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Review: The Boy Problem

April 24, 2015

The Boy Problem

Tabbi Reddy is not looking forward to starting the school year without a boyfriend since all of her friends have one and she doesn’t want to be the third wheel.  She believes in signs that can predict the future and she’s hoping the right one will come along and let her know which guy is right for her.

At the same time, she’s working on a probability project with Priyanka Gupta, the perkiest girl in their class.  Pri loves cupcakes and wants to do their project on them but Tabbi wants to figure out the best place to meet a new boyfriend.

Friendships and boyfriends meet in The Boy Problem (Notes and Predictions of Tabitha Reddy) by Kami Kinard.  Written in a diary format, the book is light and humorous and is sure to appeal to middle grade readers but I had mixed feelings about it.

All Tabbi can think about is who her next boyfriend will be.  She’s smart and has great friends but that’s not enough for her – she feels like she has to have a boyfriend and that bothered me a bit, especially for a character that young.  I also didn’t care for the snarky names Tabbi and her friends had for some of their classmates.

On the plus side, the format was cute and included some practical uses for math.  I also like the fact that Tabbi has some strong female friendships and she and her friends work to raise money for another school.

I suspect middle grade readers will love The Boy Problem and I hope they take away the right messages from it.

kid konnection newI 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.

Review copy provided by Scholastic. I am an Indiebound Affiliate.


14 Comments leave one →
  1. April 24, 2015 9:57 am

    I haven’t read this but agree with your thoughts. I don’t like that so many girls seem to focus on boys instead of enjoying their time in school and their friends. When you get older you (at least I do) wish you were back in school, learning and spending time with my friends.

  2. April 24, 2015 1:00 pm

    Kathy, thanks for sharing your honest review. Middle school is young for “dating”, though many kids do.

  3. April 24, 2015 1:44 pm

    I would definitely be bothered by the issues you mentioned!!!

  4. April 24, 2015 2:18 pm

    Although the format does sound fun, I would definitely not recommend this book to my middler grader or her friends. I work hard to encourage her to treat people with kindness, even when she doesn’t like them. And I especially love that both she and her 15 year old sister are self confident enough that having a boyfriend or not is a low priority! Having boys as friends is great, but they don’t have a lot of patience with whatever it is they call dating these days.

  5. Patty permalink
    April 24, 2015 3:13 pm

    This sounds like a fun MG book!

  6. April 24, 2015 3:33 pm

    I think kids have snarky names for all people in their classes; I know we did as kids. Not as pervasive as it is now with Social media, but you know kids. I’m not sure I’d like the idea that all she thinks about is boyfriends. Perhaps this should not have been the focus…eek.

  7. April 24, 2015 10:12 pm

    I was a little boy crazy back in the day but not sure it started in middle school. Probably not for me.

  8. April 25, 2015 3:04 pm

    I can’t picture a girl that young needing to jump from relationship to relationship. Middle grade to me is more like “puppy love.” It still sounds like it would make for an interesting read.

  9. April 25, 2015 3:07 pm

    Hm, I could do without the snark

  10. April 26, 2015 1:39 am

    This sounds kind of cute, and I hope that the MG readers take the right message from it too.

  11. April 26, 2015 12:06 pm

    My daughter loves books like this one.

  12. April 27, 2015 12:40 am

    I’d have problems with the main character feeling like she has to have a boyfriend, too. I think back to when my daughter was in middle grade and this definitely wouldn’t be her type of book.

  13. April 28, 2015 7:55 pm

    it’s so difficult to find MG books that don’t cross the line with snarkiness and the ones that don’t cross that line ~ do middle graders like those? it’s a difficult problem of which I don’t think there’s an easy solution

  14. bookingmama permalink
    May 12, 2015 7:34 am

    I agree that there seems to be some mixed messages in this one! I bet kids would like it though!

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