The Boy Project: Notes and Observations of Kara McAllister

The Boy Project: Notes and Observations of Kara McAllister

4.6 55
by Kami Kinard
     
 

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For anyone who's ever felt that boys were a different species....

Wildly creative seventh grader Kara McAllister just had her best idea yet. She's going to take notes on all of the boys in her grade (and a few elsewhere) in order to answer a seemingly simple question: How can she get a boyfriend?

But Kara's project turns out to be a lot more complicated

Overview


For anyone who's ever felt that boys were a different species....

Wildly creative seventh grader Kara McAllister just had her best idea yet. She's going to take notes on all of the boys in her grade (and a few elsewhere) in order to answer a seemingly simple question: How can she get a boyfriend?

But Kara's project turns out to be a lot more complicated than she imagined. Soon there are secrets, lies, and an embarrassing incident in the boy's bathroom. Plus, Kara has to deal with mean girls, her slightly spacey BFF, and some surprising uses for duct tape. Still, if Kara's research leads her to the right boy, everything may just be worth it. . . .

Full of charts and graphs, heart and humor, this hilarious debut will resonate with tweens everywhere.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Kinard’s first novel reads a bit like Field Notes of a Romantically Frustrated Kid. Her sympathetic, entertaining heroine, Kara McAllister, dismayed at not having been kissed by age 13, is determined to use the scientific method to get a boyfriend: “I’ll be the eighth-grade version of Jane Goodall, except I’ll be observing boys instead of chimps. Not that there’s a huge difference.” Her goal is twofold: win the science fair with this project and achieve her other objective—unlimited texting, promised by her parents in return for an A in science. Unobtrusive observations, note taking, charts, graphs, and questionnaires (incorporated throughout) are all part of her plan, which has humorous and unexpected side effects as her views of, and feelings for, her subjects shift during the course of her research. Kinard creates a highly credible middle-school universe of popular girls, dorky boys, unpredictable teachers, and volatile loyalties; she hits all the right notes as Kara learns that first opinions are rarely accurate and that the scientific method does not always apply to human beings. Ages 9�12. Agent: Stimola Literary Studio. (Jan.)
From the Publisher

Looking for a boyfriend takes on a whole new meaning when 14-year-old Kara starts her research project.

Kara, a self-proclaimed geek, decides to find a boyfriend using the scientific method.  This initially involves covert observation of her subject: boys. She keeps detailed index cards, and the novel is decorated with her charts, graphs and lists. The project eventually becomes a science-fair project that also utilizes Facebook for a love survey. When her best friend Tabbi gets a boyfriend first, unfortunately with Kara\u2019s crush, it takes Kara some time to remember that she needs her best friend more than a she needs a boyfriend. This middle-school drama is hip to the moment, with break-up texting, kissing and popularity tug of wars. The boy obsession becomes tiresome, but Kara\u2019s irrepressible spirit, clever wit and introspection save this story from vapidity Kara\u2019s hilarious observations, as when she compares feigning happiness to the difficulty of fastening the, like, 15 hooks of her 87-year-old grandma\u2019s bra, keep it buoyant. As she becomes increasingly discerning, Kara realizes that being true to oneself is the coolest asset.

Kara\u2019s boy-crazy experiment lends refreshing perspective on teen relationships, and the results point to self-enlightenment. (Fiction. 10-13)

-Kirkus Reviews - October 15, 2011

Kinard\u2019s first novel reads a bit like Field Notes of a Romantically Frustrated Kid. Her sympathetic, entertaining heroine, Kara McAllister, dismayed at not having been kissed by age 13, is determined to use the scientific method to get a boyfriend: \u201cI\u2019ll be the eighth-grade version of Jane Goodall, except I\u2019ll be observing boys instead of chimps. Not that there\u2019s a huge difference.\u201d Her goal is twofold: win the science fair with this project and achieve her other objective—unlimited texting, promised by her parents in return for an A in science. Unobtrusive observations, note taking, charts, graphs, and questionnaires (incorporated throughout) are all part of her plan, which has humorous and unexpected side effects as her views of, and feelings for, her subjects shift during the course of her research. Kinard creates a highly credible middle-school universe of popular girls, dorky boys, unpredictable teachers, and volatile loyalties; she hits all the right notes as Kara learns that first opinions are rarely accurate and that the scientific method does not always apply to human beings. Ages 9–12. Agent: Stimola Literary Studio. (Jan.)

