IN NED’S HEAD by Sören Olsson


Age Range: 10 - 13
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A sixth-grader blundering through preadolescence records his worries and misadventures with ingenuousness in this diaristic import. Styling himself as macho “Treb Vladinsky,” Ned obsesses about girls, frets at the dangers to his reputation posed by new eyeglasses and the fact that he keeps a diary, introduces an array of typecast acquaintances, and offhandedly recounts a string of mishaps, from breaking out in giggles in church to discovering that he has demonstrated 13 ways to pee not for a classmate, but for someone’s little sister. Read artfully relocates the setting by changing names, plus dropping in occasional references to Texas, Canada, Dr. Ruth, and the like, and has “Treb” tell his tale in short, abrupt sentences that give the narrative a madcap air. As Ned isn’t the sort to indulge in extended agonizing, this moves along trippingly to an endearingly inept romantic tryst with heartbreaker Nadia. First of a popular series in its native Sweden, this has the comic reach of Gordon Korman’s school stories, for instance, and will draw nods of recognition from its preteen audience. (Fiction. 10-13)

Pub Date: April 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-689-83870-0
Page count: 144pp
Publisher: Atheneum
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2001