Monday, July 7, 2014

Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek

I had so much fun with the book I am profiling today.  I love the idea of following advice from another era in the modern day and I think it is inspirational for kids to see a book written by a fifteen year old girl.  I have included an interview with the actual Maya at the end of the blog, so make sure to watch, she really is lovely.

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Title:       Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek

Author:   Maya Van Wagenen

Target:    Grades 6 and up

Series:     No

What this book is about: 
Maya (who is an actual person) is in eighth grade and not very popular - in fact her group ranks only above teachers and substitute teachers!  However, she finds an old book in her dad’s office, Betty Cornell’s Teen-Age Popularity Guide and her mom suggests she follow the advice and see what happens.  This book is a chronicle by month of how each chapter in Betty’s book turns out for Maya and the truths she learns about herself.

Why I love this book: 
How great is it that this book is written by an actual fifteen year old?  She keeps her experiment a secret so that she can document the actual reactions she gets to the changes she makes.  She follows Betty’s advice which includes wearing a girdle, panty hose and gloves.  This advice leads to some harsh comments, but Maya perseveres.  However, the greatest lessons she learns are about kindness and inclusion.  She learns she can be popular, but not quite in the way she expected.

I adored the actual pictures of Maya throughout the book.  They made her efforts seem all the more real.  Without a doubt it felt like the real voice of a middle school student.

Who this book is for: 
Great for most girls.  This book is set in middle school, so be prepared for sex ed class and drug sniffing dogs (she lives in a Mexican border town), but Maya herself is a lovely and very smart girl.

Final thoughts: 
I would have loved this coming of age book documenting the life a real eighth grader when I was young.   The nostalgia of following Betty’s book just made it all the more fun.

To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek  A portion of each purchase goes back to support this blog at no cost to you. Thank you for your support. via @TODAYshow

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