Nancy Matson The Boy Trap

ISBN 13: 9780439223652

The Boy Trap

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9780439223652: The Boy Trap

When fifth-grader Emma's science project sparks a battle between the sexes, she discovers that boy-girl relationships are more complicated than she thought. Reprint.

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From Library Journal:

Grade 3-6-Emma wants to be a scientist, and Kennedy Elementary's science fair is the perfect place for her to show her stuff. But what she wants to show may be hard to prove-that girls are better than boys in every way. When two of her male counterparts set out to prove the opposite, tempers flair in the fifth grade, then throughout the school. Emma enlists the help of her friend Louise, who lacks scientific know-how, but whose unbiased attitude helps Emma understand her own bias toward the project. In trying to settle that age-old dilemma of boy/girl superiority, Matson has created some of the most realistic characters to populate children's books in ages. Emma and Louise are a wonderful balance for one another, and it's fun and gratifying to watch Emma grow from a girl verging on a boy hater to one just learning to appreciate people for who they are rather than what they are. Humorous pencil sketches grace most chapters, poking fun at the characters and the plot, and lending levity and perspective to the story. Matson uses a deft hand to weave together a variety of age-appropriate problems and a first encounter with scientific ethics. A totally entertaining look at girls, boys, and girls and boys.
Linda Bindner, formerly at Athens Clarke County Library, GA
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Publishers Weekly:

The comic premise of this breezy first novel about an elementary battle of the sexes is undermined, ironically, by its gender stereotypes. Aspiring fifth-grade scientist Emma, furious with boys, decides to prove that girls are superior to boys in her school science fair project. Although Emma thinks of her best friend Louise as more of a jock than a scientist, she enlists Louise's help. The competition escalates when their respective crushes, Wally and Robert, set out to document the opposite hypothesis. What starts out as humorous, however, devolves into a series of biased and superficial experiments, and readers may find it increasingly implausible that the entire student body and faculty jump on the bandwagon. More convincing is Emma's evolving perception of her friend. However, readers will likely have difficulty believing that even though Emma and Louise "had been best friends so long their conversations didn't have beginnings or endings," Emma never considered Louise smart. Several other inconsistencies emerge, and some of the gender roles seem dated (e.g., Louise must do all the housework because her "brother was a real brain and never had to do any household chores"). Ages 8-12. (Oct.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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