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Babe in Boyland Paperback – February 16, 2012

46 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up-Girls dressing up as boys are a staple of Shakespeare and teen historical fiction. The device works in this likable modern comedy even though it sometimes strains readers' suspension of disbelief. Seventeen-year-old Natalie Rowan writes an advice column about relationships for her school paper. While "Dr. Aphrodite" is wildly popular, she's accused of only supporting the girls' points of view and telling them what they want to hear. When she learns about the Story of the Year Award for investigative reporting, she decides to go undercover as "Nat" at a local boys' academy for a week to discover how the other half thinks. She hits bottom socially but, after she's discovered cavorting with her two girl friends in a theater storage room, she's considered a "player." Meanwhile, she falls for her roommate, Emilio, a sensitive guy who opens up to her thinking she's a he. The plotline gets more absurd as Emilio sets Nat up with his sister. Natalie is unmasked by a theater rival whom she upstages while appearing as herself and pretending to be Nat's cousin. At first, Emilio is unforgiving but all's well that ends well. Natalie flubs up so much as a boy, it's hard to imagine that she doesn't get caught earlier. She endures plenty of guy nudity and grossness as well. The conclusions she draws in her article are thought-provoking but heavy-handed. Natalie and Emilio are well-rounded, appealing characters, and this book will challenge girls' perceptions about the opposite sex even as they enjoy a quick humorous read.-Tina Zubak, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Jody Gehrman is a Betty of all trades. She writes novels for adults, is a playwright, an actress, and a singer-songwriter. This is her first foray into young adult literature. She lives in Potter Valley, California.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Speak; Reprint edition (February 16, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142420840
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142420843
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,132,995 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jody Gehrman is a native of Northern California, where she can be found writing, teaching, reading, or obsessing over her three cats most days. She is also the author of ten novels and numerous award-winning plays. Her Young Adult novels include The Truth About Jack, Audrey's Guide to Black Magic, Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft, Babe in Boyland, Confessions of a Triple Shot Betty, and Triple Shot Bettys in Love. Babe in Boyland was optioned by the Disney Channel and won the International Reading Association's Teen Choice Award. Her adult novels are Bombshell, Notes from the Backseat, Tart, and Summer in the Land of Skin. Her plays have been produced in Ashland, New York, San Francisco, Chicago and L.A. She and her partner David Wolf won the New Generation Playwrights Award for their one-act, Jake Savage, Jungle P.I. She is a professor of English and Communication Studies at Mendocino College.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Celeste576012 on February 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I LOVED this book, but I was unsure of how to rate it, so I settled for a common ground.

I got to admit I regularly don't read books like these, mostly because I feel I've read my fair share of them. And when I mean this kind, I mean the fluffy, high school books. But I felt I understood Natalie from the start because I sometimes questioned myself the same things she did & felt similarly like her. I obviously never went to the same extent as she for I barely survived the questioning part.

Regardless of all that, I must admit I loved the story. It was incredibly clichéish & silly at times, but it was fun to read about. Jody Gehrman took a cliché, gave it some latin spice and a tiny bit of swearing in spanish & Babe in Boyland was born. I found myself laughing at times all alone in my room. It was sweet, innocent and great to read about.

Still some clichés made me want to scream at loud, hence my rate. So, anyway DON'T listen to me and think it will suck a bit, but DO listen to me and read it. I swear it WILL surprise you!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Valerie A. Baute on May 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Here you have the story of Natalie, or Nat as she becomes when she infiltrates an all boys' school to get a great story for her high school paper. Normally, she writes an advice column for the girls at her school. When she gets called out on not really understanding boys at all, she comes up with the idea of getting into the minds of boys by becoming one. Sound relatively familiar? I thought so too.

This was a quick and very predictable read. It pretty much follows along with all other stories/movies that have a similar plot. Of course there has to be a boy she falls for as well. Her secret has to be revealed somehow at the end (I won't tell you whether she gets figured out, called out, or reveals her secret herself.) Then she has to deal with everyone knowing she lied to them.

