Review: Deep Down Popular
Sixth-grader Jessie Lou Ferguson has always liked Conrad Parker Smith but he’s so popular she figures he’d never give her the time of day. When Conrad comes to school wearing a leg brace, their teacher asks Jessie Lou to help him. She’s nervous at first but they quickly strike up a friendship. Now Jessie Lou doesn’t know what to think – will this friendship last only as long as the leg brace or can someone popular like Conrad really be friends with a girl like her?
I thought Deep Down Popular by Phoebe Stone was a delightful book! It’s told from the perspective of Jessie Lou, a tomboy who lives with her grandfather, mother, and sister. She’s a good kid but generally stays in the background. That doesn’t mean she’s not taking in everything that goes on around her, though. She’s thoughtful and caring but is worried about her future with Conrad.
I loved most of the characters in this book. Jessie Lou is sweet and quirky. Her grandfather is quite a character – he’s doing what he can to fight the big box store that is opening in their small town. Jessie’s friends Conrad and Quentin are great characters, too. When she gets to know them, Jessie comes to realize they’re not all that different than she is. Getting to know them helps her appreciate herself more as the year progresses.
I think Deep Down Popular is a terrific book for middle grade readers and have a feeling it will appeal to girls more than boys. It’s sweet and funny and has a great message and I do recommend it.
I will link this up to Booking Mama’s Saturday feature, Kid Konnection. If you’d like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children’s books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, leave a comment as well as a link on her site tomorrow.