Title: Bobby vs. Girls (Accidentally)
Author: Lisa Yee
Illustrator: Dan Santat
ISBN: 9780545055925
Pages: 170 pages
Publisher/Date: Arthur A. Levine Books, c2009.

“When we go to the Arroyo Seco tomorrow, let’s look for roocks with funny shapes.”
Holly hesitated. “Um, I can’t go tomorrow.”
“But we always go rock hunting the day before school starts,” Bobby reminded her.
“I know,” Holly said, refusing to meet his gaze. “But, well, I forgot and promised Jillian I’d go shopping with her. . . .” Her voice trailed off for a moment. “I know! We can go rock hunting next weekend.”
Bobby shook his head. “It wouldn’t be the same.”
There was an awkward silence as Holly studied the rock and Bobby studied her. He didn’t like it that she looked sad, but he also didn’t like it that she had forgotten about their tradition. Something about Holly was different. It wasn’t her freckles, which looked the same. He had always admired Holly’s freckles. One time she even let him do a dot-to-dot on her face with a marker. (They both got in big trouble for that one.) But there was something else. . . . (7)

This is where it all started; when Holly forgot about Bobby and went shopping with Jillian Zarr, who can’t even remember Bobby’s name and generally ignores boys. Holly and Bobby used to be public best friends, but now they are only best friends outside of school where they can’t be teased by their fourth grade classmates. When Holly starts hanging out with Jillian though, things turn ugly and the two friends get into a big fight. Soon, they are running against one another for Student Council representative. How will this war between the boys and girls end? Find out.

This was a surprisingly touching tale about peer pressure and relationships. Readers will be pulled into Bobby’s life as he tries to navigate the fourth grade. The novel also includes a side story about Bobby’s attempts to train his goldfish to do tricks because his asthma prevents him from getting a dog. His struggles are mostly highly relatable to young readers, although his getting stuck to a tree might be a stretch. The emotional ending caught me slightly off guard, but the resolution works.

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