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Reader’s Guide (PDF)

Author Interview: Jennifer Ziegler on How Not To Be Popular 

A Conversation with Jennifer Ziegler (PDF)

How Not to Be Popular

Maggie Dempsey is tired of moving all over the country. Her parents are second-generation hippies who uproot her every year or so to move to a new city. When Maggie was younger, she thought it was fun and adventurous. Now that she’s a teenager, she hates it. When she moved after her freshman year, she left behind good friends, a great school, and a real feeling of belonging. When she moved her sophomore year, she left behind a boyfriend, too. Now that they’ve moved to Austin, she knows better. She’s not going to make friends. She’s not going to fit in. Anything to prevent her from liking this new place and them from liking her. Only . . . things don’t go exactly as planned.

352 pages, Ages 12 and up, 2008, Delacorte Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 978-0385734653 (hardcover), 978-0440240242 (paperback)

Jennifer says . . .

Sometimes bad is good and good is bad–or so we think. How Not to Be Popular is about those times when the world seems turned inside out. When it hurts to care about someone, and be cared about. When you don’t want to be noticed or accepted. When a bad day puts a big smile on your face.

How Not to Be Popular is about the little ironies of life … the push-pull struggle of growing up.

Reviews & Honors

2012-2013 Spirit of Texas Reading Program – High School – Featured Title

2010 Young Adults’ Choices Reading List

“Maggie and Jack’s relationship rings true, adding an irresistible sincerity to both characters that allows Maggie’s self-discovery and growth to unfold naturally. Thoughtful and fun.”

Kirkus Reviews

“This book has heart … it has a sweet story of friendship at its core …”

School Library Journal

“Balances laugh-out-loud, sardonic commentary with earnest reflections …”


“Positive and touching … a witty, fresh perspective to the YA literature scene.”


“Unapologetically honest and with a laugh or gasp on every page, How Not to Be Popular will make readers rethink what the word ‘popularity’ really means.”

Kate Brian, author of the Private series

All materials © 2018 Jennifer Ziegler. All rights reserved. Web site by Websy Daisy.