Boy Minus Girl
By Richard Uhlig
(Knopf Books for Young Readers, Hardcover, 9780375839689, 256pp.)
Publication Date: December 9, 2008
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LES WANTS the girl. He thinks she’s amazing, exotic, perfect. But he doesn’t know how to talk to her, kiss her, or make her realize that he’s the best and only guy for her in the whole wide world.
Once he masters these things, she’ll be his! Easy-peasy, right? The gulf between dreamgirl and realgirl is explored and made somewhat less vast in this bawdy yet romantic not-quite-coming-of-age. Teens will relate to 14-year-old Les’s hilarious and squirmy longings, and the fulsomely awkward efforts he puts forth to make his real life match his fantasies. The story also
portrays the perils of unexamined hero-worship, and the strength and humanity of people that may seem plain and boring, but who stand up for what is right when called upon to do so. It is a tale both hilarious and thoughtful, in which, to paraphrase the old Rolling Stones adage, one boy figures out that even if you indeed can’t always get what you want, if you try sometime, you just might find you get what you need.
Publishers Weekly called Richard Uhlig’s Last Dance at the Frosty Queen “an accomplished black comedy” and VOYA declared “Uhlig’s storytelling is wholly absorbing, image-rich, and insightful.” A native son of Kansas, Uhlig now lives in New York City with his dreamgirl—his wife, Heather—and their two young children.