Yee, L., & Santat, D. (2009). Bobby vs. girls (accidentally). New York, NY: Arthur A. Levine Books.
This book is listed as being for ages 7-10 on Barnes and Noble and I agree with this age range. This is a laugh out loud story of how one fourth grader, Bobby, accidentally starts a battle between genders in class. Bobby has been best friends with Holly since they were born on the same day in the same hospital but suddenly everything is changing and Holly is becoming a girl. Bobby keeps clashing with Holly’s new friends and in a series of misadventures culminating in their class election between Bobby and Holly. Ultimately the election ends in a tie and Bobby decides to let Holly be their class representative and he will step in if she ever has to miss a meeting. In addition to dealing with with all of the drama at school he also has a crazy home life with his princess obsessed younger sister, his football playing older sister, his busy mom, and his dad who is an ex-football player learning how to be a stay at home dad. His dad also known by his nickname from playing football, The Freezer, is one of the funniest parts of the book. He burns everything, has problems with static cling when he does the laundry and is the newest member of the PTA ladies. I also particularly enjoyed Bobby’s misadventure at the school field trip to the Huntington Gardens where he gets stuck to a Koloff tree.
This is a great book for tweens who like realistic fiction. This is also a great read for kids who are dealing with the pressure to only have friends of the same gender when their best friend is the opposite gender. This can be a common problem for kids who have grown up with family friends of the opposite gender and Bobby and Holly show that is possible to remain friends. It is also a good book to read for kids who have recently lost a pet as over the course of the story Bobby receives a goldfish, teaches it to do tricks, and then has to deal with his younger sister accidentally killing it. It is also a good book fro tweens with asthma as Bobby also has asthma which prevents him from having a pet dog and forces him to use his nebulizer. Lastly it is a good choice for diversity with Bobby being half Chinese. I would include this book on a reading list for fourth graders as well as including it in book lists or displays about diverse books or books that are laugh out loud funny. There is also a sequel to this book called Bobby The Brave (Sometimes).