105 Ways to Give a Book

Into the Wild Nerd Yonder

My back issues notwithstanding (boy, is that ever appropriate), I have been trying to restore some order to my life outside my blog. It᾿s slow going and less than fun, but absolutely necessary. With that in mind, I᾿m trying to run some things that I don᾿t have to write myself. My teen was able to help me out with a book that I loved and then gave to her thinking that she would feel the same way. I᾿ll say quite honestly that I hesitated before giving her the book, because of an important plot point where the main character᾿s friend gives a BJ to a boy she barely knows. I wondered if my eighth grader was ready to read this. But the friend does suffer consequences both emotional and physical, which made my point for me and allowed us to have an open discussion about the girl᾿s choices. Anyway, enough from me...



Into the Wild Nerd YonderHey! 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!]

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7 comments:

Carrie said...

Well, it's fun to have a guest posting every now and then! =) And I feel more informed, having not heard of this one myself.

Thanks for the information!

Charlotte said...

Thanks for the review, Teen Reader! This book has been on my almost to be read list for ages, and I think I'll have to bump it up to actual list status...

And I hope your back feels better soon, Pam!

Ms. Yingling said...

I liked this, and let my 10th grader read it, as well. It's different getting a book with this content from a parent who is willing to have a discussion about it than it is to just come across it on a library shelf. And organization is overrated. Nice when it happens, so good luck!

Jen Robinson said...

Thanks for the recommendation, TeenReader. I'm bumping this one up on my list, too. In fact, I've requested it from the library.

Pam, I hope your back issues resolved quickly!

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

The book sounds fun - I like a good read like that!

Kelly said...

That does sound like a fun read!

I also wanted to thank you for the great RIF package I received today for the comment challenge! THANK YOU!!!!

madelyn said...

Thanks for this review, and a special thanks for being kind and putting in that last translation of the text speak, so I didn't have to feel like a totally out of it old person.