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In Ned's Head [Paperback]

Soren Olsson , Anders Jacobsson , Kevin Read
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Nov. 16 2004

"Hello! Hello! Treb Vladinsky from the planet Exus calling Earth and his diary. I'm going to come down and catch a few earthlings in about twenty seconds. Mostly girls. Over and out and all that."

Of course, you shouldn't know this because Ned Floyd doesn't want anyone reading from what is his most vile secret -- his diary. That's right. Ned keeps a diary. Most guys don't. Ned is quite aware of this, thank you very much. But he can't help it. He can't stop writing. So, to protect his reputation, he writes under the code name, Treb Vladinsky, all the while living in fear that the class bully, Nugget, will find out and plaster the halls with posters of Ned Floyd, diary writer. In the meantime, he cooks up schemes to get Nadia Nelson, the girl of his dreams, to notice him, all the while trying to keep her three savage older brothers, "up-and-coming thieves and murderers, probably," from noticing him, and getting in the way of his and Nadia's long anticipated French kiss. And then there's his band, The Raving Lunatics, where who plays what instrument is decided by who can throw the biggest tantrum. Well, they don't have to sound good, just loud, right? Now where was I? Oh yeah, and then there's the basement bonfire. Dish detergent drinks. Sock smoking. Sock smoking? What's that? Well, it's...oh, never mind. And a very special graveyard rendition of "California Girls." Actually, really, Ned would prefer that you wouldn't read this. After all, it's what's in his head.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Description

From Amazon

You know what they say: Two million Swedes can't be wrong. (Especially when you're talking about a country that's only got eight million people in the first place.)

That's the bestselling track record of the beloved Ned in his native land, and thankfully Sören Olsson and Anders Jacobsson have seen fit to adapt and export the diary of this hilariously inventive sixth-grader to other shores. Ned Floyd--code name Treb Vladinsky, just in case anyone discovers his secret journal--is a perfectly normal 11-year-old. Which is to say that, more often than not, he's very funny. "Death to whoever peeks in this diary. May they burn in the fires of doom forever... or at least for a little while."

This very readable 133-page journey into the head of Ned details all the day-to-day vagaries of what can be an extremely weird age: Ned ingenuously records life-or-death concerns like bullies, cute girls (written about in red), cigarettes (code-named "socks," just in case), and hickeys ("You can order them from Irene in the seventh grade") alongside seemingly equally important topics, like the political struggles in the imaginary country of Hoppalochinia, frank assessments of everyone he comes across ("you know, one of those good-looking guys with moussed hair and linen pants"), and how best to brew a werewolf's potion (which includes, among other things, Coca-Cola, black pepper, mustard, and crushed ants, but which proved unsuccessful in field tests on a friend's little sister--"Not enough crushed ants in the potion, I guess"). (Ages 10 and older) --Paul Hughes --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

In this light-hearted novel starring spunky Ned Floyd, the Swedish team of Olsson and Jacobsson offers an often hilarious look at preadolescent woes. At age 11 ("I'm twenty years old. Almost. You just take away half of twenty and add one"), Ned (code-named Treb) starts a secret diary in which he writes slightly embellished versions of his escapades at school and at home. Figures frequenting the pages of his diary include the much-envied classmate, "Nugget" ("He's strongest, next oldest, he's smoked, he's most popular with the girls, and his dad has a red convertible Corvette"); Rebecca and Nadia, two girls who set Ned's heart a-fluttering; and of course Ned's best buddies, much-teased Little Eric and scientific-minded Arnold. The authors get the tone of this transitional age just right, as when Ned spells out his quandary for his birthday "cocktail" party, featuring "the apple cider with the bubbles in it": "If [Rebecca] answers yes it's going to be a cocktail party … la hugging-and-French-kissing. If she answers no, it's going to be a cocktail party … la punch-and-cake." Ned's romances, experiments and attempts to impress the guys usually backfire, but the results of his endeavors will inevitably bring laughs. One-third poet, one-third floundering Casanova, one-third trickster and 100% genuine kid, Ned emerges as a lovable anti-hero, whose keen observations and creative mind will captivate even reluctant readers. Ages 8-12.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Lighten up and have a good laugh! April 2 2002
Although I agree with the reviewer who questioned the Americanization of this delightfully refreshing kids book, I'm glad that it was translated. Yeah, I winced when I read that "Canada beat us in hockey and my dad wanted to drive a tank up there", (Salt Lake City may have proved me wrong) but it didn't bother me that much. The truth is there are far too few books that provide genuine examples of humor writing for kids. "In Ned's Head" succeeds because it doesn't condescend, as many adult writers frequently tend to do. "Harris & Me" and the "Schernoff Discoveries" by Gary Paulsen are the only other "Boy" books I can think of that surpass this one on the laugh per page scale.
And for all those that suggest 10 year olds are too young for this book, you're living under a rock. God forbid a kid actually read a book where the vocabulary is similar to that which they use on a daily basis. Yeah, the book discusses French kissing, and there is a scene with a dirty magazine and the dreaded "T" word is uttered in a hilarious scene, but any kid with a friend or an older sibling has seen or heard worse. Just be glad the kid's reading and get over it!
Any adults who haven't discovered the joys of reading young adult and intermediate fiction are missing out. This book is as good as any to take the plunge with! Enjoy.
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3.0 out of 5 stars OK, but why was it "Americanized"? June 15 2001
This book was a huge seller in Sweden, and I read it hoping to enjoy a slice of life in Sweden. No such luck. This book wasn't just translated from Swedish, it was re-written to have it take place in America! What's up with that? Ok, it's a kid's book. Do publishers think that American kids are a) only interested in things that happen in their own home country (Hey, why not publish 50 separate versions, setting the story in each of the 50 separate states?) or b) incapable of making sense of things set in another nation? Sue Townsend's ADRAIN MOLE books were not re-written to set them in the U.S., and they were a big hit. Granted, they were in English to begin with, but a simple glossary in the back told us all about such things as GYROS. IN NED'S HEAD (BERT'S DIARY in Swedish) could have kept more of its original flavor. Over-all, the story is amusing. But I every time I came across a reference to TV GUIDE or ... I was very aware that things had been changed, and I found that distracting.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Breath of Fresh Air March 25 2001
A boy's diary, what a breath of fresh air! _In Ned's Head_ hilariously takes the reader through the deeds, thoughts, and emotions of a preadolescent male. Originally a best seller in Sweden, Ned, under his code name Treb Vladinsky, offers readers the perspective of a whole child, not one totally gendered and culturally endoctrinated. Of course Ned loves girls and has macho images, but he also has fears and vulnerabilities. Ned is a boy who shares his emotions! Olsson and Jacobsson's creation of Ned combined with Read's polished translation provide readers with a wonderfully funny and insightful view of a young, preadolescent, boy's thoughts, actions, and feelings. Ned will leave you with a smile!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Parents: Know what you're getting Oct. 4 2001
By A Customer
Just a quick heads-up for grandparents and parents. I found this book funny and smart, but take some exception to the publisher's idea of what age this is best for. My copy says 8-12 on the inside. Given the references to french kissing and breasts (including the "t" word), I'd put it best at 10-14 at the youngest.
As I said, it's funny and clever. But probably not for the average 8-9-10 year old.
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