Nerds of the world: Unite!

Into the Wild Nerd
Yonder: My Life on the Dork Side
by
Julie Halpern
A friend who’s a middle school librarian told me about this book,
and I’m so glad she did.
It’s the story of a girl who falls from Popularhood to Geekdom.
(Hello, and welcome to my world!*)
Jessie’s a high school sophomore, and she’s always hung out with a
couple of friends who are on the verge of being popular. And now, it’s all
going to crap. Her best friend has stolen the boy Jessie’s got a wild crush on,
and both of her friends have gone punk.
Meanwhile, here’s Jessie: “It’s funny how some of Barrett’s
friends think I’m his punky kid sister, when really I’m just some mathlete
who’d rather be sewing Thanksgiving skirts in her bedroom while listening to an
audiobook.” (p. 6)
Everyone out there, raise your hand if Jessie’s part of your
tribe.
Yeah, she practically is me,
and also my friend who recommended the book. We used to spend weekend nights in
college watching movies in our dorm room and cross-stitching. Those were some crazy times!
(Really—could it get any better than that? I don’t think so,
either.)
Anyway, Jessie’s sewn a skirt for each day of the school year, and
she’s even planned some theme weeks: movie week, sports week, that kind of
thing. We’re talking novelty fabrics here.
So it’s really no wonder when she falls in with a new crowd that
lives on D&D and Renaissance-Fair-esque events. They are her people. And
there’s even a cute boy in that “nerd herd” (as Jessie’s brother so sweetly
terms them).
Meanwhile, her old best friend is going way too far with Jessie’s
old crush; Jessie’s brother has morphed from punk to preppy and gotten himself
a new girlfriend; and Jessie continues to earn non-stop A’s.
Jessie’s engagingly nerdy-yet-not, and her very believable
high-school-girl voice is darn charming.
Recommended for any former/current nerds. Highly recommended for any crafty
former/current nerds. This book’s about us, and that is a rare and lovely
thing.
* I planned to illustrate this post with a terrifyingly dorky
photo of myself at that age, but it appears that I successfully destroyed all
such evidence in my possession.   

by

Reader, librarian, & happy little geek

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