Nerd Girls: The Rise of the Dorkasaurus by Alan Lawrence Sitomer

Nerd Girls - Alan Lawrence SitomerNerd Girls – Alan Lawrence Sitomer
Disney-Hyperion, May 2011
This was a review copy I received through Netgalley.
Buy: Amazon | Bookdepository

“I have a 3.73 grade point average and my body looks like a baked potato. My eyes are brown, my hair is brown, and sometimes when I snack on too many fig bars and run real fast in PE, I end up with brown streaks in my underpants, too. I’m not just un-cool; I’m anti-cool. I mean, I even know how to properly use a semicolon in a sentence. What could be more pathetic than that?”

The above is the opening paragraph to Nerd Girls: The Rise of the Dorkasaurus, a book for teenagers about 3 “nerd girls”, Maureen, who is addicted to fast-food, Alice, who is allergic to everything, and Barbara, a clumsy beanpole. These three girls decide to take on the popular girls of the school in a performance tournament, proclaiming that they are dorks, and proud of it.

I have remarked again and again that even though this trend of nerds-taking-on-popular girls might reinforce stereotypes, I think I would have liked reading this when I was a 13-year-old myself. You know, not being a popular kid, you kind of need this encouragement at that age. I like the message of making the most of a situation, respecting people for who they are, even if the message of accepting the popular girls at the end seems a little forced and fairytale like, I could even enjoy the message the author was trying to get across.

So, yes, I enjoyed reading this book. What I liked best that behind these stereotypes of “fast-food addict”, “clumsy beanpole” and “allergy girl” are hidden real stories of struggles of teenagers, but also a very emotional event in the life of one of the girls. In the first half of the book, the stereotypes are used in a “funny” manner, in almost every scene, Barbara bumps into something and Alice has to use her inhaler. I admit, I could see that it was used for a comedic effect, but it soon got a little tiring. However, in the latter half of the book you discover the back stories and these “stereotypes” turn into quirks of a person just trying to deal with life. And so they become persons. And while the first half of the book was okay, the latter half made me go from “okay-ish” to “liking” the book. I did not love it, but I did enjoy it, and I think many girls around the age of 13 will too.

One more thing, I personally would have prefered the title “Nerd Girls” to the added subtitle “The Rise of the Dorkasaurus”, somehow, I never really warmed to that word.

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9 thoughts on “Nerd Girls: The Rise of the Dorkasaurus by Alan Lawrence Sitomer

  1. rhapsodyinbooks

    I wish I had had this book also! (but I think it’s not too late for me to read it and have some post-hoc support!) I agree with you about the title: Nerd Girls seems sufficient.

  2. Leeswammes

    This doesn’t seem like the normal sort of books that you review but that is interesting. I reviewed a YA book recently and it’s just fun to do sometimes, just to try something new.

    Glad you enjoyed it.

    1. Iris Post author

      You are right, Judith. And this seems a little different from YA even, maybe because it is for girls that are slightly younger? But occasionally, I like to read YA and children’s lit, especially when I am too busy or a little ill. I read this when I was at home with the flu. Two more of such review to follow😉

  3. Becky @ One Literature Nut

    I liked that you connected to how you might have liked it as a young reader. Sometimes we jump over that element. I notice in my students that although we can recognize a well written book that we know anyone, teen or not, might like, that sometimes they like different story lines. I’m sure though that if they are smart readers, that they would see that repetition of stereotypes for themselves.

  4. alan sitomer

    Thanks for taking the time to review my book. I like the frank, honest tone you bring to your commentary. The comedy indeed does lead to more in-depth characterization and I am glad you actually saw “growth” in all of the girls. Being that this is going to be a five-book series (I just finished Book II… Book III up next) my aim is that readers will see the full arc from when we first met the nerd girls to where they end up by the end of the final chapters. Each story is a story unto itself but there is a bigger arc being served here as well.

    And so far, kids have LOVED it. See, you have to remember that kids read up, too, meaning that kids anywhere from 9 and up are diving in so I am getting a lot of good feedback from kids in grade 6 and 7 (even 5) despite the fact that the nerd girls are in 8th grade.

    Anyway, thanks for channeling your inner nerd. I’ve put together a Nerd Newsletter, a comic, an anti-bullying zone and a whole bunch of other stuff on the website at



  5. Jordan

    i read the book in two days and absoulutly loved it it was great you should make another one where the compete in a even bigger talent show against the three peas it would be awesome thnx email me with other books that you have


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