Geek Chic: The Zoey Zone

Geek Chic: The Zoey Zone

3.2 128
by Margie Palatini

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Meet Zoey

Age: Eleven. Well, almost eleven. Backspace. Halfway to eleven.

Factoid: 198 days to sixth grade.

Problem: Coolability (see glossary inside).

Connect the dots: A bad hair situation . . . Growing earlobes . . .


1. A fairy godmother.

2. A molto chic makeover
[molto = very in Italian]


Meet Zoey

Age: Eleven. Well, almost eleven. Backspace. Halfway to eleven.

Factoid: 198 days to sixth grade.

Problem: Coolability (see glossary inside).

Connect the dots: A bad hair situation . . . Growing earlobes . . .


1. A fairy godmother.

2. A molto chic makeover
[molto = very in Italian].

3. A seat at the primo lunch table.
[Primo is also Italian. It means best.]

The solution:

Tune in!

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 4-6

This amalgamation of graphic novel and chapter book cleverly integrates wrinkled-looking notes, varied typefaces, wacky line drawings, and movie countdowns with straightforward prose to tell the funny if far-fetched tale of fifth-grader Zoey. Although sixth grade is 198 days away, she's already worried about her place on the "coolability" meter compared with the Bashleys: "Brittany-with-two-Ts and Ashley." An expert on obscure facts about the presidents, Zoey's idea of a good time is to catch bullfrogs and other amphibians with her friend Venus. She's hoping for a fairy godmother to make her cooler but what she finds is her great-grandfather's bowling shirt and fedora, which at least covers her bed-head. She runs into a photo shoot by U Grl of the Bashleys and their friends in the school hall. When the magazine's reps ask for something interesting from a locker, Zoey jumps in. Not only is her locker jam-packed with geeky books, art supplies, and other paraphernalia, and the reps are taken with her sense of style as well. Geek Chic offers more wish fulfillment than reality for girls-the staff members all don fedoras like Zoey's. There's nothing new about its message of self-acceptance except that it's aimed at the girls who need to hear it at younger and younger ages. Although slightly confusing in the beginning, the format will attract reluctant readers, and the story will please girls who cultivate offbeat interests with as much enthusiasm and zaniness as Zoey.-Tina Zubak, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, PA

Kirkus Reviews

Tweens will celebrate the arrival of an intrepid heroine with plenty of sparkle and spunk to spare. At nearly 11, Zoey may have just begun fifth grade, but she is already counting down to sixth. Determined not to put those 198 days to waste, she decides that an image-intervention is required in order to achieve that pinnacle of cool: to sit with "The Bashleys" during lunch. Palatini captures the growing pains of young girls on the cusp of preadolescence, struggling to define themselves while desperately wanting to fit in with the group. Zoey chronicles her (mis)adventures with an openness and wry self-awareness that will have readers laughing even as they cringe in commiseration. An impromptu meeting with teen magazine journalists leads to Zoey's discovery that geek is chic, when you embrace your individuality. Snappy prose coupled with graphic-novel styling holds appeal for savvy modern readers up-to-date with rapid-fire texting and instant messaging. (Fiction. 8-11)

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
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File size:
4 MB
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Geek Chic: The Zoey Zone

Chapter One

Fairy Godmother

Before you give yourself a total ha-ha snickerfest, yes, I know, fairy godmothers are in that group with Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, Wish Upon a Star, etc., etc., etc....

When you're eleven, you have entered the age of serious double digits, which means you are now:

(a) too old


b) too cool to believe in that stuff anymore.

"You still believe in who?"


Warning: followed by uncontrollable laughter by certain people who are (a) or (b) or both. Proceed at your own risk.

However, I'm thinking, me being an "almost" (as in technically ten) cancels out the (a) part (see above), and the (b) part (ditto on the above) is what I'm not—which is why I'm still allowed to think (c) fairy godmother.

This is a truly excellent thing, because I am not giving up Santa Claus—ever—and being halfway to eleven is when you really absolutely need a fairy godmother the most. I'm going to require major fairy dust intervention in the hair department alone. There are just so many days a person can wear a hat, if you know what I mean.

Here's the spill (Venus-speak for "explanation"):

Sixth grade is only 198 days away. That's not a lot of time to learn about all the stuff you need to learn about. (And believe me, there's a lot of stuff to learn about that you never even thought you needed to learn about.) Especially if you don't want to spend your whole life at Table Ten.

Remember the hourglass and Dorothy? (Agree. You can never be too old for TheWizard of Oz.) Well, I'm down to those last grains myself. The clock is tick-tocking.

Venus says her sister says that if you're not cool by sixth grade, you are not going to live happily ever after in sixth grade. The Cool Police are taking notes.

Being almost eleven is getting all very complicated. It's even way more complicated than one of Mrs. Helferich's word problems:

Person One walked from Town A to Town C. It took 1 hour and 25 minutes to walk from Town A to Town B. It took another 25 minutes to walk from Town B to Town C. Person One arrived in Town C to meet Person Two at 2:45 p.m.

What time did he leave Town A?

I am definitely going to need outside help.

Especially in the previously mentioned hair and all-important accessorization categories.

