Wildly creative seventh grader Kara McAllister just had her best idea yet. She’s going to take notes on all of the boys in her grade (and a few elsewhere) in order to answer a seemingly simple question: How can she get a boyfriend?
But Kara’s project turns out to be a lot more complicated than she imagined. Soon there are secrets, lies, and an embarrassing incident in the boy’s bathroom. Plus, Kara has to deal with mean girls, her slightly spacey BFF, and some surprising uses for duct tape. Still, if Kara’s research leads her to the right boy, everything may just be worth it. . . .
Title: The Boy Project: Notes and Observations of Kara McAllister
Author: Kami Kinard
Publication date: 2012
After her first experience with Spin the Bottle ends with a handshake in a dark closet, Kara realizes that she is the only girl in the entire seventh grade who has never had a boyfriend. Even her best friend Tabitha has had a boyfriend, and has her eye on getting another one. Kara has crushes too, but the guys she likes aren’t interested. Kara decides to study the boys around her (in class, at the mall, and even male teachers) and she even turns it into a science project.
For her project, Kara keeps a notebook with her observations of each boy on index cards. Those cards, plus charts, lists, and drawings are included in the book. She’s creative and artistic, and that shows in her notebook and in her completed science project.
Kara’s friend Tabitha seems self-centered and not a very good friend. She’s all about getting a boyfriend and having one once she does. That’s Kara’s focus too, so I’m not sure what the difference between the two characters is. Maybe it’s just that Kara is willing to listen to Tabitha go on and on about her boyfriend but Tabitha isn’t as interested in Kara. I didn’t like Tabitha much, but that may change after I read her book, which is a companion to The Boy Project. Lucky for Kara, she has an older sister who is more supportive. They aren’t very close and don’t have similar interests, but Kara’s sister has some good advice when Kara finally opens up to her. Kara’s also able to observe (research!) her sister going after the boy she wants.
The Boy Project is hilarious. Kara is very easy to relate to and easy to like. She doesn’t take herself too seriously, so even when things don’t go her way, she doesn’t let herself get too down. Any boy who doesn’t like Kara is missing out.