Reviews and Awards


(Little, Brown Books for Young Readers) June 2014


So many lies. When her girlfriend Swanee dies suddenly, Alix is devastated to discover that Swanee has been secretly dating another girl, Liana. For complex reasons, Alix feels it is her responsibility to tell Liana of Swanee’s death. But in so doing, she creates a web of lies that will come to haunt her as the girls meet and bond over their mutual experience of betrayal. The bond quickly turns into friendship and then into love. Alix knows she must finally tell Liana the truth, but will it strengthen their relationship or destroy it? Peters has written another insightful, absorbing novel of relationships that is both emotionally and intellectually satisfying. Alix and Liana are multidimensional characters with whom readers will identify and empathize. Peters’ thematic treatment of lies and truth is nicely realized and never pedantic. This will have widespread appeal to both gay and straight readers and is another strong offering from a well-established, popular author. Grades 7-12. Booklist

“After Alix's track star girlfriend, Swanee, drops dead of sudden cardiac arrest, the high school junior is devastated. When a mysterious girl keeps texting Swanee's phone, unaware she has died, Alix learns she was not the only girlfriend Swanee left behind. Once Alix starts spending time with beautiful and grounded Liana, her father worries that it is a rebound, but Alix becomes convinced they were "always meant to find each other." This book tenderly explores themes of loss and forgiveness… The two central protagonists have believable chemistry, and Peters (It's Our Prom ) capably addresses teen LGBT relationships without making them the story's sole preoccupation.” Ages 15–up. Publishers Weekly

“Alix's world is turned upside down after falling for popular and confident Swanee, so much so that ditching her friends and playing by her love's rules seems almost too easy. When her mom breaks the news that Swanee has suddenly died of an unexpected cardiac arrest, Alix has a hard time accepting that her vivacious and seductive girlfriend is really gone. In Peters's newest offering, questions of love and honesty abound. After Alix gets ahold of Swanee's cell phone, she discovers texts revealing that Swanee had been carrying on an affair with another girl. To find out more about the mysterious L.T., she sends her a message, pretending to be Swanee, before ultimately tracking her down and giving her the news of Swanee's death. Alix finds out her name, Lianna, and that they share more than just a girlfriend in common. They begin spending more and more time together, and despite her best intentions, and the fact that she's falling hard for her, Alix can't bring herself to tell Lianna that she had sent the texts pretending to be Swanee. The book does not focus on sexuality, and it's a pleasure to read a typical teen romance that just happens to be between two girls. Romance fans of any persuasion will be swept up in this slow-paced but ultimately sweet story.” Gr. 9 and up. School Library Journal


(Little, Brown Books for Young Readers) April 2012

An American Library Association Rainbow List Selection

"It’s not often that a high school student gets a chance to change the world—even if it is just her own small corner of it. That is exactly what happens to Azure when the school principal, seeking to revive the school’s tired, unpopular prom, gives her permission to organize an alternative prom. She convinces her two best friends to join the committee, and they do, against their better judgment. It does not take long before dreams clash with reality as the team struggles along with no money, no support, and very little time. Told in alternating voices, this engaging story explores some serious themes, but always with a light and humorous touch. This book adds a welcome new dimension to the many prom-themed books that are always popular in the spring.” Voice of Youth Advocates

"A fun read about a Denver high school whose idea of inclusivity goes beyond the norm to include all 'geeks, freaks, and uniques.'” School Library Journal

"By the time the protagonists show up at the prom they have fought for, readers will be onboard with the resulting over-the-top fun.” Publisher’s Weekly

Reviews from Young Readers


(Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2011) ISBN: 978-0-316-07874-0

An American Library Association Top Ten Rainbow List Selection
A CBC Teen Choice Book Award Nomination
An ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults Nomination, 2011


"The story of friends, family, and lovers will pull readers into the deeper themes of trust, rejection, and intimate secrets revealed." Booklist

"A warm and substantive character study and a welcome addition to stories about LGBTQ teens." Kirkus Reviews

"Readers will appreciate Alyssa's honesty as she slowly reveals the details of her desperate break-up with Sarah.... [and] will also respect Peters's choice to give Alyssa new hope." Publishers Weekly

