cover image Nerd No More

Nerd No More

Kristine L. Franklin. Candlewick Press (MA), $16.99 (144pp) ISBN 978-1-56402-674-3

Wiggie Carter is a nerd, and he wants to be cool. This shopworn premise is smothered right off the bat by a pile of equally tired stereotypes. Among them: Wiggie wears thick glasses. His mother is a scientist with her own educational TV show. He has a brilliant younger brother who blows things up on the kitchen floor. All the kids in Wiggie's sixth grade harass him and call him ""Bowel Boy"" (his mother uses the word ""bowels"" in a TV lecture on parasites), and the teacher never says a word. Wiggie decides to mousse his hair and put green glitter on top of that, but it doesn't make him popular until he sneezes on a girl and gets ""glitter boogers"" on her. As expected, the clueless adults are no help; it's a wise friend, Callie, who teaches Wiggie that it might be okay to be smart. There's not enough pizzazz here to be enticing nor enough freshness to be funny. Ages 9-12. (Sept.)