Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek by Maya Van Wagenen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Wow...this author has talent. Fifteen years old and she writes like this? She is one to watch!
Maya Van Wagenen was in junior high when she decided that she wanted to popular. On a whim, she settled down with an old copy of Betty Cornell's Teen-Age Popularity Guide from the 1950's and maps out her school year--hair in October, good grooming in February, clothes in January. Every month got a chapter and Maya settled in to improve herself. She started walking taller, wearing powder on her face, and pearls around her neck. She wore more skirts, flats, and brushed her hair a hundred times a night. And what did she learn? She learned that being popular is all about taking risks and saying hi to strangers. It's about getting the nerve to sit with other people at lunch. It's about realizing that junior high students admire kids like Maya who have the nerve to do things they don't.
Love this story--it's readable, funny, and her family is wonderful, normal, and supportive. It's also up for the Morris award this year--I think it's a strong contender. Love that Dutton/Penguin snatched this author up.
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