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Lula Bell on Geekdom, Freakdom & the Challenges of Bad Hair
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Lula Bell on Geekdom, Freakdom & the Challenges of Bad Hair

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  252 ratings  ·  45 reviews
While Lula Bell Bonner tries desperately to fit in by not standing out, her wise and irrepressible Grandma Bernice says: Let your light shine! It's Grandma Bernice who provides the joy that balances Lula Bell’s difficult school life, but when this balance is upended, when Kali Keele turns up the heat on her cruel teasing, and when the talent show—that she should never have ...more
Hardcover, 276 pages
Published October 2nd 2012 by Two Lions (first published October 1st 2012)
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Average rating 3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  252 ratings  ·  45 reviews

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Start your review of Lula Bell on Geekdom, Freakdom & the Challenges of Bad Hair
Dec 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
Reviews and Geeky Goodness on:

Lula Bell Bonner just wants to fit in. She doesn't want to, as her Grandma Bernice keeps insisting, let her light shine. All she wants to do is be as invisible as possible, to avoid the bullying of once-friend Kali Keele and her entourage, to make it through the Fifth Grade, and not humiliate herself in the talent show, one inconspicuous step at a time. But when she loses her best friend, Lula Bell realizes that maybe playing turtle-po
☆∞Literary Follies∞☆
Jan 05, 2013 rated it really liked it


Make yourself as small as possible
Vegetables are NOT comfort foods
Don’t fit in by standing out
These are a few of the life lessons Lulu Bell has learned to date. Her Grandma Bernice encourages her daily to “Let your light shine”, advice Lula does NOT follow. A typical tween, Lula Bell feels that a bully in the form of an ex friend, a geeky hanger on, and hair that doesn’t curl, are her biggest issues. The book introduces Lula and us to valuable l
Dec 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was a great little book. Easy to read for an adult, and quite relatable for those in the target age range. I would guess that it would be for 4-6 grade based on the age of Lula Bell, as well as the overall message behind the book.
Hoover Public Library Kids and Teens
Plenty of humor, but don't you dare judge this book by its cover! There's a lot of deep-feeling, soul-searching stuff packed into the story too. ...more
Nov 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorite books EVER!
Mar 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
I thought this book had so many wonderful life lessons.
Shivon A.D
The book, Lula Bell on Geekdom, Freakdom & the Challenges of Bad Hair, is about a ten year old girl named Lula Bell who is bullied in school because of her frizzy hair and close relationship with her grandmother. Lula Bell lives with her grandmother, Bernice, and mother because her father is away travelling with his band. At school Lula Bell’s life starts to crumble when she starts getting bullied. Her life takes a dramatic turn when her grandmother passes away leaving Lula Bell alone to figure ...more
Victoria Zieger
Jul 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
This book was pretty cute and the narrator was really good for this one. I think it would be a fun read for young adult readers. It deals with some tough stuff and stays entertaining. There were parts that I felt like the writer really needed to expand on and explore better, but overall, it was an easy summer read!
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book may appear like a ridiculous short tale about a fifth grader, but it's most certainly not in my opinion. It's a great book, and it makes me cry every time I read it. ...more
Diane Harris
Mar 21, 2017 rated it liked it
The author captures the school experience and real life moments to create a story that children everywhere can relate to. A truly great book.
Jaime K
Nov 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Lula Bell is a 10-year-old in 5th grade who is smart, likes tuna…and just wants to fit in.

Her Grandma Bernice (maternal) lives with her family and thinks of ways she would like to die.
Lula's mother takes major umbrage with this.
Lula's father is in a band and often on the road, but is more than happy to make his family smile.

"I think it's nice when a person dies on the same day they were born. It gives the impression that things went exactly as planned--it's just so…elegant." - page 27

I've never
Jan 24, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-w-s-c
I read this book with my nine and eleven year old nieces. I bought a copy for them and for me while it was on sale for $1 on the Amazon kindle store.