“There’s something about a Julie Anne Peters’ book that makes you want to read it in one sitting, start to finish. She Loves You, She Loves You Not… is just such a book. Reminiscent of Peters’ Keeping You a Secret, one of my all-time favorite books, sixteen-year-old Alyssa is thrown out of her Virginia Beach home when her father discovers that she is a lesbian… Alyssa’s girlfriend in Virginia broke up with her and… although she has sworn off girlfriends, Alyssa finds herself attracted to Finn, a co-worker at the Egg Drop-Inn diner… Peters’ characters run the gamut from grouchy Arlo, the owner of the Egg Drop-Inn, to Finn who shies away from the commitment to Carly {Alyssa’s estranged mother} to Alyssa’s understanding stepmother. They are all credible and some, especially Arlo, are quite endearing. She Loves You, She Loves You Not… is told from Alyssa’s point of view, with flashbacks to the preceding school year when she meets and falls in love with Sarah. You’ll get a sense of Alyssa, who is positive about her sexual orientation, compared to Sarah and Finn who are still either searching for the truth or finding the courage to admit the truth… If you’re into romance or you like Julie Anne Peters, make sure She Loves You, She Loves You Not… is on your reading list. Julie Anne Peters will love you for it, that’s for sure.” Ed Goldberg, Library Thing, 4 stars


(Hyperion ~ DBG, 2010) ISBN: 978-142311618-9

An ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, 2011
Chicago Public Library’s Best of the Best List 2010
An ALA Popular Paperback for YA: Sticks and Stones category
An ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults Nomination, 2011


“Any teen fortunate enough not to relate to the subject matter should read this book, which turns the old adage, ‘sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me,’ on its ear. Powerfully portrayed in the first person, the protagonist’s account offers compelling insight into just how spiritually and emotionally devastating bullying can be. … Anyone who has been the victim of this type of abuse will not only readily embrace its contents, but also potentially learn from it.” (Highlighted) Voice of Youth Advocates

“Peters’s spare, terse writing perfectly echoes her protagonist’s state of mind… Throughout the novel, Peters trusts readers to recognize Daelyn as an emotionally damaged, single-mindedly unreliable narrator. The authenticity afforded by the author’s unwavering commitment to her main character’s often distorted perspective elevates the story above its morbidly titillating will-she-or-won’t-she element.” The Horn Book

“When I met the author, Julie Anne Peters, we chatted about how controversial the context was so jumped on reading the book. The topic is suicide and how the effect of “bullying” often pushes young adults to their end. Peters is cautious in telling her story of Daelyn, a girl who has been attempting suicide since she was ten years old… While planning her end, Daelyn meets Santana, a boy who unexpectedly befriends her. Daelyn resists all feelings for Santana, but he is charming and persistent… It is easy to understand why By the Time You Read This, I’ll Be Dead is about such a questionable subject. Society wants its contenders to “think happy and stay positive,” eliminating the negative. But the negative is real. Life hurts when a young adult is maturing. This topic is necessary in conjunction with today’s youth. Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among young adults age 15-24. With books like this one and others by author Ellen Hopkins, people of all ages can better understand the changes and struggles that face today’s youth.” Library Thing

“Julie Anne Peters has written some marvelous books (my favorite is Keeping You a Secret) and By the Time You Read This, I’ll be Dead is one of them. It is the powerful story of what will drive a teenager to suicide. Daelyn is an unforgettable character, one who you will love. Her parents are ignorant about her life and confused about how to deal with her. (What parent isn’t clueless about their kids’ lives?) But love, sometimes, just isn’t enough. As Daelyn purges herself over her 23 remaining days, her story comes out, heart wrenching. Santana’s story, is equally heart wrenching, but Peters effectively juxtaposes Santana’s unwavering desire to live with Daelyn’s desire to die. What Laurie Halse Anderson did regarding eating disorders in Wintergirls, Julie Anne Peters has just done with suicide in By the Time You Read This, I’ll be Dead and that is write a revealing, realistic, absorbing story that is a must read.” ~Ed Goldberg, Young Adult (& Kids) Books Central Blog

“Mysterious and touching. Those two words are one of the best ways to sum up By the Time You Read This, I’ll Be Dead. Daelyn is a very unique character and within the first page you start to feel sorry for her. You don’t want her to kill herself, you just want to see her happy. Seeing inside her head is a different story, it’s dark and scary at times. Even though it helps you understand why she wants to end her life, it doesn’t really make it more acceptable. I could relate to this book in a lot of ways, I saw myself in Daelyn like I’m sure a lot of people did. This book is not just for teen audiences, even though that’s where it will get its strength. I took this book with me on a church trip and within an hour, one of my adult leaders had already gotten half way through this book. It’s hard to put down By the Time You Read This, I’ll Be Dead; you actually don’t want to put it down at all. Daelyn’s story and struggle is just intoxicating.” ~Lexi


(Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2009) ISBN: 978-0-375-85209-1

2010 Colorado Book Award Finalist
2010 Capitol Choices Noteworthy Books for Children and Teens
2010 Rainbow Project Bibliography
Nominated for the Amelia Bloomer Project, 2010 List of Recommended Feminist Books for Youth, awarded by the Feminist Task Force of the Social Responsibilities Round Table of the American Library Association


“Love hurts. Dependable Johanna is drawn to mercurial Reeve, whose anger-management issues stem from her abusive home life. To express herself, Reeve hits. Johanna is thrilled just to be near Reeve in all her temperamental glory, even if it means alienating her best friend in the process. Reeve eventually turns her fists on Johanna, who remains loyal, lying and cheating to protect Reeve and her brother… Any reader who’s ever had a crush, however, will understand Johanna’s head-over-heels feelings for Reeve. The subjects of sexuality, abuse and loss are difficult, but the author knows exactly how to move teen characters through them and toward a hopeful ending. The look at dating violence in same-sex relationships makes this book one that meets a need.” Kirkus Reviews

“Peters approaches the difficult subject matter [of dating abuse] with nuance and insight, and her charismatic but flawed protagonists (Johanna with her savior complex; Reeve, a product of abuse whose moments of manipulation and rage are balanced with others of self-awareness and compassion) carry the story, allowing it to develop naturally and believably… Peters has always steered clear of making her gay characters model minorities; here, allowing Johanna’s and Reeve’s personalities a wealth of contradiction and complexity, she creates a deeply human story of abuse and redemption.” The Horn Book

“Julie Anne Peters’ writing in Rage: A Love Story, true to form, has produced an engrossing look at [the main character] Johanna’s dreams and her reality. All the characters are real; characters that readers will relate to, care about, sympathize with, and like or dislike intensely. As with many books on this topic, readers will want to figuratively bang Johanna’s head against the wall (Reeve does it literally) and tell her to wake up and smell the roses. While the conclusion is bittersweet, it is a viable ending that readers will accept. Fans of Julie Anne Peters will devour Rage and non-fans will become fans after reading the book.” ~Ed Goldberg, Young Adult (& Kids) Books Central Blog

“Readers who know Peters’ books will certainly gravitate to this one as well. They trust her to tell the difficult truths; and she delivers just that in this novel.” Voice of Youth Advocates


(Little, Brown and Co., 2007) ISBN-10: 0-316-01343-9, ISBN-13: 978-0-316-01343-7

Golden Crown Literary Award Finalist for Lesbian Short Story/Essay Collections
2007 Rainbow Reads (best-of-the-best list chosen by the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Round Table of the American Library Association)
2008 New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age
2008 Cooperative Children's Books Center Choices (best-of-the-year books for young adults)
Cybils Award Nominee


“The author of the novels Keeping You a Secret (2003) and Luna (2004) shows she’s an even better short story writer. Continuing with her themes of coming out and the experiences of young lesbians, the 10 stories here present different but equally polished facets of varied experience and emotion… Accessible and credible, the stories belong in teen collections not only because of their sympathetic yet clear-eyed depictions of minority sexual orientation but also for their exemplary crafting.” Booklist

“The short stories in this collection give voice to ten expressions of lesbian and transgender teen experience… Peters skillfully varies the subject matter and tone from piece to piece… Whether readers are looking for reflections of the other or reflections of themselves, grl2grl presents plenty of opportunities to find both.” The Horn Book Magazine

“For straight teens, this collection will be a haunting revelation and a chance to feel someone else's experience; for gay teens, these tenderly written stories will provide an emotional lifeline of acceptance.” Voice of Youth Advocates

“Regardless of the intensity of the struggles, girls of any sexual orientation will feel quickly drawn into the lives glimpsed here… teens searching for a fast read, especially in an underserved subject, will be gratified to find this collection.” Publishers Weekly

“The dearth of titles of lesbian interest gets a respite… In grl2grl, Peters' stories depict teens and young women grappling with problems refreshingly unrelated to parents or to coming out… In all, readers have 10 opportunities to revel in the very different stories Peters has created. Presumably, many of them are based in fact, because she thanks the people who have shared their stories with her.” Ken Furtado, Echo Magazine


