The Boy Project by Kami Kinard

Kara McAllister has a problem. Already in the eighth grade, and she’s never had a boyfriend. Most other girls in Kara’s school have boyfriends–why shouldn’t Kara? How can Kara snag herself a boyfriend? She launches an ingenious research project—The Boy Projectto answer all her burning guy-related questions.

Using her middle school science fair as a cover, Kara puts together a notebook full of notes, graphs, and observations on the opposite sex. But after all that scientific research, one question still remains: will Kara ever get boyfriend?

Reading The Boy Project is like reading a run-on text from a bubbly best friend. Not in the, “hi, I lik 2 tpe lik dis” sense. More in the uplifting and easy to get caught up in sense.  Kara’s humor and hyper thoughts make her an easily likeable character, as does her clueless naivety. At one point, Kara decides her soul mate is an Abercrombie employee because he smiles at her. Poor little Kara. So much to learn.

The only thing that bothers me about The Boy Project is . . . err . . . the subject of The Boy Project: eighth grade boyfriends. I don’t want to be like one of those people who say Twilight makes feeble-minded and impressionable thirteen-year-old girls everywhere go out and get into relationships with sparkly, possibly psychopathic boyfriends. But—sorry about this—isn’t the middle grade audience intended (around sixth grade) going to feel a bit boy-pressured? A year ago, when I was in middle school, almost no one had a boyfriend. Only a few Maybellines (“popular” children) and Vines (clingy, eyeliner-wearing children) bothered to. Middle school feels way too early to start obsessing over boys. I know that it’s probably a non-issue. Middle grade readers should be smart enough to tell a fun, light-hearted read from something to actually take seriously—but it did give me a moment’s pause.

The Boy Project gets four and a half figstars!

 

There is only one thing Bethany can say about herself with the utmost certainty: her name is Bethany. The rest of her is better off described from the viewpoint of her friends/close enemies, who would probably say she’s weird, a proud bookaholic, a kick-butt black belt, and a photographer. Well, hopefully they would say that. Probably they would mostly emphasize the weirdness (of which there is plenty). She owns a regular book review blog at http://owlreviewabook.blogspot.com/.

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