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Viewing Blog: Secrets & Sharing Soda, dated 6/26/2012
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Reviews and random thoughts on children's and teen fiction.
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1. Review: Nerd Girls: A Catastrophe of Nerdish Proportions by Alan Lawrence Sitomer (ARC)

Nerd Girls: A Catastrophe of Nerdish Proportions. by Alan Lawrence Sitomer. July 31, 2012. Disney-Hyperion. 272 pages. ISBN: 9781423139973

In this sequel to Nerd Girls: Rise of the Dorkasaurus, Maureen, Beanpole, and Q, collectively known as the Nerd Girls, are still fighting pretty constantly with the Threepees, Kiki, Brittany-Brattany, and Sofes. The two groups’ pranks on each other escalate so severely, the principal finally steps in to put an end to their bitter rivalry. His solution? The two groups must join as one team and compete in the Academic Septathlon.

As in the first book, Maureen’s voice is very strong in this second novel, but she is much more likable this time around. Though she still occasionally puts herself down over her weight, she is more confident in herself and more willing to take on the cruel popular girls instead of just backing down and letting them win. I also thought her affection for Q and Beanpole was much more evident this time around, especially when Q nearly lets her medical issues get the best of her. Interestingly, Beanpole became a favorite for me in this novel as well, especially when it begins to look like she and Sofes will become friends during their preparations for the septathlon. In fact, Sofes, Brittany, and Kiki all seem to become more human in this book. They’ll never be angels, but Sitomer does a nice job of letting the reader see at list a hint of who the girls are beneath their nasty attitudes.

Another thing that struck me about this book is how funny it is. I don’t remember laughing as much during the first book, but there are a lot of great one-liners and comic moments in the sequel. I especially like the predictably klutzy moves Beanpole makes at various points throughout the book. They provide nice comic relief as well as a great model for kids to learn how to laugh at themselves. The entire story is actually a great lesson in self-acceptance and confidence, but it doesn’t present itself in a preach way, so kids will be drawn to it, not repelled.

All in all, this is a great follow-up to Rise of the Dorkasaurus and fans of the first book will eagerly devour it. Both Nerd Girls books are great for kids who like Dork Diaries, Popularity Papers, Dear Dumb Diary, and The Snob Squad. Look for A Catastrophe of Nerdish Proportions in bookstores on July 31, 2012.

I received a digital ARC of A Catastrophe of Nerdish Proportions from Disney-Hyperion via NetGalley.

For more about this book, visit Goodreads and Worldcat.

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