July 13: National Embrace Your Geekness Day
Did you know that there is a national holiday devoted to helping us accept our inner nerd? July 13 is national “Embrace your Geekness Day”. I’m convinced that everyone has a side of themselves that can be a bit geeky at times, so why not celebrate that!
Maya Van Wagenen describes her struggles with feeling geeky in her book, Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek. This memoir describes what it was like for Maya moving to the very diverse border town of Brownsville, Texas at the age of 11. To cope with this drastic change Maya used a 1950’s popularity guide written by former teen model, Betty Cornell as a way to navigate this experience.
Chapter by chapter we get to ride along with Maya as she chronicles each month of her 8th grade year through real pictures and a fun, light-hearted text. Maya, now 16 years old and a best-selling author, is an example of how staying true to yourself and embracing your inner geekness can pay off in the end.
Continuing this theme, I wanted to call attention to a beautifully illustrated and funny children’s book, Nerdy Birdy by Aaron Renolds. Nerdy Bird has wings too small and glasses too big. He is not accepted by the cool birds and is feeling lonely…that is until he finds a flock just like him! This book would be a wonderful back-to-school tool for teachers when discussing the acceptance of differences in the classroom.
Pack of Dorks by Beth Vrabel is a middle-grade read that tackles the subject of popularity along with bullying, friendship struggles, and disability. Lucy, a fourth grader, begrudgingly accepts a dare to kiss a boy on the playground. The kiss did not go as planned and the entire class was there to watch it unfold. Lucy now finds herself becoming more and more unpopular. Along with her struggles at school, Lucy also finds out her new sister has Down syndrome, thus causing a shift in the relationship she once had with her parents. When things seem to be falling apart Lucy must decide if she should continue longing for acceptance with the popular kids or if she should start a pack of her own.
So I challenge you to get your inner geek on this summer and read some of these wonderfully, nerdy books!
More geeky books to dive into this summer:
Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek by Maya Van Wagenen. 9780147512543. 2015. Grade 7-12
Nerdy Birdy by Aaron Renolds. 9781626721272. 2015. Grade K-3
Pack of Dorks by Beth Vrabel. 9781629146232. 2014. Grade 3-6
Geek Girl by Holly Smale. 9780062333575. 2015. Grade 7-10
Nerd Camp by Elissa Brent Weissman. 9781442417045. 2012. Grade 4-6
Twerp by Mark Goldblatt. 9780375971457. 2014. Grade 4-7