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A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl Paperback – June 12, 2007


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books; Reprint edition (June 12, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553495097
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553495096
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #150,103 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Grade 9 Up–Three girls succumb to the charms of one sexy high school senior and emerge wiser for the experience in this energetic novel in verse. Josie is a self-assured freshman who values her girlfriends over boys until a hot jock focuses his attention on her and her simmering hormones break into a full boil. Confused by her behavior, yet unable to control her desire, she acts out every romantic cliché she has ever disdained, until the boy drops her and she experiences the chill of rejection. It is Judy Blume's Forever that sparks Josie's fire again, and finding a few blank pages at the back of the library's copy, she sends a warning to the girls of her school. Next readers meet Nicolette, a junior who sees her sexuality as power. A loner, she's caught by surprise at her own reaction when this popular boy takes notice of her. Suddenly she thinks she sees the difference between sex and love, and then, just as suddenly, he's gone. Finally, Aviva, a pretty, smart, artsy, and funny senior, is stunned when the jock seems to want her. She gives up her virginity, only to be disappointed in both the sex and the boy. Furious, Aviva heads to the library to check out Forever, now crammed with the words of girls who suffered the same fate at the hands of the same boy. The free verse gives the stories a breathless, natural flow and changes tone with each narrator. The language is realistic and frank, and, while not graphic, it is filled with descriptions of the teens and their sexuality. This is not a book that will sit quietly on any shelf; it will be passed from girl to girl to girl.–Susan Oliver, Tampa-Hillsborough Public Library System, FL
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Gr. 10--12. "Sweetie, we call it making love, they don't." Three girls experience heartbreak after a nameless jock dumps each of them. Josie, a freshman, is devastated when she overhears, "Have you nailed her yet?" She escapes with her virginity intact, alerting future victims by scribbling a warning on the blank pages of the library's copy of Judy Blume's Forever. Nicolette, a junior, declares that sex is all about power: "If I say who / and I say when / and I say what / then I/ have it." She's dismayed when she realizes she's not in control this time. Aviva, a senior, loses her virginity after ignoring her friend's warning: "He's^B not^B different. He's playing you.^B" Stone's novel in verse, more poetic prose than poetry, packs a steamy, emotional wallop, and naked dips in a hot tub, oral sex, and sex in a car suggest a mature audience, even though the sex isn't graphic. The lessons learned here, however, are important: the girls realize they'll be hurt again, but they are now "Forewarned / Forearmed / Forever." Cindy Dobrez
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Tanya Lee Stone is an award-winning author of books for kids and teens. Stone went to performing arts high school in New Haven, CT and went on to major in English at Oberlin College (and study Voice at Oberlin Conservatory). After graduation she moved to New York and became an editor. Stone was an editor for more than a dozen years and has a Masters Degree in Science Education. She teaches Writing for Children at Champlain College.

After moving to Vermont, Stone became a full-time writer and has published more than 90 books for young readers. She writes picture books, nonfiction, and Young Adult fiction. Her newest nonfiction books have garnered some major awards. Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream (Candlewick 09), received a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor, Jane Addams Honor, YALSA Nonfiction Finalist, Orbis Pictus Honor, and was awarded ALA's Sibert Medal for the best nonfiction book for young readers of 2010. The Good the Bad, and the Barbie won SCBWI's Golden Kite Award for the best nonfiction book of the year for 2011.

Her Young Adult novel, A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl (Wendy Lamb/Random House) was an IRA Young Adult Choice, an ALA Quick Picks, an NYPL Book for the Teen Age, and SLJ Book of the Month. Her newest nonfiction picture books, Elizabeth Leads the Way: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Right to Vote and Sandy's Circus: A Story About Alexander Calder received starred reviews and were put on several state award lists. Elizabeth Leads the Way is also an ALA Notable, an Amelia Bloomer Award title, and a CBC Notable Social Studies Book.

Forthcoming titles include picture books about Elizabeth Blackwell and Jane Addams, as well as a YA nonfiction book about the first black paratroopers in WWII called Courage Has No Color.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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That said, I do highly recommend it for high schoolers, especially girls.
Jennifer Robinson
It's a very powerful book, and it is one that sticks with you and make you think a lot.
Diana
In the book, you have three girls who have all had encounters with the same boy.
Briana Temple

