Aaron's Reviews > Into the Wild Nerd Yonder

Into the Wild Nerd Yonder by Julie Halpern
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Nov 03, 10


Jessie Sloan is starting to settle into her sophomore year in high school, and it is going to be one defined by change. Her best friends, Bizza and Char, have opted to go with a new grungy look, and ,to make matters worse, Bizza has set her eyes on Van, a guy Jessie has been crushing on for years. Van is a good friend and bandmate with Jessie's older brother Barrett, who will be heading off to colelge the following year. All of this gets our gal Jessie wondering if she really wants to be friends with Bizza and Char, particularly since she feels like they really only think of themselves.

Jessie start to look around at the other kids at school to see if she might find someone else to hang out. Secretly, she knows that she has an inner geek screaming to come out, but she is not sure that she is willing to face the ostracism that would come along with joining with a group that would be consider nerdy. This really becomes an issue when she starts to talk more and more to Dottie, a classmate in her English class, and she finds they have a lot to talk about. Dottie seems particularly interested in Jessie's skills with sewing her own skirts and she starts to offer an opportunity for Jessie to join her and her friends for weekly Dungeons and Dragons missions on Friday evening. That sounds like the ultimate dorkdom and Jessie, at first, turns down the offer.


After thinking about how much she enjoys the time she spends with Dottie at school, Jessie decides to take a chance and partake of the D&D fun. She has a wonderful time and realizes that this group of friends might be exactly what she was looking for. This is particularly true of Henry, one of the other members of the group. Not only is he cute, but he is really nice. Maybe Dottie and her friends are just what she has been looking for.

Halpern has done a wonderful job in capture the real voices of the kids. Jessie and the rest of the characters remind me so much of the teens I work with every day. The things they do and say are really true to the nature of the age group. Jessie and the stuff she goes through had me a little bit horrified, a lot humored, and often smiling knowingly. I do think that teens will easily connect with Jessie because she is just like so many of them as she navigates the rough seas of cliques and friends.

On an odd aside, I will never look at a Krispy Kreme donut the same way again. He he he! You will have to read to find out why!

I am not sure what the publisher was thinking with the cover since it has that fade, 1970s look that really does nothing to capture the attention of teen readers, but it looks like the paperback cover is much better.
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