-Publisher's Weekly, December 5, 2011

Children's Literature - Leigh Geiger
Boy-crazy "tween" girls will have no trouble identifying with thirteen-year-old Kara who is sure she is the only girl in her middle school who does not have a boyfriend. Kara is creative and artistic which is a big plus, but she feels that her penchant for math and the scientific method classifies her as a dork. However, she is still a "regular" kid who daydreams during class and checks out all of the cool boys. Surely she can snag one of them. Kara begins a clever and humorous scientific analysis of eligible boys in her schools through "unobtrusive observation." She develops an objective format for noting her findings and then develops graphs and charts to analyze her data including a successful girl's "growth in number of boyfriends" and the strength of attraction to her possible matches. She also conducts online research which leads to a series of weekly hints for finding her "soul mate" from the self-proclaimed expert, Bebe Truelove. We follow Kara through the halls of middle school with a cast of very believable characters—dorky clueless boys, popular but nasty girls, lunchroom cliques with constantly changing loyalties, and friendly but strict teachers. Through a series of poignant but often humorous adventures, Kara eventually learns that the scientific method might not be the best choice for studying people. She does not need Bebe Truelove's advice or even the help of her older, wiser and popular sister. In a very satisfying conclusion, Kara learns to be herself and to trust in her own judgment and abilities. Tween girls, particularly reluctant readers, will be sure to enjoy Kinard's many depictions of observation note cards, charts and graphs, and other artifacts that Kara creates as she conducts her experiments. The chronological format, which follows Kara through each class period using prominent labels to put each event in context, will also appeal to younger and reluctant readers. Reviewer: Leigh Geiger, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
Gr 5�8—Kara McAllister is the only girl in her eighth-grade class who has never had a boyfriend. She decides to address her issue by designing a science experiment. If only it were that easy. A love triangle, vengeful teachers, and middle school social hierarchy all become independent variables in this project gone awry. In the end, though, Kara is able to reach a satisfying answer to her original question, "How can I find a boyfriend?" Note cards detailing surreptitious observations of her male classmates serve to guide readers through Kara's social experiment. Her convincing voice gives an authentic account of this awkward age.—Colleen S. Banick, Tomlinson Middle School, Fairfield, CT
Kirkus Reviews
Looking for a boyfriend takes on a whole new meaning when 14-year-old Kara starts her research project. Kara, a self-proclaimed geek, decides to find a boyfriend using the scientific method. This initially involves covert observation of her subject: boys. She keeps detailed index cards, and the novel is decorated with her charts, graphs and lists. The project eventually becomes a science-fair project that also utilizes Facebook for a love survey. When her best friend Tabbi gets a boyfriend first, unfortunately with Kara's crush, it takes Kara some time to remember that she needs her best friend more than a she needs a boyfriend. This middle-school drama is hip to the moment, with break-up texting, kissing and popularity tug of wars. The boy obsession becomes tiresome, but Kara's irrepressible spirit, clever wit and introspection save this story from vapidity. Kara's hilarious observations, as when she compares feigning happiness to the difficulty of fastening the, like, 15 hooks of her 87-year-old grandma's bra, keep it buoyant. As she becomes increasingly discerning, Kara realizes that being true to oneself is the coolest asset. Kara's boy-crazy experiment lends refreshing perspective on teen relationships, and the results point to self-enlightenment. (Fiction. 10-13)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780545345156
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
01/01/2012
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
301,775
Product dimensions:
5.76(w) x 8.52(h) x 0.91(d)
Lexile:
810L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt


    I, Kara McAllister, will change my image before the end of the school year. By “change my image” I mean “get a boyfriend.” And I know exactly how I’m going to do it. I’ll apply both my brains and the scientific method to the project. Hey, if the scientific method helped real scientists figure out the structure of an atom, surely it can help me figure out how to find a boyfriend!
    This pack of index cards will be perfect for inconspicuously taking notes on my subjects (boys) in their natural setting (school). The scientific term for this is “unobtrusive observation.” What method of research could possibly be easier? All you have to do is be a little sly while looking around.
    I’ll be the seventh grade version of Jane Goodall, except I’ll be observing boys, instead of chimps. Not that there’s a huge difference.

Meet the Author


Kami Kinard enjoys writing about the boyfriend quest more than she enjoyed experiencing it. A teaching artist on the SC Arts Commission’s Roster of Approved Artists, she writes from Beaufort, South Carolina where she lives with her husband and two children. Please visit her online at: www.kamikinard.com.

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The Boy Project: Notes and Observations of Kara McAllister 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 55 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yes, it is true. My 12 year old daughter, 6th grade and curious about what it takes to get a boyfriend, simply ate this book up in less than 10 hours of reading between two days. Ah that all middle school moments could be dealt with by reading a colorful and clever YA book! I love that my daughter relates so fully to the main character, Kara, and even recognizes some of the characteristics of other players in friends at school. Storytelling is a great way to teach important life lessons! Thumbs up from this household.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A few weeks ago, i had the chance to meet the author of this book at a school assembly. I purchased the book, and took it home. At first, i wasnt sure how i would like it. But, this book is now one of my favorites. It feels so real. I read the book in 2 days. Although it isn't extraordinaryly long, it is long enough to make you fall in love with all the characters.
Cool_John More than 1 year ago
Full of memorable characters described in hilarious detail throughout this fast-paced entertaining read. I look forward to purchasing the next book by this author!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is great for 5-7 graders. About a girl who is trying to find love, but in the end she falls into love. It is great!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a great book! Its very apropreate for preteens/teens. I recommend boys to not read this book. All my friends that have nooks want to barrow it! I hope theres some sort of sequel or something, if so, i cant wait!
just_cuz_donna More than 1 year ago
This novel is great read in that it is humorous, witty, and insightful. It allows the reader to relate to Kara (whether we are currently experiencing the teen angst that the main character feels - or ever have) but also to feel the current state of being a young teen or tween. My fifteen year-old (who has never had a boyfriend!) really enjoyed it, too. She thought it was hilarious. All in all, I think it's a great read for girls.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was a really good book! I love books like this. I am in seventh grade and i really really REALLY liked(loved) this book!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Get the freakibg book ok u just get it! I mean it im 13 and i got a boyfriend by learning from this book to just hav confidence and be ur self
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I truly live this book there were some parts in it that I had to skip over but I would buy any other book buy her. I have been a flunent reader ever that i can remember. She has inspired me!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just finished this book.It's amazing!When I finished I imediatley looked for a sequel.I soooo wish there was one!This is now absolute fave book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fantastic. Love the sequel too
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its an awesome book for girls who love to talk about boys. Its a really girly girl book, but everyone probably will LOVE it!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I want to know wich guy is perfect for me and im going to 7 grade!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was good but was good in a different way. Like it had u wanting more after every single page i litterally finished the book in a day. It is about a girl... kara maccalister. And there is one thing she wants and it is a boyfriend!!! So she does the boy project were she takes notes on all the boys she sees... including, eyebrows, eye color, body type, status, nice o-meter, and how much she is interested in the person. She discovers things about herself on her werid journey. And along the way she gets her first kiss (with the person who broke her best friends heart) her first date (disaster) but in the end she gets her bf, kiss, and date (all perfect) i definetly recomend it for any teenager that enjoys a "love story" filled with mischeif, conflict, and much much more. This reveiw was written by a teen for a teen
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
READ THIS BOOK IVE ONLY READ THE SAMPLE AND IM STUCK TO IT WHYY DOES IT HAVE TO END SO FAST(i mean the sample)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a really good book i read and fell in love with charecters realy need to read and great for tweens
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love love love this book. It is so awesome. There were so many unexpected turns. Love love lovve love love lovve it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Tottally cool and has shocking suprises all because a girl wants a boyfriend its good for girls 9 and up
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Omg it is so funny
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was at my book fair at school. Really wanted it but didnt get it. Hopefully soon and enjoy reading if you did sounds like a real book that girlys can turn to. This girl Kara sounds a lot like me. Really!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Even though i haven't read it yet, the reveiws are good and the sumary sounded like a good book. I would recamend it for everyone and i haven't even read it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is the bomb i can not put it down it is soooooooooooo cool i can not wate to finish it i got it at school at my book fair it is soo cool i can not say how much i like this book..
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Someone just told me what hsppened but i still want to read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book looks good for middle schoolers
Anonymous More than 1 year ago