How do you lose those 9th grade blues
Today’s selection is definitely dated and for extra giggles, a bit creepy. This book is the second in the Elsie series by DeClements. The first book is Nothing’s Fair in Fifth Grade, where we meet Elsie Edwards. Elsie is the proverbial “fat girl” and is struggling with weight.
In this sequel, Elsie is a girl who has lost the weight and now is deemed pretty by her peers. But wait, she is still not happy! Elsie can’t believe boys are interested in her. But wait! A senior boy named Craddoc (what is with this name?) starts asking Elsie out and eventually they start dating.
Craddoc is a football player and kind of the “it” guy at high school. Elsie initially thinks this is weird since she is a freshman and he is a senior. I got ick vibes from the get go. Then I read read Craddoc’s line to Elsie: “maybe it’s lucky I got you so young so I can train you.” (Run Elsie, this guy is no good!)
I will give points to the book for discussing that weight loss and beauty does not equal happiness. I also think these are probably tapping into some preteen thoughts and anxieties and no doubt this book would have been popular. Today’s preteens would probably laugh at the scenarios and recognize Craddoc as a creep from the get go. Also, how many of today’s kids will get the reference to “dittos”, waiting by the phone for a boy to call, and pop culture references.