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Review: Nerd Girls: The Rise of the Dorkasaurus by Alan Lawrence Sitomer

in a sentence or so: three nerdish eight grade girls form an alliance in an attempt to take the highly coveted talent show victory from the popular girls. along the way, they make many discoveries about one another and become true friends.

Maureen, Alice, and Barbara each have their own unique brand of nerd. Maureen's body type is best described as a baked potato and she becomes a youtube sensation when the popular girls record her acting like a complete loon in defense of previously unknown Alice. Alice, who is at the root of Maureen's total humiliation, is allergic to anything and everything. constantly sucking on an inhaler is not exactly breaking down any social barriers for Alice. with Barbara, she's skinny as a rail and clutzy to the extreme. consistently tripping over her own feet, she spends more time saying "no, no, i'm okay!" than breathing.

quite without knowing it...or even wanting it... Maureen finds herself paired up with Allergy Alice and Beanpole Barbara at lunch. apparently, they are friends now, which Maureen finds humiliating. i mean, sure, she's the fat one...but she's not as bad as they are, right? regardless, they stick to her like glue and she's starting to get used to it. maybe, though she would never admit this to either of them, even likes having them around.

the girls bond over putting together a talent show routine to end all talent show routines in hopes of taking the coveted victory away from the Three-Pees. they are so named because they are Pretty, Popular, and Perfect. they are also awful. they constantly find ways to put down the Nerd Girls and generally make everyone else's life a living hell. what better way for the Nerd Girls to get revenge than to take away the one thing the Three-Pees want the most - the eighth grade talent show trophy?

the girls discover more about each other, and themselves, as they put together their routine. they learn about each other's families and that everyone has a reason for who they are, for good or for bad. they find out that they really do need each other and come to rely on each other though all the crap the Three-Pees through at them. they don't think they can change the world for nerd girls everywhere...but they can find the confidence to live their lives the way they want to and be happy while doing so.

Maureen, the narrator, is a snarky little thing and i loved her. her own inner torment kept her authentic and vulnerable to the reader, which helped connect me to the story and the other characters. while i realize that an eight grade talent show is small potatoes, to them it was important. that's something for all of us to remember - especially those of us who spend time with young people. just because it isn't important to you, doesn't mean it isn't important to them.

for a surprisingly deep, funny, and heartwarming middle-grade read about three dorky girls trying to make it the only way they know how, give this one a shot.

fave quote: "I'm not just un-cool; I'm anti-cool. I mean, I even know how to properly use a semicolon in a sentence. What could be more pathetic than that?" (9 | 230 Nook)

fix er up: some of the phrases were already dated, or will be soon. but, perhaps that adds to the allure of the nerdishness.

title: Nerd Girls: The Rise of the Dorkasaurus
author: Alan Lawrence Sitomer
publishing info: 2011, Disney Hyperion Books
genre: Friendship, Contemporary, Middle Grade

[ftc notice: i received a digital galley of an advance review copy through NetGalley with the publisher's permission. i did not receive any compensation for this review.]

Lisa is a gamer, crafter, fangirl, mother, wife and unabashed nerd who is pretty ridiculous and it's best you know that up front. When she's not binge watching Netflix or crafting into the wee hours of the night, you can find her spending a lot of her time on Pinterest and Twitter.


  1. Saw this one on Netgalley and thought it looked cute. May have to read it now...you gotta love a girl who knows her grammar!

  2. This sounds like a very cute read. Will have to check it out. Great review.

  3. seriously, this one was much more fun than i expected! enjoy. :)

  4. while the kids in this picture look to be a little older than my (twin) girls, the two on the right MUST be them. because I KNOW we own those shoes and socks. and I KNOW my girls wear them that way.



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