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|Popularity papers : research for the social improvement and general betterment of Lydia Goldblatt & Julie Graham-Chang|
Author: Ignatow, Amy
In a scrapbook format, two best friends study the popular girls at their elementary school so that when they get to middle school they too will be in the right crowd.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.00
Points: 2.0 Quiz: 137908
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 4.50
Points: 7.0 Quiz: 49603
Booklist - 03/01/2010 Before they leave elementary school behind, two fifth-grade best friends are determined to uncover the secrets of popularity by observing, recording, discussing, and replicating the behaviors of the cool girls, because when you’re popular, “You are just better.” In a notebook format, this heavily illustrated title shows their research in dramatic, alternating, handwritten entries and colorful, hilarious drawings. Lydia lives with her single mom and pseudo-goth older sister; Julie lives with her two dads. All the girls' family members play big roles in the process, which lasts the whole school year and realistically includes instances in which the girls misjudge and misunderstand themselves and others. Their experiences may be typically tween (boys, cell phones, camping trips, and school musicals), but their reactions to them are laugh-out-loud funny and definitely on par with, though much more feminine than, Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. Ignatow offers a quick, fun, well-developed story that invites repeated readings. - Copyright 2010 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 04/01/2010 Gr 4–6— Fifth-graders Lydia and Julie, best friends, decide to observe "the popular girls" at their school in preparation for junior high. Julie, who lives with her two dads, loves to draw, and Lydia, who lives with her mom and sister, loves to sing. In this Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Abrams, 2007) for girls, the story is told entirely in full-color drawings and in each girl's individual handwriting as they pass their notebook back and forth to record their observations. Of course, things don't go as planned—though the girls' quest for popularity leads them to new hobbies and new friends, it also challenges their own friendship. This entertaining look at the social hierarchy of preteens and the challenges of growing up will entice even the most reluctant readers.—Laurie Slagenwhite, Baldwin Public Library, Birmingham, MI - Copyright 2010 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 05/01/2010 Lydia and Julie, BFFs since birth, are now preparing to enter junior high, and they’re on a mission to become popular. First, however, they have to determine exactly how popularity is achieved, so they decide to approach the matter as any good scientist would: observe those creatures already at the height of popularity and apply said observations to themselves, in the hopes of cracking into that mysterious world of junior-high stardom. The two record their observations and the often spectacularly unsuccessful outcomes of their various social experiments in a scrapbook-like journal, complete with notes passed at school, lists of projected popularity goals, and credibly goofy and kidlike drawings. The story here is fairly familiar: the girls fail miserably at their first attempts at the A-list (Lydia’s hair falls out after a botched dye job, among other disasters) but eventually find acceptance in the upper echelon, only to learn the valuable lesson that it’s the people you’re most comfortable around who make the best friends. The diary format, however, adds an extra dimension of funny, and as in Jeff Kinney’s Wimpy Kid series about Greg Heffley (starting with Diary of a Wimpy Kid, BCCB 6/07), it allows Julie and Lydia to come alive through their witty dialogue, their perceptive commentary, and even their characteristic handwriting. Secondary characters shine as well, particularly Julie’s embarrassing but ultimately charming two dads, along with Lydia’s goth-punk sister, a font of random quips and junior-high wisdom. The popular kids end up being far from perfect and each has issues of her own to contend with, making the actual friendships that form among the girls all the more endearing. Those waiting for the next installment of Greg Heffley’s adventures will be well served by this amusing experiment in sixth-grade celebrity. KQG - Copyright 2010 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.