Nerd Girls

Meet Maureen, a self-described baked potato. She's the reluctant leader of a trio of misfits, also known as the Nerd Girls, just trying to get through the eighth grade without further persecution by the ThreePees (for "pretty, popular, perfect"). After a humiliating youtube video of Maureen goes viral, the girls decide that the best revenge is to take on the ThreePees in the school's talent show. This would not have been my decision, but it makes for a fun plot.

Nerd Girls is author Alan Lawrence Sitomer's first foray into middle grade fiction. My students have loved everything he's ever written, so I am eager to share Nerd Girls with them, although this book will definitely appeal to a different demographic than Hip Hop High School. Still, as a teacher, Sitomer has a gift for adolescent language and common humiliations. My students will love Maureen's snarky sense of humor. At times, her sarcasm towards her new (and only) friends seems excessive, but ten minutes at a lunch table with eighth graders shows it to be realistic.

At 224 pages, Nerd Girls felt longer than necessary, with some repetitive dialogue. I'm interested to see how students feel about the novel's length--and I will see, as this is definitely a book I will add to my library. The first in a five-part series, I predict that it will be very popular with the sixth graders I'll be teaching this year.

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