I am a nerd. Shocking, I know. I can relate nearly anything to Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, X-Men, or various other staples of nerd culture. I find joy in math, physics, and ancient history. I’ve been playing the tuba since I was twelve. I would rather read than, well, do just about anything else. I’m a librarian, for goodness sake. I embrace my geekdom and all that comes with it, so I was immediately intrigued by the title of my latest read, Into the Wild Nerd Yonder: My Life on the Dork Side. Great title.
Into the Wild Nerd Yonder is essentially about a teen girl who is in denial about becoming a nerd. Jessie is a self-avowed mathlete. (I was on the math team in high school, so I can relate.) She likes to sew and listen to really awesome audio books in her free time. (Some of the books she listens to are Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer and Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin. Excellent choices.) She has all the makings of a true nerd, but her friends and her own ideas about what it means to be cool are holding her back.
Anyway, Jessie’s life is changing in some new and not necessarily pleasant ways. Her best friends, Bizza and Char, have decided to go punk, and Bizza makes an obvious play for the guy Jessie has been crushing on for years. Fast forward through some suitably awkward shenanigans–friendship over. Now Jessie really doesn’t know where she belongs.
In study hall, Jessie becomes friends (sort of against her will) with one of the nerdiest girls in school, Dottie. Dottie definitely marches to the beat of her own accordion. Dottie invites Jessie to join her and her “nerd herd” for some Dungeons and Dragons adventures and to possibly help them make costumes for live role-playing games. Jessie reluctantly agrees but soon becomes a willing participant in these activities considered “geeky” by others (and herself, if truth be told). Can Jessie overcome her preconceived notions about what it means to be a nerd? Will she ever realize that she’s a nerd herself? Embrace the “Dork Side” when you read Julie Halpern’s Into the Wild Nerd Yonder.
This is definitely a light read. It was a perfect start to my spring break! I do so enjoy reading about people who are a lot like me. I, personally, think nerds are awesome and are the most interesting beings on or off the planet. Happy reading, and “May the Force be with you!”