(Little, Brown and Co., 2006), ISBN 0-316-73906-5

Lambda Literary Award Winner
2006 Rainbow Reads, selected by the American Library Association’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Round Table
Honor Book, first ever James Cook Teen Book Award given by the Ohio Library Council. The award recognizes books that promote and celebrate cultural, ethnic and social diversity; demonstrate excellence in writing; and have a wide appeal to a teen audience
Cybils Award Finalist
Michigan Library Association 2007 Thumbs Up! Award Nominee


“Nicholas Nathaniel Thomas Tyler has four first names and two mothers. As the only child in his class with gay parents, he endures the taunts and prejudices of classmates and adults over the years as best he can, drawing reassurance and strength from his parents… This novel is a timely exploration of the struggles faced by same-sex couples and their children, and while the issues are significant, the story is never overwhelmed by them… This coming-of-age novel powerfully portrays the universal pain of a family breakup.” (Starred) School Library Journal

“Peters again works her writing magic in this perfectly structured and exquisitely written novel… A child in a family facing divorce hurts-no matter what genders comprise the parent couple. Because of this family makeup, many librarians will self-censor the book, doing what Nick's elementary teacher did with his drawings. But the novel needs to be read. Doing so takes one step toward helping this kind of family feel less invisible; doing so represents one step closer to recognizing and supporting their very real existence.” Voice of Youth Advocates

“Nick’s voice is so real that readers, no matter their home situation, will readily identify. A powerful, moving examination of the relationships we forge within the family we are given.” The Horn Book Magazine

“Nick's need for Jo is palpable, despite-or because of-their gruff, unorthodox, rough-and-tumble love. An un-romanticized look at divorce and parent-child relationships, as well as an addition to the tiny canon about gay parents.” Kirkus Reviews

“This is a smart, well-written book for teens as well as adults that will instill empathy and compassion, as well as stir emotions—perhaps even bring tears to readers’ eyes, as it did mine.” Jennifer Miller, Rocky Mountain News


(Little, Brown and Co., 2005) ISBN 0-316-15881-X (HC) : ISBN 0-316-15971-9 (PB) Reissued as PRETEND YOU LOVE ME (Spring 2011) ISBN 978-0-316-12741-7 (PB)

2005 Rainbow Reads, selected by the American Library Association’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Round Table
Finalist for the 2006 Colorado Book Award in Young Adult Fiction
New York Public Library Books for the Teen-Age List 2006
Booklist Top 10 Romance Fiction for Youth
An American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults, 2006 Nomination
An ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, 2006 Nomination


“Presenting credible characters in tragic situations, Peters keeps readers turning pages – and reaching for tissues – late into the night. Better still, she leaves readers with a greater faith in humanity, family ties, and the power of community.” Voice of Youth Advocates

“Excellent characterizations make this piece shine. Mike’s a gritty and absorbing mix of pain and strength; Peters’s other characters are also realistically complex…a memorable portrait of this girl and the small town she calls home.” Kirkus Reviews

“Readers will root for Mike in this heartfelt coming-of-age story.” School Library Journal

“The author creates a vivid backdrop in rural Coalton, and it’s refreshing that residents accept and even embrace Mike… Ultimately, readers will root for Mike and will come to understand her pain and need for love.” Publishers Weekly

"Peters has established herself not just as a successful gay author who writes responsible and compelling books for young adults but also as a flat-out good writer, regardless of her topics.” (4 stars) Romantic Times

"Far from Xanadu is a witty and sensitive portrayal of a gay teen that cuts through all the differences between us to the single life experience that unites us — first love.” Peggy Tibbetts,


(Little, Brown and Co., 2004) ISBN 0-316-73369-5 (HC) : ISBN 0-316—1127-4 (PB)

2004 National Book Award Finalist in Young People’s Literature
2005 Stonewall Honor Book, awarded by the GLBTQ Round Table of the American Library Association
An American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults 2005
2005 Colorado Book Award for Young Adult Literature
2005 Lambda Literary Award Finalist
2004 Borders Original Voices Award Finalist
Nominated for the „Buxtehuder Bulle“, a distinguished prize in literature for young people in Germany
Chicago Public Library Best of the Best 2004, Books for Great Teens
Michigan Library Association 2005 Thumbs Up! Award Nominee
Rhode Island Teen Book Award 2006 Nominee
Missouri Gateway Book Award 2006 Nominee
Vermont Green Mountain Book Award 2006 Nominee
New York Public Library Books for the Teen-Age List 2005
An Original Voices selection by Borders Books and Music. Original Voices recognizes innovative and ambitious books from new and emerging talents, as well as outstanding works from established authors.
2004 Book Sense Summer Reading List for Teens
An ALA Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults
2007 New Jersey Garden State Teen Book Award Nominee
2007 Best Young Adult Fiction Award from the China Times in Taiwan
2009 Great Stories CLUB, chosen by the American Library Association. The Great Stories CLUB (Connecting Libraries, Underserved teens and Books) is a reading and discussion program designed to reach underserved and at-risk youth through books that are relevant to their lives.


