cover image Flirt Club

Flirt Club

Cathleen Daly, Roaring Brook/Porter, $15.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-59643-572-8

Eighth-graders Annie (aka the Bean aka Secret Agent 66) and Izzie (aka Cisco aka Secret Agent 88) are best friends, and they share an exciting, mysterious, if at times aggravating interest: boys. Neither has much experience with the male species, so they start Flirt Club, a two-person group (at first) devoted to mastering the art of boy catching ("[L]et's see if we can adopt identities that don't clam up, blush, stutter, sputter, and basically run away and die around boys," writes the Bean). Told through very funny notes to each other, journal entries, and minutes from Flirt Club meetings, Daly's debut sparkles with wit, and her protagonists brim with enthusiasm and heart. This duo will endear readers with their nonstop goofball humor and boisterous personalities as they suffer being cast as "corn" in the school production of Joseph, among other theater-related slights, and struggle to hang onto each other as boys finally do enter and shake up their worlds. It's refreshing to see these girls counter middle-school drama with silliness rather than angst and hand-wringing. As Cisco and the Bean would say, "Thank God for being weird." Ages 12–up. (Jan.)