Nerdy Birdy by Aaron Reynolds Book Review

Nerdy Birdy by Aaron Reynolds
Illustrations by Matt Davies
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Release Date: September 22, 2015

Nerdy Birdy likes reading, video games, and reading about video games, which immediately disqualifies him for membership in the cool crows. One thing is clear: being a nerdy birdy is a lonely lifestyle. When he hits his lowest point, Nerdy Birdy discovers other nerdy birds, a whole flock just like him. But what happens when he meets a nerdy birdy who doesn't wear glasses? Why won't the nerdy bird flock accept her?

Rife with nerd stereotypes, Nerdy Birdy is a mix between building self-confidence for nerds while also drilling home the message that nerds aren't cool. As a self-professed nerd, I find depictions like this to be infuriating. I am a nerdy bird. I love reading, video games, Doctor Who, fantasy, sci-fi, and science. I have dabbled in role-playing, am introverted, and could have long drawn-out discussions concerning Star Wars, Star Trek, and Dune. As a hobby, I collect useless facts and information that I like to whip out when people are least expecting it. I also don't wear glasses, have never had braces, am not socially awkward, I don't have a pocket protector or a bow tie (or the female equivalent). In fact, from the outside, I don't look like a stereotypical nerd at all. Although I was by no means the most popular person as a teenager, I was also not the most unpopular either and I found it fairly easy to find others who had some common interests. Sure they didn't share them all, but then who can?

My point is this, I do not like books that even suggest to a child that someone who is nerdy is not cool. I don't like books that propagate this absurd notion that all nerds and geeks are social outcasts. The only time I would read this book to a child is if they were a bit nerdy and were being bullied because of it, which puts this book solidly into the "issues" category in my mind.