Booktalks

Booktalk for Deep Down Popular

  • Grades: 3–5

Could the most popular boy in school and the most unpopular girl ever become a couple?

Hi y'all. I'm Jessie Lou Ferguson. I live in West Taluka, Virginia, and I'm gonna tell you about what happened to me the year I was in the sixth grade. 

It was the year Conrad Parker Smith had something go wrong with his leg. He started to limp, and pretty soon, he had to quit the soccer team and wear a big metal brace on his leg. Our teacher told me to help carry his books and stuff home every day after school because we live on the same road.  Conrad had always been popular, but now that he couldn't play soccer or dance, and always had to wear that ugly brace, the popular kids didn't want have anything to do with him.

That's why he and I and Quentin Duster were walking home from school that day, when we saw Tiny Bailey working on something in this out-of-the-way field surrounded by trees. It was something big, long and tall, and partly wrapped in a plastic tarp, so we couldn't see what it was, even when we crept up as close as we could. Tiny was a fifth year senior at the vocational high school who liked to work on engines. But why would he be down here working in this out-of-the-way field if he wasn't hiding something? 

We spied on him every day after school, but we couldn't figure out what he was working on. And if he was being that careful about keeping it covered up, you can bet that that he wouldn't tell us what it was if we just asked him. We would just have to keep watching him.

But there was a part of me that really didn't care what Tiny was doing, the part of me that had been in love with Conrad for years, and just wanted to keep on spending time with him. I felt kinda mean for hoping that he'd have to wear that brace forever, so he'd stay unpopular and stay with me - but I did.  Could the most unpopular girl in school stand a chance with the ex-most popular boy in school?  Come on along, and find out.

This booktalk was written by university professor, librarian, and booktalking expert Joni Richards Bodart.

  • Subjects:
    Feelings and Emotions, Friends and Friendship, Shyness
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