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Bobby vs. Girls (Accidentally) Paperback – May 1, 2010

12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Praise for Bobby vs. Girls (Accidentally) :

"Those clamoring for fiction with nonwhite or biracial characters in which race is not the focus will welcome nine-year-old Bobby Ellis-Chan.... While Yee remains loyal to the boy point of view for a large portion of the story, both boys and girls will find much to relate to here." -- Horn Book, starred review

"Yee really understands children's thought processes and presents them with tact and good humor. Bobby's dilemmas and adventures, however wild and out of control, remain totally believable. Santat's drawings manage the fine line between cartoon and realism and add dimension to the events. Readers will recognize themselves and learn some gentle lessons about relationships while they are laughing at the antics." -- Kirkus Reviews

"Using humor and relatable situations, Yee shows how the two friends manage to support each other, despite peer pressure. . . . Santat's expressive black and white illustrations evoke the energy of Saturday morning cartoons. . . . The bright prose, concise chapters and gratifying resolutions are likely to please even reluctant readers." -- Publishers Weekly

"Funny and smart dialogue describes perfectly the interaction that makes the battle of the sexes ring true. . . . Kids will identify with much of this interplay since Yee's situations and clever text are so accurate." -- School Library Journal

"Yee, author of Millicent Min, Girl Genius, deftly navigates the dynamics of a late elementary boy/girl friendship; Bobby and Holly are both fully developed characters, and the details of their friendship (and its failures) are both thoughtful and believable. . . . A solid ending and a strong male point of view . . . make this a good selection for the middle-grade set." -- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

About the Author

Lisa Yee's novels include Millicent Min, Girl Genius; Stanford Wong Flunks Big-Time (an ALA Notable Book); the first Bobby book, Bobby vs. Girls (Accidentally); and most recently WARP SPEED. She lives in South Pasadena. Please visit her website at

Dan Santat wrote and illustrated the graphic novel SIDEKICKS, and has also illustrated many acclaimed picture books, including OH NO! (OR HOW MY SCIENCE PROJECT DESTROYED THE WORLD) by Mac Barnett. He lives in Alhambra, California. Please visit his website at


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 7 - 10 years
  • Grade Level: 2 - 5
  • Series: Bobby Vs Girls
  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks (May 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0545055938
  • ISBN-13: 978-0545055932
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 5.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #428,188 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Lisa's been a TV writer/producer, written labels for bean cans, and penned a speech for a president of the United States.

Her books include BOBBY VS. GIRLS (ACCIDENTALLY) and BOBBY THE BRAVE (SOMETIMES) and YA novel, ABSOLUTELY MAYBE. All are published by Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic.


WARP SPEED, the Stanford Wong spin-off about a Star Trek geek who gets beat up everyday, is her latest novel.

Lisa has been named a Publishers Weekly Flying Start, Thurber House Children's Writer-in-Resident, USA TODAY Critics Pick, and more.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on September 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I have a theory. A theory about why boy v. girl books are so popular with the youngsters. It goes like this: When you're a kid you find that sometimes the only way to feel real and included in a group is to point out the other kids that (for whatever reason) cannot be included. Now kids cannot help but notice too that human beings are neatly divided into two groups: men and women. By dint of your sex you instantly belong to a group of like-gendered people. And if you band together against the other group then it's even better because you immediately have easily identifiable "enemies" and "allies". Phyllis Reynolds Naylor has gotten a lot of leverage out of this idea with her The Boys Start the War/The Girls Get Even titles. Bobby Vs. Girls is of a similar stripe, but takes place a couple years down the road. Right about at that time when you're on the cusp of puberty and that other gender is about to appear to have a lot to offer . . . but not quite yet. It's a tricky time and one that Lisa Yee manages to wrestle into some kind of shape. The kids'll laugh with this one, and some of that may be due to sheer recognition more than anything else.

Bobby and Holly are friends. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but the two take care not to advertise the fact to their OTHER friends. Every day they walk a little ways to school and every day they split up before they arrive so that no one will see them walking together. The trouble between them, however, begins when Holly starts doing all these girly activities, like straightening her hair and doing her nails.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jordan K. Henrichs on December 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I've been noticing that healthy, platonic, boy-girl relationships are pretty popular amongst kidlit authors lately. I can't tell if authors are forcing this idea upon kids or trying to appeal to a growing trend . . . In the past 5 years of teaching 5th grade, I haven't noticed a lot of serious boy-girl friendships in my classes but I haven't necessarily seen a strong hatred toward each other either, like presented in BOBBY VS. GIRLS or NO TALKING for example. Of course in my class when boys and girls are randomly paired to work together, I still get the looks, the groans, the mumbles, the heavy sighs . . . but by 5th grade, I like to think it's more show than anything, and that they're starting to grow out of the "girls have cooties/boys have cooties" frame of mind . . .

BOBBY VS. GIRLS however, takes place before 5th grade, in the awkward year of 4th grade. Boys and girls have mixed and mingled until now without giving it much thought. But suddenly things begin to change. Both sides are threatened by each other for some reason and differences are starting to become noticeable. Bobby Ellis-Chan's best friend is (and always has been) Holly Harper. They've been spending time together, hunting for rocks and walking to school together, since before either can remember. However upon entering 4th grade, things are not so normal between them. Holly is spending an awful lot of time with Jillian Zarr, a mean 4th grade girl who's pigtails scare Bobby, and Bobby's afraid that Holly may actually be turning into a girl! Before he knows it, Bobby has (accidentally) set in motion a series of events that pit the boys against the girls, and himself against his (former?) best friend.

Poor Bobby can't seem to catch a break in this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By The Children's Book Reporter on November 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Bobby Ellis-Chan is just a normal fourth grade boy, and like all normal fourth grade boys he has realized a thing or two: one thing is that boys and girls just aren't supposed to be he can't be seen in school with his best friend Holly. And another thing is that boys are supposed to be better than when he has the chance to run for classroom representative, even though it's against Holly, he has to take it. But when Holly, in her turn, starts to act like a normal fourth grade girl (why would someone want to wear nail polish and dresses, for goodness' sake?), Bobby's not so sure that what every normal fourth grader knows is actually right.

Bobby is one of the most realistic, entertaining boy characters I've seen in the category of contemporary realistic fiction for years (which, incidentally, means that those other boys aren't so contemporary, anymore, huh?). Every child has to live through that painful time when girls are just about ready to start acting like grown-ups, while boys, on the other hand, just want to stay kids for as long as they can...and Lisa Yee has captured that tension and dynamic extremely well. The simple, yet well-crafted language and constant humor, interlaced with the perfect amount of poignancy, make Bobby vs. Girls (Accidentally) a story that will be accessible and enjoyable for boys, girls, and parents alike. A great start to a new series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By KidsReads on September 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover
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.

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