A Memoir : Vintage Wisdom for A Modern Geek

Book - 2014
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2015 YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction
New York Times Bestseller

A breakout teen author explores the true meaning of popularity and how to survive middle school in this hysterically funny, touchingly honest contemporary memoir.

"I was inspired by [Maya's] journey and made a point of saving a copy of 'Popular' for my sister, who starts middle school this fall. Maybe if I had read it when I was her age, it could have saved me from a world of hurt, or at least put that world in perspective." --Maude Apatow, New York Times Book Review

Can curlers, girdles, Vaseline, and a strand of pearls help a shy girl become popular?
Maya Van Wagenen is about to find out.

Stuck near the bottom of the social ladder at "pretty much the lowest level of people at school who aren't paid to be here," Maya has never been popular. But before starting eighth grade, she decides to begin a unique social experiment: spend the school year following a 1950s popularity guide, written by former teen model Betty Cornell.

The real-life results are hilarious, painful, and filled with unexpected surprises. Told with humor and grace, Maya's journey offers readers of all ages a thoroughly contemporary example of kindness and self-confidence, along with a better understanding of what it means to be popular.
Publisher: New York : Dutton Books, c2014.
ISBN: 9780525426813
Characteristics: 259 p. :,ill. (some col.)


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AL_JENNY Apr 12, 2017

A great story about the meaning of being "popular". Both adults and teenagers will be inspired by Maya's story.

Jul 27, 2016

The most amazing non-fiction book I have ever read! I don't typically like non-fiction books but this was super moving and inspirational. It reads like a fiction book, but the fact that it is a true story makes it even more amazing. I think every middle school girl should read this book. Nothing but good things to say about this book!

Dec 03, 2014

Just as she's beginning eighth grade, Maya discovers a copy of a 1950s popularity guide in a storage box. Finding her own social status to be lacking, she vows to devote each month of the new school year to a chapter from the book, wholeheartedly following its advice, and then assess whether her popularity is changing. 'Popular' is a quick, charming read. Maya's youth and inexperience in writing show through occasionally, but are easily forgiven as she candidly describes her peers' reactions when she arrives at school one morning wearing a full-length skirt and pearls. Her parents are almost unbelievably supportive, and one scene with her father had me laughing out loud (a rarity). I admired Maya's courage and gumption; to do what she did took some serious guts, more than I ever had at that age.

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Jul 27, 2016

pink_panther_225 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

Jul 13, 2014

blue_rat_58 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 10 and 99


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