Popular by Maya Van Wagenen

Popular_comp9.inddGenre: Non-Fiction, Young Adult

Judging the Cover: This cover is adorable, I love the vintage feel, which really goes along with the story.

Plot According to Goodreads: Stuck at the bottom of the social ladder at pretty much the lowest level of people at school who aren’t paid to be here,” Maya Van Wagenen decided to begin a unique social experiment: spend the school year following a 1950s popularity guide, written by former teen model Betty Cornell. Can curlers, girdles, Vaseline, and a strand of pearls help Maya on her quest to be popular?
The real-life results are painful, funny, and include a wonderful and unexpected surprise—meeting and befriending Betty Cornell herself. Told with humor and grace, Maya’s journey offers readers of all ages a thoroughly contemporary example of kindness and self-confidence.

My Thoughts: I really wish this book would have been available in 1994…the 14-year-old me would have loved it. Middle School is an extremely difficult time and acceptance and being liked is so important…

mePopularity was something I always wanted but never achieved. I loved how this book comes to the conclusion that the outward appearance isn’t as important as personality and kindness. There were some great lessons to be learned in the book and it was a lot of fun to read some of the tips from the 50s. Maya was a very determined, driven young lady and I admired her courage (I would never have been able to do most of the things she did when I was in 8th grade).

The story is definitely more geared toward the teenage population…there were some moments that were a bit boring to me. Overall, this was a great book that I am going to encourage my daughter to read when she hits those difficult middle school years.

My Rating: 3/5 stars.

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