Thursday, January 03, 2013

YA Book Review with Supplemental Printable!

Hello to all of you! I am fortunate enough to have Carolyn Wilhelm, The Wise Owl Factory Book-a-Day Blog & owner of Connect-a-Blog, guest post today to tell you about a young adult novel she recently read! 

A Catastrophe of Nerdish Proportions (The Nerd Girls #2 by  by Alan Lawrence Sitomer) is a humorous book that will definitely appeal to middle and secondary school students. While there is much fun and adventure, the life lessons addressed are clear and valuable. The outlandish events are not intended to inspire readers to commit similar crimes, but to learn from the "what if" possibilities of fighting between nerds and popular girls  The ending is not perfect and everyone doesn't become friends, but everything works out well enough to cause YA readers to think about what is really best in life. 

The Nerd Girls come out ahead but not in the way you might expect. The descriptions of the scholastic competition are so very true to life, and I say that as a former teacher of gifted/talented classes and academic coach. Situations like in the book really do happen and there are frustrations in academic competitions just like in sports. The humor will catch the attention of students and the story is far from preachy.

There are two groups of three girls in this sequel to Nerd Girls Book I: The Rise of the Dorkasaurus. The ThreePeas are lovely to look at but not very nice people!  The Nerd Girls have some physical or personality flaws, so most readers can relate to them.  In the end, one of the ThreePeas joins the Nerds for all the right reasons, and the two remaining Peas still have miserable personalities.  Usually three friends do not work well together, but in the two cases in the book they do for most of the story.  One Nerd girl is struggling for independence from her overly concerned mother, one has a father reappear after years of being divorced from her mother and absent from the family, and one has Mrs. Department Store mom who overdoes the homemaker role.  These six girls are put together on an academic team to be forced to work together and get along, which makes the story captivating.  

That is all I can write without giving too much of a spoiler!  I will just say your students will want to read the book, and you might find it interesting yourself.  I will say there is a tiny bit of romance (enough to keep the attention of readers) but no kissing and all.  I always liked books like that as a teacher, and I avoided "mature" books in the classroom.

The author is an amazing teacher who has won many awards and is a speaker at many well known conferences.  He was California teacher of the year.  On his web site, he has many FREE lessons called SAT Essay Prep.  It isn't easy to see at first, so go to this link, and look on the right and lower side bar and you will see a list of free materials provided by the author.  He created the free materials to offer more equity in education. What a guy!  And, he can write from the viewpoint of a teen girl!
Check out his novel here on Goodreads!

Here is my free PDFwork page for A Catastrophe of Nerdish Proportion(The Nerd Girls #2 by  by Alan Lawrence Sitomer). Students will have to read the book to answer the questions!
YA Book Review by Carolyn Wilhelm of Book-a-Day Blog on Innovative Connections
Carolyn Wilhelm

The Wise Owl Factory

Thanks so much to Carolyn for providing your free PDF work page and for sharing her thoughts on the novel. 
Connect-a-Blog K-12As a contributing author to Carolyn's Connect-a-Blog (A collaborative teacher blog K-12), I encourage you to visit and see all it has to offer!
If you are interested in purchasing this book, you can find it here:

I hope you take a second to let us know if you have read this book or the first book; please feel free to tell us your thoughts about either one or both! 
Be well,
A. Smith


  1. Thank you, Innovative Connections, for allowing me to guest post today! Carolyn

    1. I'm always thrilled for you to post here! You share such great stuff!!! Love your ideas, resources, and creativity!

  2. Sounds like a great book! I am going to have to check it out :) Thank you for sharing Carolyn

    Teaching in Room 6

  3. Looks like a super cute book - love the title! Thanks for sharing.

    Addie Education - Teacher Talk


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