Hi, I'm Mrs. F-B!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

How to Be Popular - Meg Cabot

Well, when one of my favorite authors is about to publish something, I usually know it ahead of time, but this time I was caught by surprise to see a new Meg Cabot title. Apparently, so were other people, because I got it right away from Multnomah County Library. Since it's a Cabot novel, I was prepared to love it, but when I started reading, I wondered if she hadn't headed down the wrong path this time. The story is all about a girl who thinks she wants to be popular and if she is, then everything will just be great. She finds a very old book among one of her best friend's grandmother's things called _How to be Popular_ and she decides this is her chance. And since school is about to start, she'll be a junior this year, she decides this is the time to implement her plan. Of course she can't tell anyone about it, especially her two best friends, so she has to go about everything clandestinely - not always a great idea.

As I thought about this premise, I was really frustrated, because I know there are kids out there who don't feel like they're part of the popular crowd and that they're missing out by not being part of that crowd. Meanwhile, what they're really missing out on is all the fun they could be having with the friends they do have who are really great people. Why is the grass always greener on the other side of the fence? Why do we so often want what we don't have instead of being happy with what we do? Another teacher was just telling me that they read recently about someone who said every month we should have less and be happier. It's a great philosophy, but why is it so difficult to put into practice?

So that's the philosophical rant for today, now back to the book. The good news is, the book Steph found to help her with her plan isn't some book about getting popular by being a mean girl or doing things that take others down (an EIGHT year old little friend of mine recently said that being popular meant you had to be mean, so she wasn't popular!) but really about how if you're a good, kind, and nice person who exhibits leadership characteristics, you'll become popular naturally. And that's what she sets out to do. Mind you, her plan does not go off flawlessly, and she learns several things along the way that make her question her motives, her peers, and herself.

This is a charming, fun and funny book that I would definitely recommend. (And if your mother is expecting a baby, here's another book for you in addition to Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie). I knew Meg Cabot wouldn't let me down!

No comments: