Deep Down Popular [NOOK Book]

Overview

Now in paperback! Kid-favorite DEEP DOWN POPULAR romances a whole new audience!

6th-grader Jessie Lou is deeply, madly, passionately in love with Conrad Parker Smith. Too bad she's a tomboy with only one on-again, off-again friend, and hair so short you can't spit on it. Too bad he's the most popular boy in their small-town school.

But then Conrad hurts his leg and ...
See more details below
Deep Down Popular

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Overview

Now in paperback! Kid-favorite DEEP DOWN POPULAR romances a whole new audience!

6th-grader Jessie Lou is deeply, madly, passionately in love with Conrad Parker Smith. Too bad she's a tomboy with only one on-again, off-again friend, and hair so short you can't spit on it. Too bad he's the most popular boy in their small-town school.

But then Conrad hurts his leg and suddenly can't keep up with his old pursuits anymore. Jessie Lou and Conrad start spending a lot more time together, but she can't help wonder -- is she just a substitute friend? And will Conrad forget her when his leg brace comes off and he's king of the school once again?
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

This feel-good tale about the social pecking order of tweens in rural Virginia has likable characters and a positive message, but its persistent down-home twanginess gets downright annoying at times. Jessie Lou Ferguson, a poem-writing tomboy who chops off hunks of her hair when she's piqued, secretly adores Conrad Parker Smith, the "it" boy of Cabanash County Elementary. Conrad's popularity unconvincingly plummets when he injures his leg, throwing Jessie and Conrad together. A lackluster mystery provides reason for Jessie and Conrad, plus an amusing sidekick named Quentin, to meet each day for a new adventure. Though the pervasive theme of popularity and the idea that "keeping on the right side of the crowd can be tricky and unpredictable" may resonate with readers familiar with the "in crowd," Stone's (All the Blue Moons at the Wallace Hotel) characters don't seem authentic. Her sixth-grade girls are old enough to covet the attention of boys, yet still wear fairy wings to school before a party. And Jessie Lou's small-town Southernness ("I hauled off with a nice big old pair of scissors and cut my hair practically down to the bone.... so short, you couldn't spit on it") comes close to cliché. Add a sluggish pace and readers may find that, like the muddy banks of the Cabanash River, this book is hard to plow through. Ages 9-12. (Mar.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
KLIATT - KLIATT Review
Jessie Lou has few friends. Her gorgeous older sister will be competing in the Apple Blossom Junior Teen Beauty Pageant. But Jessie Lou understands popularity because of her crush on popular Conrad Parker Smith. She is outwardly mortified while secretly glad to be the one to help him when he struggles with an injured leg. For years Conrad has been part of an "in" crowd, but this year, with his leg in a brace, popularity has proven to be fickle. Conrad, Jessie Lou and a crazy fourth grader, Quentin Duster, embark on an unexpected friendship in this sweet novel for younger adolescents. Jessie Lou is a tomboy, more at home in black high-top sneakers and flannel shirts than in dresses or girls' fashions, but she is sensitive and writes poetry in her journal on the porch of a deserted house. When the three kids stumble upon a high school student working on "something" in a field near the old house, they just have to find out what is going on. The story explores the many varied and complicated aspects of status and fame, from large commercial stores taking away hometown business to the media-darling doctor and experimental surgery. In the end, though, readers will better understand what it means to be "deep down popular" in the truest, most personal sense of the term. Age Range: Ages 12 to 15. REVIEWER: Janis Flint-Ferguson (Vol. 42, No. 1)
Children's Literature - Paula McMillen
This is a sweet story about 6th-grade tomboy Jessie Lou Ferguson, who has a crush on the most popular boy in school, Conrad Parker Smith. Hers is destined to be unrequited love, until Conrad has to start wearing a metal leg brace and the teacher assigns Jessie Lou to help him carry books back and forth to school. Jessie is somewhat wiser than her years, quietly observing the fickleness and failings of family and friends and secretly writing poems that just seem to bubble out of her. At least, she thinks her writing activities are secret—until her older sister, a contestant in the competition for the title of "Apple Blossom Junior Teen Beauty Queen" asks to read one of Jessie's poems as her own work in the pageant. Jessie and Conrad become after school pals, often accompanied by 10-year-old hyperactive Quentin, who is secretly in love with Jessie—quite the strange love triangle. They are all engaged in solving a mystery surrounding an old biplane, an abandoned house, and the opening of the new shopping center, which will drive the local hardware store out of business. Reviewer: Paula McMillen, Ph.D.
School Library Journal

Gr 4-6- "I had stars all over my reading notebooks and stars all over my report cards and nobody I could really call a friend." So says sixth-grader Jessie Lou, a gawky, insecure tomboy with a longtime crush on "deep down popular " classmate Conrad. His popularity wanes when he hurts his leg and has to wear a brace, and before long he's down to only two friends: Jessie and tagalong fourth-grader Quentin Duster. Narrated by Jessie, this contemporary story is set in West Taluka Falls, VA. The various elements include the arrival of a shopping mall (will the beloved local hardware store be knocked out by the new Big Box Home and Hardware?), Jessie's older sister's entry in a beauty contest, a Lewis and Clark assignment at school, an air show, tulip bulbs, an abandoned house where Jessie writes poetry, a granddaddy who does jigsaw puzzles of the presidents, and the eccentricities of Jessie's family and friends. If this seems like a lot going on, it is. Some of it is interesting, and Stone's writing is often rhythmic and colorful ("There's a fine line between a fourth grader and a baby and Quentin Duster just crossed that line"). But the protagonist's voice is at times stilted, and the rambling plot sometimes moves slowly. For a realistic novel about small-town life in the South, try Deborah Wiles's Each Little Bird That Sings (Harcourt, 2005).-Lauralyn Persson, Wilmette Public Library, IL

Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Negotiating her way in and out of the popularity contest that is sixth grade, Jessie finds herself and some true friends. She is wise enough to know from the start that most of her classmates are on-again/off-again friends and sometimes it's hard to tell what each day will bring. Conrad, the most popular, admired boy in school, has been the object of her unrequited love since second grade. When Conrad falls victim to a mysterious illness that leaves him limping and weak, his popularity seems to diminish. Jessie establishes a tentative friendship with Conrad and a younger boy who is also somewhat of an outsider. Stone incorporates a loving family, small-town life with several eccentric inhabitants and even a bit of mystery into Jessie's story. At times it's a bit of mishmash, but the side stories are delightful and Jessie is such an engaging, innocent/wise character, that the reader will forgive all, especially as there is a lovely, happy ending. Sweet and winning. (Fiction. 9-12)
Sarah Nickow
Conrad Parker Smith defines popularity at Cabanash County Elementary School, and Jessie Lou Ferguson has silently loved him since second grade. When Conrad shows up to school with a metal brace on his leg, Jessie's teacher selects her to help make sure he gets home safely. This time together, combined with Conrad's injury-induced decline in popularity, paves the way for an unexpected friendship filled with laughter and adventure. They discover abandoned houses, old barns, unknown machinery, and get involved in a plan to save the town hardware store. When Conrad decides to undergo surgery, Jessie fears that his recovery will mean the return of his popularity and the end of their friendship. As sixth-grade graduation approaches, Jessie tries to figure out how to fill the empty self-portrait hanging on the classroom wall. Phoebe Stone creates a loveable character with a kind heart and a poetic soul. Reviewer: Sarah Nickow
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780545517133
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/1/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 186,120
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author


Phoebe Stone’s first novel, ALL THE BLUE MOONS AT THE WALLACE HOTEL, was hailed as “haunting and poetic” by THE NEW YORK TIMES. Her first novel for Arthur A. Levine Books, DEEP DOWN POPULAR, received a starred review in BOOKLIST. THE ROMEO AND JULIET CODE received two stars. And her most recent title, THE BOY ON CINNAMON STREET, received a whopping four starred reviews. Phoebe lives in Middlebury, Vermont.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 53 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(27)

4 Star

(13)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(4)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 53 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 25, 2010

    Deep Down Popular by Phoebe Stone

    Exciting, surprising story

    Jessie Lou Ferguson thinks she is a "nobody," a tomboy, falling for the cutest, most popular boy in school, Conrad Parker Smith. The soccer star, Conrad, breaks his leg one day while playing at school. Jessie Lou is then told to take Conrad's bicycle to his house. Conrad's old friends forget about him and ignore him. Jessie Lou and Conrad walk home together day after day. But will someone as truly deep down popular as Conrad really fall in love with a "nobody," or will heartbreak and tragedy soon meet with Jessie Lou?

    I liked this book because as a pre-teen, lots of the everyday events relate to the ones in Deep Down Popular. After the first chapter, I became attached to this book. Many of the events in this book made put me in awe, and some made me proud, while some confused me. Although, at the end, a big turnaround in the story happened, which made me happy.

    I think that many "gossip loving," "social" pre-teens should read this book, because I, for a fact, loved it.

    14 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 22, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Good Story

    This story is about accepting yourself. It teaches a valuable lesson every girl should learn from. I enjoyed this book a lot, it's one of my favorites. I'd recommend this book to read for fun.

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 17, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Well............

    Okay, so, this book was good i guess. It was very confusing though i mean, i read half the book thinking it was based in like the 60s. Maybe i was just being stupid, but i mean, that was really annoying. Over all, it was okay. I mean, I'm like the main character. Everyone knows who are, but nobody pays any mind.
    I thought the characters were brilliant, but parts of the book were just annoying. I would recomend reading it, just don't expect to much.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 20, 2010

    Alright book

    In the book Deep Down Popular by Phoebe Stone has a setting in present day. This book is about a girl named Jessie Lou. She likes a boy named Conrad and he is super popular. Then he ends up getting a leg brace and becomes not so popular. Then one day there teacher asks if Jessie will walk his bike home with him. She says yes and then they meet and start to talk. After they walk home they began to become friends. A 4th grader named Quentin always talks to both Conrad and Jessie. After school on a Friday there is the county sausage far. As they are walking to the far they saw a person doing something suspicious. At the fair Jessie's sister read her poem for the pageant. After the fair they all walked home. Later after Melinda and Jessie's mother went to a lunch in. While they were at the lunch Jessie's mother told her to not let her grandfather go to the hardware store. She thinks it's a bad influence for him. Of course they go to the hardware store. While they are there they see Conrad and his mother across the street. Then Jessie Lou goes to school and they learn more about the journeys of Louis and Clark. On Jessie Lou's way home from school they go to investigate a house, which is abandon. Later that day she goes with her family to visit the new mall. Later they went to the mall to get Melinda's dress. Melinda is Jessie Lou's sister. There grandfather won one a scratch ticket. At the end you will have to read the book to find out if Conrad gets his leg brace off, or if it stays on!
    There are so many positive and negative things about this book. The fist positive is that you will get hooked once you start to read this. The second, positive is that it makes you really think. This is because you can make so many different predictions. The last positive is that it makes you look forward to reading. This is makes you look forward to reading because you will want to keep reading this story. The first negative I am going to tell you about is that some parts get very confusing. The second negative is that they never really talk about if Jessie's sister won in the pageant. This is a negative because they talk so much about it and then they don't talk about if she won or not. The last negative is that they talk so much about how Conrad's mom makes T- Shirts. That is negative because it is very boring how they talk about how Conrad never wears the same shirt ever. Those are some of the positive and negative things about this book.
    In this book the author had many writing styles. The Author wrote in the first person point of view. This author wrote in short sentences, they explained the information very well. This author also wrote in a clear enough way to understand.
    There are very many reasons to why I would recommend this book. Three very good reasons are because it gets you to red. I would recommend this to a girl or a boy even though this book sounds girly it can be both. The last reason why I would recommend this book would be because this can really happen. Some similar novels to this book are the Clique, Best Friends for Never, and the Mother Daughter Book Club. Some other recommend books would be Clique, Best Friends for Never, and the Mother Daughter Book Club.

    5 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 19, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Um....i enjoyed it somewhat

    okay i got this book when i was in 5th grade andf didnt like it.It just sat there on my book shelf never thought about twice.In till one day i thought " you dont have antthing else to do might as well finsh the book you started like two years ago.i started reading a and I WAS HOOKED.
    I love the chacters and how they just go together like a puzzle and how this book has hope in some way. Its kinda weried this book is like a remake of me when i was younger a couple things changed (duh) here and there. it's like i don't know , gives me lots of hope tho it toke me along time to finish this book i'm happy i didn't give up on it because i love it now more than ever~(i did before)

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 20, 2011

    You Must Read This BOOK!

    It is such a great book! I read it at least twice! Jessie Lou is brave to help her crush so she actually starts talking to him because he is injured. Conrad is a lucky boy to be able to talk to someone like Jessie Lou, but will it all lead to heart break? Read it to find out :)
    Great Book. Phoebe Stone is an awesome author, especially for this book!

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 24, 2010

    Read it in one sitting.

    The cover art is what honestly drew me to the book. I read the story in one sitting. It wasn't a challenge and was, for most of the story, enjoyable. Not my favorite book, but not bad. I didn't like many of the characters, but I enjoyed how their stories came together. It wasn't complex, but the simplicity is part of why I enjoyed it. Though some may think differently, it was good and I'd read it again if I had time.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2009

    DIDNT LIKE.

    umm, how do i say this... I read a lot of this book and i hated the part i read and didn't bother to read more. I gave it to my friend to see if it was just me that didn't like it but it was the same with her and she didnt even bother reading the whole thing. The book is pretty boring and would have been better if it would explain her childhood for about 4 chapters then show her allgrowup and she meets the boy she liked when she was little... etc. But noooo, it was just her as a kid the whole time and it wasn't interesting :/

    3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2013

    AWESOME

    I just loved it and i wish my life was like jessie lou's soo amazing and i could totally relate to her feelings and thoughts

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2012

    deep down popular

    ROMANTIC! AMAZING! NO OTHER WORDS FOR IT!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 7, 2010

    Great book!

