Monday, January 22, 2007

A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl

Stone, Tanya Lee. 2006. A BAD BOY CAN BE GOOD FOR A GIRL. New York: Random House. ISBN 0385747020 [Suggested Grade Levels 8-12]

A YA novel in verse, A BAD BOY CAN BE GOOD FOR A GIRL, covers three girls’ sequential relationships with the same (very popular) boy. Each has a different level of sexual experience and a different attitude toward sex, but they share the same romantic fantasy that T.L. might be “the one.” When each is heartbroken by him, they take refuge and revenge in writing warnings for other girls at the high school in the back of a library copy of Judy Blume’s FOREVER. These scribblings make up the end papers of the book and prove that T.L. must have been the most callous and promiscuous teenager to ever stalk high school halls.

Blank verse ensures a fast read, and many girls will be able to identify with the situations and attitudes depicted. There are fairly graphic anatomical descriptions and sexual activity, but Stone never lingers over them. Each protagonist learns and grows from her experience with T.L., but Nicolette perhaps puts is best: “I am too young/ to feel this used up.”

Children can try writing letters to “Dear Abby” in the character’s voice of their choice. Then they can trade letters with a friend and write back with their best advice.

Many of the poems could function as dramatic monologues. Choose one to perform.

Other books about teenage sexuality:
Blume, Judy. FOREVER. ISBN 0671695304
Cart, Michael. LOVE AND SEX: TEN STORIES OF TRUTH. ISBN 0689856687
Sones, Sonya. WHAT MY MOTHER DOESN’T KNOW. ISBN 0689855532

By Julie Brinker

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