From School Library Journal
Grade 9 Up—This book sends strong positive messages about making a difference without hitting readers over the head. At its core is a mystery: who is "defiling" or D-listing girls at Harewood Technical? Shrimpy Sherman Mack loves girls in more than just the way typical ninth-grade boys do, though he clearly has all those urges and obsessions, too. He stands up to champion some of those whose photos have gotten posted in school bathrooms with the D-mark of the pariah and who have had to endure a particularly nasty level of the high school inferno. When lovely, artistic outsider Dini starts dating a mega-popular lacrosse player, Sherman tries to warn her off. He takes up the case as a sort of teen private investigator in training, in part because he wants to help the victims, but also because his friend Vanessa admires his efforts—and he admires Vanessa. Vivid supporting characters add depth to Sherman's world: his way-too-hot bartender mother, whose hobby is burlesque dancing; his enthusiastic cooking teacher, who encourages his dinner-party project to fast-track him into the school's professional courses; and a range of eccentric friends and acquaintances from a variety of social classes and cliques. As if appealing to both genders and espousing integrity weren't enough, the story is often funny, with an endearing main character. Getting the Girl
is a pursuit worth undertaking.—Suzanne Gordon, Peachtree Ridge High School, Suwanee, GA
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As Sherman Mack describes it, the caste system at his high school includes “the usuals—jocks, Trophy Wives, scholars” as well as “the Defiled,” a few girls blackballed by an unknown person and afterwards ostracized by all the students. Afraid that a girl he cares for will be targeted, Sherman decides to uncover the defiler. The mystery’s outcome is less important than Sherman’s experiences along the way. Juby takes a potentially bleak subject and makes it crackle with energy and wit. The innocent, determined kid-next-door side of Sherman’s nature is balanced by his weak-kneed inability to think rationally when the Trophy Wives (A-list girls) set him up for a demeaning photo shoot—dressed in women’s clothing. Clever, smart, and wryly observant, the first-person narrative is matched by an impressive array of convincingly quirky, original characters. Not the least of these is Sherman himself, a (sometimes) high-minded Don Quixote tilting at windmills in an unconventional setting: high school. Grades 8-10. --Carolyn Phelan