Friday, May 4, 2012

Getting the Girl: A Guide to Private Investigation, Surveillance, and Cookery

Getting the Girl: A Guide to Private Investigation, Surveillance, and Cookery
Susan Juby
$17.99, Hardcover
Harper Teen, 2008
January 11th, 2012

Genre: School Story, Realistic, Mystery, Humor
Age: 13+
Description: Sherman Mack is now a freshman at Harewood Tech. He likes girls, cooking, detective stories, and sophomore Dini Trioli. One tradition at the school makes him sick to his stomach though—the Defiled—when a girl’s picture goes up in the boys’ bathrooms with a “D” written on it in bold black ink—a social stamp of death for a girl’s reputation. Defiling literally ruins girls’ lives. When Dini starts dating a popular jock whose last girlfriend was Defiled, Sherman begins to worry for her and decides to investigate the system in hopes of exposing who is doing it and saving future girls from the worry of becoming a Defiled.
Opinion: This was a hilarious book with a serious message too. While very large (330+ pages), it moved fast! Juby has a knack for boys’ voices. Sherman loves the ladies but honestly, like most young boys, doesn’t understand a thing about them. He has a fun, nerdy, self-depreciating tone about his life. It is a hilarious book that would appeal to both guys and girls. There is some mild language though so it is not for younger tweens. There is also a party scene with alcohol use. The chapters are short which help with the pacing. In the end, Sherman decides to go all Hercule Poirot on his suspects—with his final cooking class project being a huge dinner party that he invites his friends, the Defiled, and his suspects too in order to bring the Defilers to light. It also gives a very powerful message about the dangerous states of societal hierarchy in schools and how such behavior can ruin lives.

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