Into the Wild Nerd Yonder
By Julie Halpern
(Feiwel & Friends, Hardcover, 9780312382520, 256pp.)
Publication Date: September 29, 2009
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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It's Jessie's sophomore year of high school. A self-professed "mathelete," she isn't sure where she belongs. Her two best friends have transformed themselves into punks and one of them is going after her longtime crush. Her beloved older brother will soon leave for college (and in the meantime has shaved his mohawk and started dating . . . the prom princess!) . . .
Things are changing fast. Jessie needs new friends. And her quest is a hilarious tour through high-school clique-dom, with a surprising stop along the way--the Dungeons and Dragons crowd, who out-nerd everyone. Will hanging out with them make her a nerd, too? And could she really be crushing on a guy with too-short pants and too-white gym shoes?
If you go into the wild nerd yonder, can you ever come back?
Julie Halpern is the author of Get Well Soon and Don't Stop Now, as well as the picture book Toby and the Snowflakes. In addition to writing, Julie is a middle-school librarian. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, lived in Australia for six months, and created a couple of zines before she started writing books, and realized she was and always has been a writer. She is married to the artist Matthew Cordell, and they live outside Chicago with their daughter and gloriously large Siamese cat, Tobin.
The relationships and dialogue ring true; readers navigating the stratified social structures of high school will relish an ending that celebrates true friendship.
Readers will both identify with and like Jessie and will cheer her conversion from meek to outspoken.
Reinvention is rarely so delightfully nerdy.
"This novel is particularly strong in showing how teen friendships evolve and sometimes die away, and how adolescents redefine themselves."