Babe in Boyland

Babe in Boyland

4.0 76
by Jody Gehrman

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Natalie boldly goes where no girl has gone before in this fresh, funny peek inside the male mind!

Natalie writes the relationship column for her high school newspaper. Then she is accused of knowing nothing about guys and giving girls bad relationship advice, so she decides to disguise herself as a guy and spend a week at Underwood Academy, the privateSee more details below


Natalie boldly goes where no girl has gone before in this fresh, funny peek inside the male mind!

Natalie writes the relationship column for her high school newspaper. Then she is accused of knowing nothing about guys and giving girls bad relationship advice, so she decides to disguise herself as a guy and spend a week at Underwood Academy, the private all-boys boarding school in town. And in the process, she learns about guys, though in ways she never expected. But when she starts to fall for her dreamy roommate, things get even more complicated. The fun doesn't stop in this light, lively offering for teen girls.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Having reworked Much Ado About Nothing in Confessions of a Triple Shot Betty, Gehrman uses the Shakespearean vehicle of the cross-dressing heroine in this lighthearted but insightful romantic comedy. Seventeen-year-old Natalie Rowan writes an overly optimistic relationship column for her high school paper, yet has no relationship history to speak of. After being accused of cluelessness about males, she launches a secret mission, assuming a male identity and attending a nearby boys' boarding school for a week to write an investigative article about "the most mysterious of animals: the human boy." Despite a string of embarrassing (and often hilarious) incidents, the plan is off to a good start until Natalie falls in love with her roommate, encounters a girl who could blow her cover, and begins to see the world from a male perspective. Although the ease with which Natalie infiltrates Underwood Academy and misses a week of class requires significant suspension of disbelief, Natalie's exuberance and humor carry the story. Unlike her protagonist, Gehrman has no trouble getting inside the heads of boys—or inside the environment of a boys' school. Ages 12–up. (Feb.)
VOYA - Nancy Pierce
High schooler Natalie uses the nom de plume "Dr. Aphrodite" for a love advice column she writes for her school's newspaper. Natalie believes her column is great until she receives feedback that trashes her advice and claims she has no idea what boys really think. Rather than throw in the towel, Natalie decides to do some undercover investigative work by disguising herself as a boy and attending the nearby all-male Underwood Academy. With her theater experience, Natalie plans to use make-up tricks and voice training to deliver a command performance as a male—her alter-ego, Nat. A friend's cousin hacks into the school's records and enrolls her. The plan falls into place, and Natalie/Nat is ready to ask the boys of Underwood some important relationship questions. The experience, however, does not go as planned. Natalie did not plan on some basic elements: how to eat like a guy, bathroom realities, and seeing how her friends act around boys. And, she certainly did not count on the complications of having a roommate, especially when her roommate, Emilio, turns out to be the guy of her dreams. Babe in Boyland is a sweet, predictable story that will appeal to younger readers. It contains many similarities to Shakespeare in Love (girl dresses as boy, boy falls for girl dressed as boy), and other disguised-identity stories. It is somewhat contrived— it is too easy for Natalie to slip into the world of Underwood and fool all the adults (including her non-existent parents)—and a little far-fetched—she learns all about the difference between the sexes a bit too quickly. Ultimately, however, this is a satisfying teen romance that does not expect too much from the reader. Reviewer: Nancy Pierce
VOYA - Ishita Mehta
Will Natalie, or Nat, be successful in decoding the opposite sex and their mystifying ways? Or will it be a total fiasco? In Babe in Boyland, Natalie battles through "foreign" land as she searches for answers, but ends up finding more than just that. The plot becomes a little cheesy, but overall provides an amusing read. It is successful in conveying the author's message about the sexes while offering insights about human relations and how we communicate with each other. It would be most appealing for a fast read over the weekend; just something to think about as one goes through a normal day at school; or while hanging out with friends. 3Q, 3P. Reviewer: Ishita Mehta, Teen Reviewer
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
Kirkus Reviews

Natalie (aka Dr. Aphrodite) pens the love column for her school's newspaper. Criticized for her lack of understanding of how guys think, she decides to go undercover at Underwood, an all-boys boarding school. Drawing upon her experience as an actress and her friends' knowledge of make-up and wardrobe, Natalie transforms herself into Nat and infiltrates the school. She soon finds out that guys are as varied as girls and that they are equally clueless in their dealings with the opposite gender. In a breathless, first-person narration, Natalie manages to tiptoe through the minefield of urinals, gym class and neckties only to find herself facing her biggest challenge: her attraction to her yummy roommate, Emilio. Brash and clueless as a girl and unconvincing as a boy, Natalie is barely likable and infrequently real. Hobbled by the overfamiliar girl-in-boy-drag premise, one-dimensional characters and predictable plot twists, this story never makes it out of the starting gate.(Fiction. 12 & up)

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Product Details

Penguin Young Readers Group
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Penguin Group
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0 MB
Age Range:
12 Years

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