    You could say that Jessie Lou is an outcast from other kids at school. She has friends, but not many. Jessie Lou feels sometimes that she's second best to everything else, especially her gorgeous older sister who is always competing in beauty pageants. Although she puts on a hard & tough front, she is also very sensitive and enjoys writing poetry on the porch of a deserted house. Tomboyish as she may appear to be, she has had a heart throbbing crush on Conrad Parker smith ever since the 2nd grade. They're both 6th graders now, & Conrad defining popularity at school. It's all fine & dandy until a crippling disease almost costs Conrad his leg. His popularity then begins to dwindle until nothing is left. The teacher at school assigns Jessie Lou to helping Conrad home, much to her embarrassment but yet, utter excitement. Over the many days that they walk home, they both develop a friendship that's unbreakable, & a bond so strong that not even the pesky 4th grader, Quentin to likes to tag along could mess it up. They embark on many life changing adventures that change them forever. The age range on this book is 9-12 years old. I think this would be a great book for anyone who has ever felt left out, or not in with the "in" crowd. It's all about accepting yourself for who you are, & not trying to be anyone else. I would just like to say that I feel that this book would be especially good for someone with low self esteem. It just goes to show you that you don't have to be someone else to impress the person you like, just be yourself. I think the author really wanted to show readers that it's perfectly fine to just be you, no complications added. The main characters are Jessie Lou, Conrad, Jessie Lou's mom & grandfather, Conrad's parents, & friends at school. I defiantly think that the book met its goal, mainly because many people enjoyed the book. There's always going to be people who don't like the book, or don't approve it of it, but I thought it was a great book & I really enjoyed it. Jessie Lou finally figures out what true friendship is, & she learns who she can trust & who she can't. She also realizes that you shouldn't settle for anything less than what you deserve. So what if he barley knows you exist? You don't even know until you try. Jessie Lou found that out the hard way, but she truly appreciated it in the end. Conrad realized that his popularity was only of the moment & only true friends would be by his side for a long time, mainly meaning Jessie Lou. I'd recommend this book for older elementary & even middle school students. It was a great book & I enjoyed taking time out of my busy schedule to read it. I promise you, it won't disappoint.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2009

    Horrible Book

    This book is extremely boring. I started reading it and couldn't get passed the first few pages. Its told in a weird "first person point of view" thing, which i find EXTREMELY annoying. The author needs to practice writing a little. I mean, I can write better books than that. Seriously, im writing a book and my friends think its really interesting. Though, deep down popular is HORRIBLE! if there was a way 2 give it zero stars, I would do that!

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2008

    BEST BOOK I'VE READ!

    This book was truly the best book i have read in my life. i am going into sixth grade and nobody likes me. and this is the same thing jessie lou is going through and she has a huge crush on conrad parker smith. i would reccommend this book to all girls. i laughed cried of sadness and happyness. i hate books and i loved this one though. and that is huge for me!! please read it!! trust me!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2008

    awesome book

    I just got this book on friday and it's great. I'm not done yet but i only have a couple pages left. it's tuesday, and during my busy schedule i still find time to read it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2008

    The Best Book Ever!!!

    This is the best book i have ever read. I finished this book in 1 day. It was that good. I strongly recomend this book. It's about love, popular kids, nonpopular kids, and true friendship. I loved this book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2008

    Great Book!!!

    This is a great book. I just got it from my school's Book Fair and finished it within the next day. I have a book report to do and this is the book I chose to do it on! Its a MUST READ book!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2013

    cece-layne thompson @diqdyed_cuqcake

    Heyyooo
    How's the air up there livin' the high life?
    Great book
    If you even care...
    I got my phone taken awat because I got suspended...
    Why?
    Well, a teacher was talking bad about tumblr & instagram & twitter & all of those other apps
    So I cussed her out...
    And got suspended...
    And got my phone taken away...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2013

    Awesome book!

    Love this book! Phoebe Stone is an incredible author and you should read all of her books!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2013

    BakedWeeds

    Have u been lookingfor acute love book abou tromande and young love then get_~this book~_ i liked it and i bet if ur readin gthis good job because i am goodnat catching attention




    Really though its a gjoood book if u buy it it wont be a waste of time or money trust me




    LOVE XOXO




    UR PAL AND THRUTH TELLER,
    Calissa Jessica



    Read more of my baked weed coments on other books tooo
    ENJOY

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2013

    It's pretty good...

    I think it is a cute story that relates to alot of girls from grade4-6, but it seems like something I have read before.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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