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Boys, Girls and Other Hazardous Materials
by Rosalind Wiseman
PUBL. RECOMMENDED AGE: 12 and up
LEXILE READING LEVEL: HL660L {what is this?}
PUBLISHER: Putnam Juvenile
YEAR PUBLISHED: 2010
NO. PAGES: 288
GENRE{S}: Realistic Fiction
MAIN CHARACTER GENDER: Female
ISBN: 0399247963
READ & REVIEWED BY: Eden - StorySnoop


The Story
Boys, Girls and Other Hazardous Materials—Book Review

It's freshman year, and Charlie Healey just wants a drama-free year. She's making a fresh start at a new school -- having left her old middle school and her mean friends behind. All she wants to do is make some nice friends and wipe the slate clean. One the first day of school, Charlie runs into her former best guy pal, Will, who had moved away three years ago. He's back, he's cute, and he's popular. But he's also getting in over his head on the lacrosse team, trying to impress the upperclassmen. When Will is involved in a hazing incident that could have killed someone, Charlie is torn. Should she do what's right and tell what she knows, or protect the boy she might have feelings for, even though the guilt is eating her up?
The Scoop
Boys, Girls and Other Hazardous Materials—Book Review
{spoiler alert}

This is the first fiction book by Rosalind Wiseman, author of Queen Bees & Wannabes, and it addresses many of the topics that she is known for: mean girls, bullies and their enablers, and the teenage social hierarchy. Teens will appreciate the social authenticity and humor in this book. Charlie wants a quality, supportive friendship after her stint in middle school with a pair of "frenemies" whom she regrets never being able to stand up to. In her quest to find this, there are great messages about communication between friends and not choosing boys over one's friends. The thrust of this book, though, is about the male behavior. Freshman boys are vying to join a varsity team, where hazing is traditional and a blind eye is turned by the school administration. Charlie witnesses an incident that could have been fatal, and is faced with the moral dilemma of whether or not to tell. She encounters adults who protect the violators for the sake of having a winning team, as well as adults willing to do the right thing to teach a lesson. There is an incident with kids showing insensitivity and ignorance about the distinction between Hindus and Muslims. Language is present, but not frequent: bullsh-t, a-s, do-che bag.
>View our expanded Super Scoop on Boys, Girls & Other Hazardous Materials
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