Groundbreaking, finely tuned realism about a transsexual teen. Peters writes her characters with care and complexity. The first of its kind — well done and essential for every library serving young adults.” (Starred) Kirkus Reviews

"This novel breaks new ground in YA literature with a sensitive and poignant portrayal of a young man’s determination to live his true identity and his family’s struggle to accept Luna for who she really is.” School Library Journal

"Although the book is about Liam’s struggle with being transgendered, it is really Regan’s story. If one removed that entire theme, there would still be a great novel about teenage life, showing the real strength of the writing and the characters. Peters handles the issue with grace, sympathy, and a huge dose of reality. This does not scream, “Controversial topic!” Instead, it brings up a sensitive issue and shows it in such a realistic light that the reader will come away having learned something, and one might hope, with a sympathetic attitude toward people dealing with gender issues.” Voice of Youth Advocates

"Peters’ sensitive treatment of the struggles of the transgendered and those who love them allows readers to see another aspect of the difficult adolescent journey toward identity and the influence of societal pressure. Peters writes with great empathy and provides her readers with carefully chosen information about transsexuality and the quest to become whole.” KLIATT

"This novel breaks new ground in YA literature with a sensitive and poignant portrayal of a young man’s determination to live his true identity and his family’s struggle to accept Luna for who she really is.” School Library Journal

"Honest, heartbreaking, amazing. LUNA makes us ask ourselves,' What does it take to live an authentic life? What sacrifices will that entail?' To this mesmerizing drama, Julie Anne Peters brings humor, intensity, and an overwhelming sense of love and redemption. Required reading for anyone interested in living a more compassionate life." Jennifer Finney Boylan, author of She’s Not There: A Life in Two Genders

“The book is a brilliant exposition of the conflict, exaltation, and terror involved in ‘coming out’ and I recommend it unreservedly.” Katherine Cummings, author of Katherine’s Diary: The Story of a Transsexual, winner of the Australian Human Rights Award for Non Fiction


(Little, Brown and Co., 2000) ISBN 0-316-70631-0 (HC) : ISBN 0-316-73489-6 (PB)

An American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults
An ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers
An ALA Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults
Winner 2003 Oklahoma Sequoyah Young Adult Book Award
Winner 2002/2003 California Young Reader Medal
Winner 2002/2003 Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Book Award
2010-2011 Isinglass Teen Reads Award List in New Hampshire
Texas Lone Star Master Reading List 2002/2003
Chicago Public Library's Best of the Best 2000
Missouri Library Association's Best of the Best 1999/2000
Iowa Teen Award Finalist 2002/2003
Michigan Library Association 2001 Thumbs Up! Award Finalist


"Peters mingles humor and pathos in a novel about two girls on opposite ends of the emotional and financial spectrum. The girls provide neat foils for one another, and Peters gives them depth and dimensionality. The narrative is similarly well-constructed and readers will be surprised by an unanticipated but plausible revelation near the end. Along the way, the book's radiance comes from the lovable humanity of the nimbly nuanced characters." Kirkus Reviews

"Peters has a gift for adding some original flavor to solid school-and-friends dramas, and this gives the different-as-day-and-night friendship story heart that readers from both sides of the equation will appreciate." (Recommended) The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"...girls will enjoy the appealing main characters in this after-school-special-style friendship story. A quick, enjoyable read that will also attract reluctant readers. Booklist

"This believable book is well written and readers will feel that they know both Jazz and Antonia, and they will want to see them triumph over the frustrations in their lives. School Library Journal

"Peters develops clear themes here—look beneath the surface for the real person, appearances may not reflect reality, and everyone has difficulties… The ending is a hopeful one in which the young women learn to accept and help each other. Readers who are looking for believable characters and a good story about friendship, being different, and growing wiser will appreciate Define "Normal." Voice of Youth Advocates


(Little, Brown and Co., 2001) ISBN 0-316-70287-0


"This third installment in the Snob Squad adventures lives up to its again blending humor with depth... By the close, everyone has learned that perfection is unattainable, but forgiveness, trust, and loyalty are the foundation of friendship and family. Eminently readable, it's a story strong in plot and memorable characters while offering some powerful insights on sustaining solid relationships." Kirkus Reviews

