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Bobby vs. Girls (Accidentally)

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Overview

Meet Robert Carver Ellis-Chan -- a perfectly normal fourth-grader who gets into perfectly crazy situations! Like when he was running for class president and discovered his big sister's panties (static-)clinging to the back of his sweater. Or when he got stuck to the rare sticky (and stinky) Koloff tree on a field trip. . . . Then there's his family -- busy mom, ex-pro football player dad, a bossy older sister and an adoring younger one -- and best friends (one of whom is a secret, because she's a *girl*). Life ...

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Overview

Meet Robert Carver Ellis-Chan -- a perfectly normal fourth-grader who gets into perfectly crazy situations! Like when he was running for class president and discovered his big sister's panties (static-)clinging to the back of his sweater. Or when he got stuck to the rare sticky (and stinky) Koloff tree on a field trip. . . . Then there's his family -- busy mom, ex-pro football player dad, a bossy older sister and an adoring younger one -- and best friends (one of whom is a secret, because she's a *girl*). Life may be complicated for Bobby, but it's going to turn out just fine.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
When Bobby enters fourth grade, he learns that it's more important than ever to keep his longtime friendship with Holly a secret (“We used to be sorta-best friends, only these days she's my enemy,” he admits to his goldfish). Using humor and relatable situations, Yee (Absolutely, Maybe) shows how the two friends manage to support each other, despite peer pressure. Hurtful accidents—like when Holly lets it slip that she's seen Bobby wearing curlers, and when Bobby's picture of Holly with horns and a mustache appears on the classroom wall—add tension to the already strained relationship. But when Bobby and Holly run against each other for student council rep, their loyalties prove stronger than their grudges. Santat's expressive b&w illustrations evoke the energy of Saturday morning cartoons, and Yee's occasional inclusion of some over-the-top moments (several nervous parents hide in the bushes on the first day of school to see their kids off) only drives the feeling home. The bright prose, concise chapters and gratifying resolutions are likely to please even reluctant readers. Ages 7–10. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Sarah Maury Swan
Poor nine-year-old Bobby Ellis-Chan isn't big and strong or easily recognizable like his ex-football star dad, The Freezer, or his star high school quarterback sister, Annie. He is not even cute and cuddly like his younger sister, Casey. He is afraid to go on the wild roller coaster and is not good at carnival games. He and his family have gone to the Labor Day Fair in their home town, as they do every year. There he sees his best friend ever, Holly, but she has changed. She is behaving like a girl, for heaven's sake., and she has made friends with Jillian Zarr over the summer. So Holly will not be going with Bobby for their annual rock hunting expedition on the last day of summer vacation. She is doing something with Jillian. At the fair, Holly wins a gold fish with a dollar Bobby gives her. She gives the fish to Bobby, who is not too thrilled: he wants a black Labrador Retriever instead. Soon, Bobby discovers, however, that his fish can learn tricks and is a good listener. Things get worse once school starts, and Bobby ends up running for student council representative against Holly, boys against girls. Things get so heated he and Holly do not speak to each other, but, in the end, when the election ends in a tie, Bobby concedes to Holly. Along the way, Bobby gets into all kinds of trouble, mainly because he is a gentle soul and feels sorry for things like a smelly tree. The tree does not even seem to be liked by other trees, so Bobby hugs it and gets stuck to it. One of my neighbor's kids liked the book so much, she "borrowed" it without my permission. Reviewer: Sarah Maury Swan
School Library Journal
Gr 2–4—Fourth-grader Bobby Ellis-Chan definitely has some things working against him. His father, an ex-linebacker for the Los Angeles Earthquakes, attracts the attention of fans everywhere they go. It's embarrassing. His parents adore his bratty little sister, his asthma makes it impossible to have a pet with fur, and the family dryer causes him to suffer from static cling—funny to others but not to him. There are some good things about his life, though. He has a goldfish that he's taught to do tricks and, although it isn't considered cool to have a friend of the opposite sex, he and his best friend, Holly, are able to hide their friendship from peers who are deeply entrenched in the "girls vs. boys" mindset. Funny and smart dialogue describes perfectly the interaction that makes the battle of the sexes ring true. Bobby unwittingly plays into the boys' plan to one-up the girls every time, and in the process distances himself from Holly. Kids will identify with much of this interplay since Yee's situations and clever text are so accurate. The friendship issue works itself out as Holly's and Bobby's true feelings for one another rise above the game-playing. Although this is lighthearted fare, the author adds a somber note with the loss of Bobby's beloved pet goldfish and the family's sensitive handling of it. This element may provide an opportunity for discussion for families reading the story aloud.—Tina Martin, Arlington Heights Memorial Library, IL
Kirkus Reviews
Fourth grade was supposed to be the best year ever, but when do events ever go according to plan? Usually starting with good intentions or, at the least, blind thoughtlessness, Bobby careens from one disastrous mess to another. Many of these situations involve the boys-against-girls mentality that makes for normal behavior in nine-year-olds. He and his best friend Holly know that they can't be seen walking to school together, and they are pulled further apart by peer pressure, even running against each other for class office. Add to these woes a working mom, a famous dad who cooks inedible meals and a pet goldfish who can do tricks. 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. (Fiction. 7-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780545055932
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/1/2010
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 209,920
  • Age range: 7 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.36 (w) x 7.62 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet 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, California, with her family. Please visit her website at www.lisayee.com.

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 www.dantat.com

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 17, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Loved it

    The book is definitely a must read. I have enjoyed reading it from start to finish.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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