Sunday, August 31, 2008

Getting the Girl--Susan Juby

Sherman Mack is determined to find out what's at the root of the "defiling" that has emotionally destroyed several girls at his high school--before it happens to one of the (many) girls he cares about. As Sherman bumbles through his investigation, he gets himself into some laugh-out-loud unlikely situations, eventually solving the mystery, maybe even getting the girl.

Getting the Girl offers a light read with a serious message about bullying and standing up for your friends. Author Susan Juby uses a young, almost feminine character voice for her male protagonist:
It's my second month at Harewood Technical. Before I came here I was worried about going into ninth grade. High school in general has a reputation for suckage and I had heard that this high school takes the popularity thing to a whole new level.
The plot unfolds more like a farce than realistic fiction. In fact, the whole concept of a boy being concerned about (or even noticing, from the vantage point of middle school) whether high school girls are "defiled" or not is a little iffy. But young teens may relish this topsy-turvy world where the mom is a burlesque dancer, where unpopularity is a mystery to be solved, and where a gawky freshman boy has the guts to invite the school's most popular girls and the star of the lacrosse team to a dinner party...and they show up.

Soundtrack: Girls Talk by Elvis Costello, (but I prefer the cover by Dave Edmunds): Got a loaded imagination being fired by girls talk. Sherman Mack surely does, as does Susan Juby.

Getting the Girl will be released by HarperTeen on September 30.

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