The title would lead you to believe that this is a story about fitting in and finding your place in the world. However, this is very much a story of grief and loss. Had I known this, I might not have read it with my nieces or I would have read it with them sooner as they lost their grandmother (my mother) just over a year ago and their uncle (my br
Megan (The Book Babe)
Other reviews at The Book Babe's Reads.

Due to copy and paste, formatting has been lost.

Lula Bell was exactly what I expected as a MG contemporary-- a sweet, younger girl who's going through some issues but is soldiering on. Lula Bell was an awesome main character perfectly innocent and nice enough to imagine her well. I think I was a bit like her, honestly. But I didn't have the grandma that she has-- Grandma Bernice was my favorite part. She was so wacky and out there, but she also had some hon
Apr 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
Lula Bell is a fifth grader who is just trying to be invisible at school. She stays quiet as can be while on the school bus, and tries to wear what all the other girls are wearing just so she can blend in and NOT be noticed. This is all because of Kali Keele, a former friend who now just finds every opportunity to taunt and make fun of Lula Bell. Kali is the ultimate bully--she says mean things to Lula Bell and gets the other kids to join her. For Lula Bell, the best part to everyday is coming h ...more
Apr 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fourth Graders
Shelves: ebook
I read "Lula Bell on Geekdom, Freakdom, & the Challenges of Bad Hair" solely based on the amazing title (come on, you were just thinking what an amazing title it is, weren't you?). It turns out that it's a bit younger than what I usually read, this title is perfect for pre-teens, but why not try out something new?

Lula Bell Bonner just wants to fit in with girls in her 5th grade class. There's nothing Lala Bell can do to win over Kali Keeles, the class bully and leader of all the girls in Lula Be
Oh, Lula Bell. I love you, but I am a bit peeved too, because I know that after reading you I am going to start reading a bunch of Juvenile fiction again, even though I had previously stopped reading this genre, because you have showed me that not all books in the juvenile genre are babyish.

You see, people, Lula Bell is undoubtedly middle grade. But it isn't a book that only middle schoolers can enjoy. There are many people who could read and be truly delighted with this book:

Jun 23, 2014 rated it really liked it

Lula Bell just wants to make it through the fifth grade. She is doing everything that she can to stay out of the way even though her Grandma wants her to shine brightly. Unfortunately, an old friend turned enemy, doesn't want to let Lula Bell slide by unnoticed. Then an unexpected tragedy happens that forces Lula to reevaluate her presence in the school. Should she really try to get by without being noticed or should she start to follow her grandmothers advice?

My thoughts:
I really enjoye
Emily Morris
Oct 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
It has been some time since a book has managed to pull me completely back to a long-ago age, and this one celebrates all the ups and downs of those 5th grade memories. Lula Bell is a heroine of all awkwardness and uncoolness, a girl struggling with her identity as she attempts to fit into the cool crowd and deal with her beloved grandmother's death.

I began this expecting a run-of-the-mill story, but while this had all the best themes of these types of books it also had a little something extra i
Deborah Elliott
Feb 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book begins slow but picks up in a hurry.
Mar 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
I wasn't really in the mood for a tween book, but something about this one struck my fancy. Maybe it was knowing that the author was from Kentucky. Maybe it was the lead character being named "Lula Bell". Whatever it was, I'm really glad I gave it a shot.

Loved Lula Bell pretty much from the word go, and this made me think back to my own fifth grade/getting ready to go into middle school years. She was a great storyteller, and I was right there with her the whole time, through the laughter and s
Apr 06, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: library, children, cfya-4
i don't really know what to say I pick it up as a recommendation for a challenge. It was not bad but I am not amazed either. I guess it is just because of a string of okay book I want something to amaze and awe me right now.

I was a book of a girl who does not fit in, even though she has great talents and good friend add in a grandmother who keep telling her to let her little shine. We learn about how the popular girls make fun of her and how she is trying to get through the sixth grade. Not to
Heather Williams
If you have ever lost a loved one this book will be difficult to read without at least tearing up. This is a clean, honest YA book about a fifth grade girl going through trials and tribulations while trying to come to terms with who she is and how to leave the world a nicer place - through music, forgiveness, and general good deeds... no matter how much you DON'T want to do them. The show must go on!

