Friday, August 10, 2012
A Bad Boy Can Be Good For A Girl
In A Bad Boy Can Be Good For A Girl, author Tanya Lee Stone takes a frank look at the sexual pressure involved in three very different relationships. Our three heroines come from different worlds: Josie is a freshman, Nicolette is an outsider who uses her sexuality to feel powerful, and Aviva is a "Criss-Crosser", someone who has friends in every circle. Despite their differences, none are immune to TL's attempts to win them over.
It is only after Josie is empowered to write about her experiences in the margins of Judy Blume's Forever that she is able to give up some of the negative feelings TL has raised in her:
"Of course, in the actual Forever
the boy, Michael I think his name was, wasn't a total jerk
so in real life, my life,
it's not only the good parts I intend to hold on to
but also how totally
he made me feel.
I'm hoping that by remembering that,
as much as I'd like to forget it,
it'll help keep me from ever
letting a boy
make me feel like
It's fitting that Forever plays a key role in this novel, as I can see A Bad Boy Can Be Good For A Girl getting passed from friend to friend, much like Judy Blume's classic still is. Every year, my students discover that book and spend a few weeks secretly reading it to each other. ABBCBGFAG is steamier than Blume's novel, with more modern situations and is written in verse, so it won't intimidate struggling readers. All these factors leave me surprised that it wasn't already checked out at my local library. Too mature for my middle school classroom, teenagers will be clamoring to read this book.