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Laura Ruby on January 10, 2006
Format: Hardcover
We all know him - that guy who's so incredible looking, so charming, so seductive we can't seem to keep away even when we sense we should. In "A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl", three different high school girls fall for that guy, each making different, life-altering choices about love and sex in the course of her relationship with him. The gentle, plainspoken poetry of this verse novel sneaks up on you and grabs you just when you're not expecting it, much like the "bad boy" of the title manages to surprise both the reader and the three girls - confident girls who are sure they know who they are. Honest and unflinching, deft in its characterizations and familiar to every girl who's ever gotten mixed up with the wrong guy, "Bad Boy"is direct in its portrayal of teen sexuality without ever being tawdry. How Tanya Stone managed to write a book that's both a cautionary tale and a celebration is beyond me, but she has. This is the kind of book one can learn from, the kind of book that reads like the whispers of older, wiser sisters. I recommend it to teen girls and any woman who remembers the pain, confusion and, yes, exhilaration of falling for a "bad" boy.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Diana on April 16, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I had my doubts about reading a novel in free verse. However, while reading the poem/novel, I eventually forgot that it was poetry instead of prose. My eyes began to skim over the weird constructions, much as it would if I was reading one of those forwarded email messages where the formatting is all screwed up. Because the story is SO COMPELLING. The characters are real and sympathetic and their plight is so understandable. You want to scream at them to stop doing what they are doing but not in that "idiot girl in a slasher flick going into the basement in her underwear" way. Because you know it doesn't seem stupid, not in the moment, in their position. And you know it's a mistake, all at the same time. You can understand why they make the choices you do, even as you know what they'll think of them later. It's a very powerful book, and it is one that sticks with you and make you think a lot.

I don't know if I remember a lot of the lines because they were in this "poetry" form or because they were the kind of thing that seem ripped out of the young girls' hearts, all bleeding and pulsating.

Give this book a try.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By K. Gillum on June 14, 2007
Format: Paperback
I finally got to read Tanya Lee Stone's "A Bad Boy can be Good for a Girl". I sure wish it would have been around when I was in high school, there where definitely plenty of bad boys. I just wish I could have been as was as Josie. Besides the fact that it was great writing, the book had an excellent message. Even the girls who made mistakes with the boy where not ridiculed or considered bad and they all learned from the experience. It will definitely be highly recommended by me at school. I have a lot of girls who will love it, and a lot of girls who NEED to read it. It is a must for every high school library, and probably even every jr. high library as well.
I give it a 5 star must have rating.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Robinson on July 14, 2006
Format: Hardcover
A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl is only the second verse novel that I've read (after Hugging the Rock by Susan Taylor Brown). And I have to say that if these two books are at all representative, then I'm completely hooked. I love the combination of a fast-paced, streamlined read with wonderful language selection.

I read Bad Boy in one sitting, and didn't want it to end. I read the end material in the book. I read the discussion questions on the handy bookmark that Tanya provided, and I spent time thinking about them. I thought about my own high school experiences. I wondered if Josie, Nicolette, and Aviva would end up becoming friends. I thought of which of them I personally identified with the most. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl is a verse novel told in the distinct voices of three high school girls. Josie is a freshman, smart and confident but (she assures us) not stuck up. Nicolette is a junior, popular with the boys, in a certain sort of way, but the kind of girl who other girls tend to avoid. Aviva is a senior, a "Criss-Crosser" who has friends in lots of cliques, but manages to maintain her own individuality. One after another, each of these three girls, very different on the surface, falls for the same unnamed boy, a popular senior jock. Their experiences with him vary, but have commonalities, too. I think that any adult reader of this book will find occasion to wince here and there, as certain incidents or feelings ring true.

This book is a very frank look at high school politics and relationships. Although it's not a difficult read, I wouldn't recommend it for most middle schoolers, because it is very open concerning teen sex. That said, I do highly recommend it for high schoolers, especially girls.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Little Willow on May 13, 2006
Format: Hardcover
"If would be nice

if there was some manual

some little book where a girl could look up

what to do

what not to do

and who not to do it with."

Every high school seems to have at least one guy who catches the eyes of many girls . . . and proceeds to date as many of them as possible. A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl by Tanya Lee Stone revolves around one such serial dater who may be nice to look at but is a very naughty boyfriend.

The story, told in poems, moves along very quickly. Reluctant readers and poets are likely to pick it up for that reason. The first-person narration is shared by three very different girls: sweet freshman Josie, wild Nicolette, and aspiring guitarist Aviva. Each dates the bad boy; each gets burned. The poetry style alters with each girl. Josie is a thinker, so her poems are full of secret thoughts and hopes. Nicolette is the boldest of the girls, unafraid to go after what she wants, so she says want she feels. Aviva is a self-proclaimed Criss-Crosser, meaning she hangs out with all different groups at school, and her words are straightforward.

It is Josie, the first narrator and the youngest of the three, who decides to warn other girls at her school about the boy. She realizes that she was not the first girl he dated and dissed. She writes an open letter in the school library's copy of Forever by Judy Blume, knowing that her peers will check it out. Instead of performing an act of vengeance, like slashing his tires, she uses a famous book about growing up to empower herself and to spread the word to others. It is always nice to see a book mentioned within another book, if done well, and Forever is the perfect choice for this story.
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