"Here the Snob Squad girls are not only unpopular but also sometimes unlovable, and that's what gives the story depth. Readers will enjoy the entertaining mystery about the theft and the cover-up and appreciate the honesty as Jenny wrestles with issues of friendship, guilt, and loyalty... There's nothing comfortable about this story, except perhaps the power of forgiveness." Booklist

"Middle level girls who enjoy Peters's work will want to continue reading the adventures of the four misfits. Jen, the narrator, is as caustic as ever as she views life from the fat side. Issues that are important to young people this age are dealt with realistically, and although there is not a true happy ending, readers see the girls continuing to change and grow together as friends and supporters." Voice of Youth Advocates


(Little, Brown and Co., 1999) ISBN 0-316-70627-2 (HC) : ISBN 0-14-131015-4 (PB)


"With laughter and tenderness, this sequel to Revenge of the Snob Squad continues the story of the four sixth-grade misfit girls who become friends. There is mayhem in the science lab, though some of the best scenes are with Jenny's dysfunctional family, whose mealtime resembles a silent battlefield. Even the message is funny: in a wonderful scene, Jenny rages at herself in the mirror about taking responsibility for her own problem and asking for help. Many middle-graders will recognize the dreams of glamour and the painful farce at home and school." Booklist

"The characters, already solidly realized previously, are even better developed this time around, while the sweetly awkward first-time alliances with members of the opposite sex are nicely done. A well-paced novel with many funny moments." Kirkus Reviews

"Jenny's snappy asides range from hysterically funny to sadly self-deprecating as she struggles with her weight and her dysfunctional family." The Horn Book Magazine


(Little, Brown and Co., 1998) ISBN 0-316-70603-5 (HC) : ISBN 0-14-130818-4 (PB)

Colorado Authors' League Top Hand Award for Young Adult Fiction
Infolink's Best Books for Children 1998


"Jenny provides a glib, fast-paced first-person narration, which is peppered with verbal repartee and humorous asides about her classmates. Peters's writing is smooth and funny page to page, which makes this an enjoyable read. A great jacket painting of the four girls will have this jumping off the shelves." Kirkus Reviews

"Readers will chuckle as they read each new episode, such as 'Operation Green Hair.' This amusing light read is sure to be popular with fans of the Babysitters Club and with readers who have outgrown Ellen Conford's Jenny Archer. It deals realistically with problems that many youngsters face and may even allow them to laugh at themselves in the process." School Library Journal

". . . this is not a cheerful friendship romp but a dark laugh-out-loud comedy about four middle-school outcasts who form the Snob Squad to get back at the bullies who humiliate them. Peters has written a moving story with laughter that doesn't make the sadness go away but makes it almost bearable." Booklist

". . . full of gleeful sass and backtalk that young readers will enjoy. The story's style of goofy exaggeration, reminiscent of Gordon Korman, isn't usually seen in school stories about middle-schoolers of the female persuasion, and girls looking for some literary popcorn may relish having a tub just for them." Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books


(Little, Brown and Co., 1996) ISBN 0-316-70266-8 (HC) : ISBN 0-380-73053-7 (PB)

Society of School Librarians International Best Book in Language Arts K-8
Best Children's Book State Awards finalist in South Carolina, Maryland, and Hawaii


"This is a funny, wonderfully written tale about friendship and competition, with secondary messages about parents and families dealing with divorce." Booklist

"A thoughtful, wry, and very funny look at friendship and fitting in." Kirkus Reviews

"Peters skillfully interweaves the competition with a story of friendship and shifting alliances. Believable dialogue testifies to the casual cruelty and stumbling kindnesses of middle-schoolers, as well as their saving humor." Publishers Weekly

"Peters presents a believable story of the competitions, shifting allegiances, and fragile feelings endemic to adolescence." The Horn Book Magazine

"A clever title, snappy dialogue, and common middle-school problems make this an apealing read." School Library Journal

". . . well-paced and energetic. The characters are nicely individuated . . . a satisfying entry on the perennially popular topic of not-so-perennial popularity." (Recommended) The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

". . . a marvelous find. Besides being a fantastic portrayal of strong female characters, How Do You Spell G-E-E-K? is also an extremely enjoyable read. The story is engrossing and funny and at times poignant. I highly recommend it for." elementary and middle school children The American Reporter