Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 13 to 18
- Grade: 8 to 12
About the author
SUSAN JUBY is the author of the critically acclaimed Getting The Girl and Another Kind Of Cowboy, as well as the bestselling Alice series (Alice, I Think; Miss Smithers; Alice MacLeod, Realist at Last) and her latest novel for adults, The Woefield Poultry Collective. After dropping out of fashion college and attaining a BA from the University of British Columbia, Susan went to work in the book industry. She holds a master’s degree in publishing. She currently lives on Vancouver Island with her husband, James, and their dog, who prefers to remain anonymous. Visit her online at susanjuby.com.
Getting the Girl: A Guide to Private Investigation, Surveillance, and CookeryNinth grader Sherman Mack loves the ladies even though, for the most part, they are scarcely aware of his existence. It is precisely this fixation that lands Sherm smack in the middle of his high school’s most dreaded, and shameful, tradition with the valiant goal of putting an end to it once and for all.
When Sherm’s crush, “older woman” Dini Trioli, starts going out with lacrosse star Lester Broadside, Sherm is not only disappointed but also alarmed that she may become the next victim of Harewood Tech’s cruel practice of “Defiling” random girls. And what would he do if that ever happened to his friend Vanessa, he wonders. What begins as a crusade to protect one certain girl becomes, for Sherm, a chance to oppose something that he knows is wrong. It is also an opportunity to practice his skills as a private investigator (honed from reading Vanessa’s detective novels), to show off his cooking abilities and to hide out in a bedroom closet with the Trophy Wives! With a little help from his friends, Sherm makes some interesting and unsettling discoveries about himself, his fellow students and the realities of modern high school life.
In Sherm, Susan Juby gives us a quirky, affable new character not unlike Alice MacLeod from her earlier books. His slightly offbeat perceptions make him endearing and utterly likeable. The author also manages to maintain a light and humourous tone throughout the book while offering serious food for thought regarding how cruel teens can be to one another, especially when hiding behind the mask of anonymity that a group seems to provide. Slow though he may be on the uptake, Sherm readily recognizes that individually everyone he speaks to despises the custom of “Defiling”, but collectively the students, year after year, participate in its continuation. This is an intriguing look at the dynamics of high school as seen through the eyes of one semi-clueless but well-meaning boy whose investigations give readers uncomfortable insights into the whole issue of personal responsibility and accountability.
Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Fall 2008. Vol.31 No.4.
Getting the Girl: A Guide to Private Investigation, Surveillance, and CookerySherman is a ladies’ man with a thing for “older” women. But before he can ask out Dini, Lester scoops her up. Lester’s last girlfriend’s reputation was ruined for good — she even had to change schools! Determined to save Dini from the same fate, Sherman will put everything on the line.
Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. 2009.