Hey! TeenReader here, to review a great book called Into the Wild Nerd Yonder, by Julie Halpern (2009). The basic plot is about Jessie, a “nerd” girl whose friends have gone from prissy to punk in a matter of hours, all to impress the one boy Jessie has had a crush on ever since they met. And when one of her friends takes it too far, Jessie decides that she needs a new crew. But who should she end up with but the nerdiest group of all, the Dungeons and Dragons crowd!
I finished this book and looked back at it thinking it was one of my favorites (which I still think now). At first I thought it was because I identified with the character, being a nerd-girl myself, but I realized that this book is pretty middle-ground and perfect for everyone. There᾿s definitely a message, but it᾿s not preachy. The bad guys are annoying enough that you want to yell at them, but Jessie isn᾿t whiny about it. It᾿s funny, but not slapstick crazy. But the thing I think was most well done was avoiding overemphasis of her being a smart person. The book mentioned her advanced classes, but it was handled very casually. One of the faults of many books starring a nerd is that they make them über-geniuses. This book shows throughout that Jessie is smart, but keeps her identifiable. Also she has none of the cliché family members the parents who always push her to work, the perfect older sibling that she loves/loathes. This book captured a regular family, with all its warmth and little imperfections. The plot was handled well, the characters were likeable, and the style was engaging, and the story was compelling. Into the Wild Nerd Yonder, FTW! [That᾿s textspeak for For The Win!]
Links to material on Amazon.com contained within this post may be affiliate links for the Amazon Associates program, for which this site may receive a referral fee.