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Sunday, October 4, 2009

Deep Down Popular by Phoebe Stone

It’s Deep Down Delightful.

Here’s a refreshing, recent novel appropriate to tweens and a rollicking good story to boot.

Jessie Lou loves Conrad-Parker Smith with all the strong emotions of a fifth grader. Except, now she’s too grown up to tackle him and kiss him like she did in second grade.

Besides, that wouldn’t work so well now that Conrad’s a magnificent star of shining popularity and Jessie Lou is the polar-opposite. When you crop your hair down to spiky tufts in a tomboyish rebellion, you’re not going to win popularity points at Jessie’s school.

But then… Conrad’s sports prowess is suddenly hampered by a limp that results in a leg brace, and the popularity fades with typical fifth-grade fickleness. A window of opportunity opens for Jessie Lou and Conrad to become friends.

The wonder of this new friendship is threatened when Conrad undergoes an experimental operation that may result in his return to popularity and exit from Jessie Lou’s world.

One teaching moment occurs when Jessie Lou gladly lets her sister recite a poem she wrote in a beauty pageant. Her sister claimed it as her own with the knowledge of the Jessie’s mom and Grandpa. There was never a discussion of the ethics or consequences involved. (Since her sister lost the pageant, that issue just faded away.)

Also, Jessie Lou lives with her mom and Grandpa (a delightful old character), and no mention of her father is ever made one way or another. It’s rather odd for a girl entering junior high to have accepted her Grandfather in a father’s role with no apparent interest or sense of loss regarding her father.

(Hat-tip to Ranee for another great recommendation!)

SAFETY RATING: 3 Flags

4 comments:

Tween Lit Crit October 15, 2009 at 10:15 PM  

I'm not aware of a sequel, but this is the 3rd book this author has written, so there are certainly other books in her repertoire...

Anonymous,  November 22, 2009 at 6:48 PM  

i love the book it is soooooooo good

Anonymous,  March 30, 2010 at 2:49 PM  

This book was sooo gud I luved it!!!!!

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