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He Said, She Said

He Said, She Said

4.7 3
by Kwame Alexander

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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


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: Harvard bound, 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. When a little flirting turns to real love, the revolt is on, and the scene at West Charleston gets real. Fast!

The stakes are high, the romance is hot, and when these worlds collide, sparks will fly! Believe that!

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
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.)
Children's Literature - Heather Christensen
Omar Smalls, also known as T-Diddy, is “The Man” at West Charleston High. A transplant from Brooklyn, the star quarterback knows he can get any girl he wants. Any girl except one—Harvard-bound Claudia Clarke, the socially minded editor of the school newspaper who “only dates college dudes with GPAs of four-oh or higher.” When T-Diddy’s friends bet he cannot add Claudia to his list of conquests, T-Diddy gets his game on. Seeking an opportunity to get in with Claudia, he organizes a protest to return funding for the arts back to West Charleston. And while his tactic for winning Claudia seems to be working, somewhere along the way the protest becomes something more than just a way to a girl’s heart. Turns out, he has a talent for motivating and uniting the student population and might be able to encourage some change. Alexander’s prose dances with the rhythm of hip-hop and the exuberance of youth. Alternating between Omar and Claudia’s first-person accounts, social media status updates, and excerpts from the school’s newspaper, readers get a wide perspective on the story. Though there’s some definite chemistry between the two main characters, the theme of developing relationships over satisfying lust is strongly played out, without ever feeling didactic or heavy-handed. This fresh voice in contemporary realistic teen fiction will find broad appeal to diverse audiences. Reviewer: Heather Christensen; Ages 15 up.
Kirkus Reviews
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)
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.”
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.”
School Library Journal
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

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.30(d)
HL660L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

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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He Said, She Said 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
5 out of 5 stars This book takes place suburban area in modern time with many children, a lot of young girls becoming pregnant, many crimes, but only few kids that are willing to learn. Omar, a.k.a T- Diddy, and Claudia are the two main characters in this book. In this book written by Kwame Alexander, is a thrill seeker. Claudia is a straight A student and a dancer for the school. While on the other hand Omar, a football jock, who only cares about football, is a straight C and D student, and only wants to get into girls’ pants. In “He Said, She Said,” there is a problem the school is going to get rid of art, music, and more academic things, they cut teachers, only have the library open two days a week, and are losing kids to drugs, pregnancy, and drop outs. The school spends thousands of dollars on new football equipment, the new field, and bleachers. Claudia wants to stop that from happening, and wants the school to put more money into academics, but Omar wants all of the school’s funds to go to his football team. Omar met Claudia at a party, before that party he thought she was a goody-two-shoes who only careded about school and dancing. Omar thought that Claudia was the hottest thing, so he thought he could work his charm into getting her. Well jokes on him, Claudia knew what he was trying to get into her pants. Claudia new about “T- Diddy,” but she thought he was a dumb jock who only wanted to get into girls’ pants. Omar wanted Claudia so bad that he changed his whole personality. He still played football, but acted very differently. One day he told Claudia that he had a plan, he said that he wanted the school board to hear their voices. Later on they had an assembly and got everyone on board. The school board finally makes up their minds and Claudia gives Omar a chance. I think that “He Said She Said” is a very well written book, I really enjoyed it. I would recommend 12 to at least 21. The plot and the conflicts in this book are very well written. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who is younger than 12 because it has graphic content, and uses profanity. That's why I would give this book a 5 out of 5 stars, and would recommend it to 12 - 21 year olds.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
His books are one of the most inevitable, creative and imaginative stories ever written. This book is not only for teens, but also for adults and anyone that can relate to such a twist!