I've fallen way behind in accessories.

It must have happened back in third grade when I wanted to be Amelia Earhart. The only accessory she had was a helmet. That was very useful for Amelia. Me too. The thing is, being almost eleven... you really can't wear a helmet to school anymore. Unless you ride a bicycle.

The backpack I made out of duct tape is pretty incredibly awesome, though. I'm just not sure The Bashleys (Brittany-with-two-Ts and Ashley, who are both accessory experts and "boing" on the coolability meter at Harry S. Truman) think a duct-tape backpack is a fashion accessory. Even if orange and purple is a truly outrageous color combination and duct tape is truly the most major astronaut accessory ever.

That's why I'm thinking about getting my own fairy godmother. Instant makeovers are FG specialities, and they know all about accessorization and "chic" too. (The Bashleys use that word all the time.)

According to my Merriam-Webster Pocket Edition, "chic" can be used as a noun or an adjective. Either way, it means "cool." So I've been researching fairy godmothers, and here's my Lightbulb Momento: Cinderella

Do you know how many girls want to be a princess? Or act like a princess? Or look like a princess? Or want to find out that they are—but never knew they were—a long-lost princess?

One word: Google.

It's not just my little sister, Maddie, who is way pinked out at four and already wearing a tiara. I've found pictures of some pretty old people wearing those things on their heads.

I'm actually more of a green person, but I'm sure a fairy godmother can work with green. She can do chic in any color. More bippity and less boppity or... something like that.

Even with a good wand wave, I still might be a little tiara challenged. (The hair situation.)

Passing on those glass slippers too. I can't really fit in those tiny thingies anyway. My toes? Those shoes? These Chuck Taylor feet?

It's a long story about my big toe. Very ugly.

The toe and the story... maybe Chapter Ten. Remind me.

But, here's the really important what's what:

In the connect-the-dots world of frogs, princesses, and all kinds of fairies—you can include dragons, ogres, and wizards if you want because they are very popular too... especially in movies—a fairy godmother is only one dot away from Cinderella Dot Dot Dot, aha! who actually became a princess, which is very la-di-da, which means chic, which = cool.

The point being, as Mrs. Helferich likes to say when she talks about connecting dots, if it's okay to want to be a princess (and like I said, I've seen some scary pictures of old princesses), then it has to be okay to believe in a fairy godmother.

Especially if you're only almost eleven.


Geek Chic: The Zoey Zone. Copyright © by Margie Palatini. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Margie Palatini is the author of many outrageously funny books for children, including Piggie Pie!, illustrated by Howard Fine; Moosetache, Mooseltoe, and the Bad Boys series, all illustrated by Henry Cole; The Cheese, illustrated by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher; No Biting, Louise, illustrated by Matthew Reinhart; and Gorgonzola, illustrated by Tim Bowers. She lives with her family in New Jersey.

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Geek Chic 3.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 128 reviews.
Sharmaine Johnson More than 1 year ago
a amazing book a must read
IVY Jensen More than 1 year ago
a book for all ages! (of girls) *****/*****!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really like this book. I think Zoey is very funny!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was sooooooooooooo cheep and it was soooooo awsome it was very interesting and very good i never put this nook down and ll the time i was reading this book i love this book i recamend this book to every one all ages
Rae Tucci More than 1 year ago
I dont know if I shold get this book or not. Ive read Dork Diaries and those books are amazing!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im 11. Should I get it or not?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Some people say its good some say it is bad im between 10 and 13 should i get it? PLEASE ANSWER ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The charater is so sweet just adorable!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am 11 and i love books like this! who wouldnt?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is mad comfusing well the sample is
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think that this book was ok i mean i would have read the whole thing put i only have the sample
Imani Ashman More than 1 year ago
I just got a sample it was good but not amazing like dork daries with Nikki Maxwell
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am 13 years old and this book was sort of confusing. Zoey is always backspacing herself and adding all these side notes it is annoying and hard to read.Maybe this book is good for ten and under...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have no idea i am 10 about to turn 11 bbut i have no idea if i should get this seems kinnda expensive to me:3
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I didn't like it at all. I found it to be boring and confusing (and I'm 13!) and it seemed to have no plot. The book ends without anything interesting or suspensefull happening. The book was also only 64 pages long including many badly drawn illustrations and an italian dictionary that take up most of the pages in the book. This book is nothing like dork diaries. I do not recommend this book to anyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is just trying to copy dork dires booooooooo
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dont wast your time with this. It makes apsollutly no sence what so ever
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I need help i need the perfect book i am eleven and about to go to middle school but i need the perfect book that is approprate for me and cracks me up and also is a really good book for me i need to know before school starts agust the eight please help me
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
No sence dose this make right
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was very fummy. I didn't think it would be goob, but once you started reading it it was so catchy. I didn't want to put the book down
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I wanna buy it but looks to me that its pretty bad
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im 9 and it said this book is good for me sould i read it ?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im not gonna buy it.... i read the sample but im not intrested
Isabella Baer More than 1 year ago
Good book read it its so good i cant stop reading it
Jayla Dunn More than 1 year ago
I was going to buy it is it good? Hmmm looking 4 answers.