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He Said, She Said

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Overview

You've heard that men are from Mars and women are from Venus, right? Well, forget that planetary ish—Omar and Claudia are from different solar systems. Meet Brooklyn transplant Omar "T-Diddy" Smalls: West Charleston High's football god and full-blown playa. He's got a ton of Twitter followers, is U Miami bound, and cannot wait to hit South Beach . . . and hit on every shorty in a bikini.

Then there's Claudia Clarke: headed for Harvard, straight-A student, school newspaper ...

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He Said, She Said

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Overview

You've heard that men are from Mars and women are from Venus, right? Well, forget that planetary ish—Omar and Claudia are from different solar systems. Meet Brooklyn transplant Omar "T-Diddy" Smalls: West Charleston High's football god and full-blown playa. He's got a ton of Twitter followers, is U Miami bound, and cannot wait to hit South Beach . . . and hit on every shorty in a bikini.

Then there's Claudia Clarke: headed for Harvard, straight-A student, school newspaper editor, and all-around goody two-shoes. She cares more about the staggering teen pregnancy rate than about hooking up with so-called fly homies and posting her biz on Facebook.

Omar and Claudia are thrown together when they unexpectedly lead (with a little help from Facebook and Twitter) the biggest social protest this side of the Mississippi. The stakes are high, the romance is hot, and when these worlds collide, sparks will FLY! Believe that!

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
10/14/2013
As the title suggests, Alexander’s (Acoustic Rooster and His Barnyard Band) first book for teens jumps between the narratives of two teens who don’t see eye to eye: star quarterback Omar “T-Diddy” Smalls and Harvard-bound student activist Claudia Clarke. Omar is getting plenty of action, on and off the field, and he bets his friends that he can sleep with Claudia within a month (“Trust me, cuz, it’ll never happen,” says one of his friends. “She’s Oprah. You’re Flavor Flav”). Omar is shot down time and again, but he sees an opening when the school board cuts arts funding, aligning himself with Claudia’s mission to overturn the board’s decision. Claudia sees right through him (“Yeah, I’ll just string Mr. Football along until the protest gets some legs. Then I’ll cut him loose like the stray dawg that he is”), but the teens end up surprising each other as they mobilize a protest. Facebook posts, email exchanges, and articles in the school newspaper provide additional forums for classmates’ verbal sparring. A fiery and funny romance with an undercurrent of social justice and awareness. Ages 14–up. (Nov.)
Kirkus Reviews
2013-09-01
A star high school quarterback bets he can get the attention of a girl who claims not to be interested by leading a protest for a cause she champions. Omar "T-Diddy" Smalls has the swagger that comes with his exalted status. The fact that he has moved to Charleston, S.C., from Brooklyn adds to his aura, and he attracts the attention of every desirable girl at school--except for Claudia Clarke, who calls him "immature, shallow [and a] fraud." Omar never runs away from a challenge, and he bets his friends that Claudia will become his next conquest. Socially conscious, Claudia is more interested in protesting budget cuts that will wipe out the arts, the library and other school activities--excluding sports--than in Omar. Omar uses his considerable charisma and stories from his activist uncle to lead a successful protest and bring the impending cuts much-needed attention. Through working together, Omar develops genuine feelings for Claudia, and she finds herself drawn to him. Told in alternating chapters by each of the main characters, this lively romance has humor and heart. The use of social media anchors the story in today's culture, while the banter between Omar and Claudia is clever and sounds just right for two smart, college-bound teens. Urban-fiction readers will enjoy this, but it will also appeal to any teen reader seeking a romantic read with lots of fun. (Fiction. 14 & up)
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Alexander’s hip-hop narration...is positively lyrical. A story contemporary students will really relate to and enjoy.”
Horn Book Magazine
“Claudia and Omar, with their entertaining and distinctive narrative voices, are a couple worth rooting for in this lighthearted, socially conscious romance.”
School Library Journal
12/01/2013
Gr 10 Up—West Charleston High is the kingdom that Omar "T-Diddy" Smalls has won through his victorious battles on the gridiron as QB, including the state-championship game that helped seal his scholarship offer from the University of Miami. He has also won a great many female hearts and amassed quite a record of "bong-bong," loving and leaving about 20 young women to earn the label of "playa" that keeps Harvard-bound Claudia from even considering any kind of relationship with him, let alone a romantic one. All that starts to change when Omar decides to spearhead a school protest, suggested by Claudia, on massive cuts to arts programs like band and drama. Yes, he's making it up as he goes along, but he uses his near-celebrity status for a cause that matters and that's dear to the heart of a smart girl who looks like Beyoncé—one who won't have anything to do with him even after he has made a bet with his friends that he can bed her or at least bring them her panties. Both teens find change in love and purpose. Full of street slang and dialect as well as pages of Facebook posts and text conversations, this novel told in both Omar's and Claudia's voices will most likely appeal to reluctant readers who like plenty of innuendo and some graphic scenes in their urban teen "dramedy-romances."—Suzanne Gordon, Lanier High School, Sugar Hill, GA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062118967
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 11/19/2013
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 643,294
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: HL660L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Kwame Alexander

Kwame Alexander has written seventeen books, owned several publishing companies, written for television (TLC's Hip Hop Harry), recorded a CD, performed around the world, produced jazz and book festivals, hosted a weekly radio show, worked for the U.S. government, and taught in a high school. Recently Kwame was a visiting writer in Brazil and Africa. He resides in the Washington, DC, area, where he is the founding director of Book-in-a-Day (BID), a program that teaches and empowers teenagers to write and publish their own books. The idea for He Said, She Said came during a writing workshop he conducted with thirty smart, funny, feisty, insecure, and ambitious young people in Charleston, South Carolina—which, by the way, is his favorite place on earth (behind Bahia, Accra, and Tuscany, of course).

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2014

    A really good read!!

    I didnt buy this from the NOOK store, my grandmother bought it for me for Christmas. A really good book; its funny, romantic, and inspriring. Really good context too, Kwame did an excellent job!!

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