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Into the Wild Nerd Yonder
Synopses & Reviews
Its Jessies sophomore year of high school. A self-professed “mathelete,” she isnt sure where she belongs. Her two best friends have transformed themselves into punks and one of them is going after her longtime crush. Her beloved older brother will soon leave for college (and in the meantime has shaved his mohawk and started dating . . . the prom princess!) . . .
Things are changing fast. Jessie needs new friends. And her quest is a hilarious tour through high-school clique-dom, with a surprising stop along the way—the Dungeons and Dragons crowd, who out-nerd everyone. Will hanging out with them make her a nerd, too? And could she really be crushing on a guy with too-short pants and too-white gym shoes?
If you go into the wild nerd yonder, can you ever come back?
"Sophomore Jessie Sloan is having a bad year. Her two closest friends are turning punk and boy-crazed; one of them even pursues Jessie's longtime crush. To make matters worse, Jessie's beloved older brother will soon be leaving for college. Jessie feels adrift and spends her time sewing skirts and listening to audiobooks. Halpern's (Get Well Soon) story picks up pace when class nerd Dottie introduces Jessie to Dungeons and Dragons, which Jessie (to her surprise) actually enjoys, leading her to a new group of friends as well as a heartfelt, if a little clichd, crush on a cute boy with his own nerdish tendencies. Jessie is a thoughtful, sympathetic narrator ('How is it that someone becomes a dork?... What makes some people like punk music and Denny's and other people like costumes and Dungeons and Dragons?'), and her fresh voice will reveal to readers just how independent and exceptional she is (even when Jessie can't see it herself). The relationships and dialogue ring true; readers navigating the stratified social structures of high school will relish an ending that celebrates true friendship. Ages 12 — up." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
When high school sophomore Jessie's long-term best friend transforms herself into a punk and goes after Jessie's would-be boyfriend, Jessie decides to visit "the wild nerd yonder" and seek true friends among classmates who play Dungeons and Dragons.
While looking for new friends, Jessies surprised to find the D&D crowd might be just what she needs.
Punks, Poseurs, and Pervs—Just Another Day at High School
Jessie is so excited to start her sophomore year of high school, with her carefully planned outfits and her ample stash of school supplies. But things take an unexpected turn when everyone in her life changes. Her two best friends have gone poseur-punk and are both flirting with her longtime crush. Her beloved older brother is about to go off to college—and he shaved his Mohawk and started dating the homecoming queen. Jessie is suddenly clique-less. When she starts chatting up a girl in homeroom, shes surprised by an invite to join the Dungeons and Dragons crowd! Will hanging out with them make her a nerd? And when she sees how cute one of their members is, does it really matter?
About the Author
JULIE HALPERN is the author of Get Well Soon and the picture book Toby and the Snowflakes, illustrated by her husband, Matthew Cordell. She lives with Matthew, their daughter, and their large Siamese cat in suburban Chicago. By day Julie works as a middle-school librarian. You can visit her on the web at www.juliehalpern.com.
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