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How Not to be Popular Reading Map

This is a whole collection reader's advisory tool for teens. Looking at fashion, bullying, making friends.

Joanna Nelson

on 16 January 2014

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Transcript of How Not to be Popular Reading Map

How Not to
be Popular

by Jennifer Ziegler
Jennifer is a writer, speaker, mother, spicy food lover, movie buff, and fan of all things wacky-yet-real. She is inspired by “Practically everything. Some ideas come from my own experiences, or those of close friends or relatives. Some come from items I’ve read in the newspaper. Some even come from dreams. Then there are times when I’m in a situation and think, “What if x had happened instead of y?””
Teen Chic Lit is more complicated than you’d think! While it can be quite fun and light hearted, they do deal with difficult issues that come while growing up that first boyfriend, frenemies, sports, or finding their passion. These books show teens that it is okay to: “be goofy, clumsy or, better yet, witty” (Alderdice)! You’ll find a lot of fun books for teen girls in this genre. Have fun exploring!
Teen Chick Lit
Pink Covers
Boys! (yikes!)
Fabulous Friends
Tip 8: "Boyfriends are strictly forbidden.
If you find yourself accidentally out on a date,
sabotage it with all your might. If all else fails, show pictures of your bare butt." (page 189)
Tip 2: "In order to be unpopular, you must look the part. Remember four words: "plastic flowered swim cap."" (page 37)
"Zippy and full of wit, Ziegler’s work is engaging, touching, and full of laughs." - Rob Thomas, author of Rat Saw God and creator of Veronica Mars
“Maggie and Jack’s relationship rings true, adding an irresistible sincerity to both characters that allows Maggie’s self-discovery and growth to unfold naturally. Thoughtful and fun.”—Kirkus Reviews
Growing up with roving, hippie parents, Sugar Magnolia Dempsey (Maggie) has never lived in one place for more than eight months. She's tired of leaving friends (and boyfriends) behind, so when her parents announce another move, this time to Austin, Texas, she vows to dodge heartbreak: If no one likes me and I don't like anyone, then I won't have anyone to lose. Reversing her usual tactics to join the in crowd, she begins Operation Avoid Friends, wearing bizarre outfits culled from her dad's resale shop and joining Helping Hands, a good-works club that attracts well-intentioned nerds. Ziegler brings a fresh, comedic sensibility to a familiar story of clique warfare and self-discovery by using unforgettable supporting characters and Maggie's first-person narration, which balances laugh-out-loud, sardonic commentary with earnest reflections that will directly connect with teens. Suggest this high-spirited, original twist on chick-lit formula romance to fans of Dyan Sheldon's Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen (1999) and Jaclyn Moriarty's The Year of Secret Assignments (2004).--Engberg, Gillian Copyright 2008 Booklist
Gr 9 Up-Smarting from her recent breakup and on the road to Austin, TX, with her hippie parents who have decided, yet again, to relocate, Sugar Magnolia-known as Maggie-crafts an extreme plan to avoid emotional pain the next time she has to move. Instead of endearing herself to the local popular clique-a technique she has perfected as part of her family's vagabond lifestyle-she decides to shun friendship and popularity in her new town. To that end, she comes to school in bizarre castoffs from her parents' thrift shop and forges a casual relationship with a group of school outcasts. When the success of a group project leads the teen to recognize her growing feelings of warmth toward those misfits, she has to decide whether or not to make a dramatic statement equivalent to social suicide. Ziegler's novel is fun but somewhat fantastic and concludes with a rather made-for-TV-movie school assembly scene. The book has heart, however, and clichi set pieces aside (Maggie's antifashion statements become school-wide trends and her success leads to the takedown of the queen bee cheerleader), it has a sweet story of friendship at its core. A low current of romance hums beneath the surface; that Ziegler's story does not conclude with a pat resolution of this tension adds an element of realism.-Amy S. Pattee, Simmons College, Boston (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
It's serious.
Let's talk &
read about it.
Resources that the library recommends about fashion and bullying. These will help with further understanding the topics.
Like us on Facebook
Tip 5: "You must worship all that is totally and tragically unhip. Disco is not dead." (page 101).
& TV

Created by Joanna Nelson, Teen Services Outreach Coordinator for Pikes Peak Library District
Citation Info
Fun movies about friendship and fashion!
Library Resources
Dig In!
Tip 1: "Popular girls never go anywhere by themselves. Thus, it must also stand to reason that the unpopular are always alone." (page 12)
It's hard to do,
but worth it!
Good Friends

Tip 3: "Only popular people join popular clubs.
And...it always helps to be seen
lugging around foliage." (page, 63)
Fashion Fiction
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Full transcript