How to Get a Girlfriend: Advice from Kindergartners

BookendsCindy: I ran a Scholastic Book Fair at one of my middle schools last week and one of the books that elicited the most conversation was How to Get a Girlfriend (2014), written and illustrated by Senior Kindergarten Students of the American International School of Zagreb, Croatia. Leo, Alexander, and Matej have great advice for young boys, including the seventh-graders who paged through it while giggling last week.

Don’t pick your nose because she will say “yuck!”

Do a writing workshop so you can write her a letter of love.

Have a shower so you smell good.

The opening advice from the boys shows a wisdom beyond their years:

First find a girl who you like.
She has to be nice.
It doesn’t matter what she looks like.

Several of my teachers and parent volunteers bought copies to give to their sons—not a bad move. Here’s to young authors everywhere! We have a lot to learn from you, so keep writing.

And remember, boys, if you want to get
a girlfriend: “Do whatever she wants.”

How to Get a GirlfriendLynn: The seventh-grade boys aren’t the only ones who will giggle at this sweet, earnest book. It is most definitely as adorable as the young authors whose picture adorns the book’s title page and back cover. Their illustrations are charming, too: full-page crayon drawings facing each page of text, also in crayon.

This book is the nonfiction winner of the 2015 Scholastic Kids Are Authors Competition that began in 1986. The contest was designed to encourage children to read and become involved in the creative process of writing. The winners of each year’s competition are published by Scholastic and distributed by Scholastic Book Fairs.  How exciting is that?  You can see it in the thrilled expressions on these three little boys’ faces. Take a look here at some of the other winners.  And remember, boys, if you want to get a girlfriend: “Do whatever she wants.” I’m planning to share this book with my husband!



About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

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