I wasn't bored while reading this, as it went so fast, but like I said, I knew what was going to happen. There were absolutely no surprises whatsoever. The writing was good. I wouldn't mind reading another book by this author. Sometimes I really am in the mood for cute, girlie teen reads, and she seems to write them well. So, cute story, but nothing original at all. If you like girl dresses as boy, falls for boy who thinks she is a boy and has no interest in her, things happen, she goes back to being a girl stories, then this would be a fun one to read. If you haven't ever seen those types of movies, then it would definitely be fun to read. It is definitely a teen book. Usually, those are right up my alley. For a change, I might just be showing my age (not a teen) in my feelings for it.

I have to add, there are a couple big high school parties involving drinking. Nothing I thought was out of line, and no one being super bad by any means, but it was there. Most people, especially teens, have no problem with this. It didn't affect my review in the slightest. But I do like to put that in there for any parents who are against it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Brittany Moore VINE VOICE on March 8, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Natalie is a romance advice columnist, Dr. Aphrodite, for her school paper. When some harsh comments crop up on her latest online help column, she realizes that maybe she isn't the best person to be dispensing advice about relationships, especially since she hasn't had a boyfriend since...forever. She decides to ask the boys at her school some questions that girls really want to know the answers to. They all clam up though and give her nothing. Natalie isn't sure what to do. Then she has a plan, born from her love of acting, she decides she will go undercover at the local all boys school Underwood Academy. Being a guy shouldn't be too hard right? Enter super dreamy roommate, Nat's new roommate and new crush. How can she keep her cover when all she wants is to flirt with this beautiful boy. Natalie finds out that there are lots more things about guys she didn't know about, than what she came here to find out.

Jody Gehrman has done it again I love her quirky Triple Shot Betty books and I LOVE Natalie Rowan. This book was such a fun and interesting read. Not that I am a high school girl still trying to unravel the secrets of the male species, but this is a fantastic read regardless. High-jinks and mishaps are bound to happen when a girly-girl decides to try and be a guy. I kind of hope this is a series, if only to get to know Natalie and her friends better. This book was such a short look into the week of Natalie's life while she tried to discover who she really was and who guys were. This was just a really funny book and I dispatched this book in one light sitting. I just need to know how it ended, could Natalie really make it a whole week as a boy without any finding out??! Well, I know but you won't until you make sure and get your hands on this fantastic read.

First Line:
"My name is Natalie Rowan."

Favorite Line:
"It's like they don't have any witticisms of their own without ripping off some poor dead playwright."
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Misty Braden on November 21, 2012
Format: Paperback
I know I say this every time I review a contemporary novel, but I rarely actively want to read contemporary. I just can't get over this roadblock in my head that says contemporary is either Gossip Girl fluff or slit-your-wrists depressing. This, despite all of the incredible contemporary I've read. Whatever, welcome to my brain. The point is, I rarely wishlist contemporary books, but Babe in Boyland, for whatever reason*, was one I wishlisted. So when Jody emailed me, asking if I'd like to review Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft, and also offered up Boyland, I jumped at it. And once again, I was reminded of why I need to take down that roadblock, brick by brick, because I'm missing out on really good contemporary books.

This was funny. Really funny. Like, laugh out loud, snorting and chortling and reading parts over again, funny. Natalie just sparkles on the page, she is so thoroughly likable and engaging. Most readers will be familiar with the story because, lets face it, we've seen it before. This is a pretty common trope, actually**. But there's a reason it cycles back periodically - there's something compelling in it, and something with built in shenanigans, which always makes for a good time - but I think Gehrman puts her own stamp on things quite nicely, and Natalie is so engaging that I don't think I would even care if it was an exact play-by-play of something else. Though the men at school may hate Natalie's alter-ego, Dr. Aphrodite, and may think Natalie is clueless, it's hard not to like Natalie herself as a narrator. She is clueless in the beginning, but adorably so, and she doesn't stay clueless for long.

The friendships are fantastic as well - the interactions and the confronting of stereotypes/cliques, etc., are nicely handled.
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