I think the funniest quote from this book is, "Once a person puts on leopard print, the question
May 06, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: children
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Lula Bell has to deal with bullies, the challenges of fifth grade, preparing for a talent show, and putting up with geeky, nerdy Alan, but the hardest thing was coping with the death of her best friend...crazy, wacky Grandma Bernice. Bernice always told Lula Bell to let her light shine, but the sorrow and guilt she feels when Grandma leaves this earth, is almost too much to bear.

With the help of Alan, her teachers, her parents, and a little guiding light, she is able to come to terms with her lo
May 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: age-9-12
The title drew me in and I thought this would be a funny book. It's more than that. There is heart. I teared up a few times on the sad moments. I could relate with Lula when a dear love one past away. Lula has so much to learn and it's good to learn who are true friends are. Even thought she didn't have to be kind to a bully, Kali, who used to be a friend of hers when they were young kids, Lula showed a kind side. She gave a gift to Kali who needed it the most. It's so easy to be mean to someone ...more
Tj Shay
Jan 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is the best example of "do not judge a book by its cover." This is a wonderful "coming of age" story that has lessons for everyone. Looking at the cover might make you think differently.
Lula Bell is a kid like any kid with challenges. She is embraced by her grandmother. but not her classmates. During her journey there is loss and friendship and growth.

C.C. Payne is absolutely an amazing storyteller. I love her voice as it spins out this remarkable tale. You laugh, you cry, you feel like you
Erin Jones
Mar 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pure-fiction
I'm not sure who this book was intended for. When I read the excerpt on Amazon, it reminded me of Chelsea Handler's books of childhood flashbacks. So I bought it. Little did I realize that the entire book was from the point of view of a 5th grader. Not that it was bad... it was quite good and funny and an interesting read.

I just definitely think this is for a middle-school aged girl. I'm not sad that I read it. It just wasn't what I was hoping for.
E. G.
Jun 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
I like this author. Cate and I read this together after loving Payne's "Something to Sing About" (which I liked better, actually). This novel addresses everyday middle-school issues like feeling awkward and trying to fit in with the "popular" crowd, but also deals with heavier themes such as bullying and death. Ultimately though, the author shows the importance of being true to yourself and not trying to pretend to be something (or someone) you're not. ...more
Lula Bell is a quirky, smart and funny ten-year-old girl, but she has one big problem - she wants to be popular!

This book is one of the most beautifully written juvenile fictions I have ever read. It is so funny. Boy, do I love Allan and his hair! And also a bit heartbreaking. I had such a great time reading this book.
Lori Hannon-theaker
Feb 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was a fantastic book! Lula Bell has her issues, as all 5th grade girls do: the boy that likes her, but he has that HAIR, the mean girl on the bus, and embarrassing grown-ups. But with a little help from her Grandma Bernice, the unwavering friendship of that boy and some perseverance, Lula Bell overcomes some typical childhood obstacles and ends up shining!
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C. C. Payne was born and raised in Lexington, Kentucky, by a family chock-full of superb storytellers: readers, writers, teachers, librarians and lawyers – yes, Payne insists that any lawyer worth his salt knows how to tell a good, persuasive story! Growing up,she says, all kinds of stories were used, to quiet, to entertain, and to teach life lessons, but all stories worked to instill a love of th ...more

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“You’ve got to be willin’ to let your light shine no matter who’s watchin’—if you let your light shine, then others will feel better about letting their lights shine, and we all have a light in us that wants to shine, that’s meant to shine. You understand?” 2 likes
“You only did it once,” Grandma said, “because somebody took the time to teach you that throwing a hissy fit wouldn’t get you what you wanted in life—everybody has to learn that at some point.” 1 likes
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