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Bobby Vs. Girls (Accidentally)

Review

Bobby Vs. Girls (Accidentally)

written by Lisa Yee, illustrated by Dan Santat

When nine-year-old Bobby Ellis-Chan runs into his friend Holly Harper at Wild Acres Amusement Park during the Labor Day Fiesta, he is excited to see her. But something is different. Holly’s once wild hair is now straight and shiny. And she would rather go clothes shopping with Jillian Zarr than rock hunting with him. What’s up with that?

Bobby’s father is “Freezer” Ellis-Chan, a former linebacker with the Los Angeles Earthquakes pro football team. The “Freezer” is now a stay-at-home dad who is an awful cook and terrible at doing laundry. One thing the “Freezer” is good at is embarrassing Bobby in front of his friends. More than anything, Bobby wants a dog of his own, but because of his asthma, this isn’t possible. After Holly wins a game of Goldfish Toss and gives Bobby her prize, he names his new goldfish Rover. Bobby uses “magic” to teach Rover tricks while wondering why Holly has changed so much.

Fourth grade is another big change. Bobby still enjoys acting silly with his friends, Chess and St. James, but the girls get in the way of the boys having fun. Mrs. Carlson, Bobby’s fourth-grade teacher, is way cooler than his third-grade teacher, who insisted on calling him Robert. Mrs. Carlson lets him go by Bobby, compliments his art work and plans a special field trip for the class.

After an accident on the playground leads to hurt feelings and cross words, Bobby feels bad, but he gets mad when an embarrassing secret is revealed. He doesn’t like being at war with the girls, especially Holly, and he wonders if their friendship will ever be the same.

In BOBBY VS. GIRLS (ACCIDENTALLY), Lisa Yee sweetly and humorously portrays the tender age when opinions of peers shape behavior, when parents change from being heroes to sources of humiliation, and when friendships between boys and girls transform almost overnight. The clever illustrations of Dan Santat complement Yee’s writing and help bring to life the characters and events on the pages. I look forward to reading more about Bobby and Holly as they journey through fourth grade.

Reviewed by Donna Volkenannt on August 1, 2010

Bobby Vs. Girls (Accidentally)
written by Lisa Yee, illustrated by Dan Santat

  • Publication Date: August 1, 2010
  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks
  • ISBN-10: 0545055938
  • ISBN-13: 9780545055932