How to Talk to Girls

A 9-year-old offers some pretty sage advice on approaching the opposite sex.

How to Talk to Girls By Alec Greven Collins 46 pp., $9.99

What will Alec Greven have left to wish for when he grows up? At the age of 9 he is already a noted expert on relations with the opposite sex – and a published author.

It all started in Ms. Dupree’s third-grade class in Castle Rock, Colo. Alec won a class writing contest with an entry called How to Talk to Girls. Before he knew it, he was on the local news. Then the Ellen DeGeneres show came calling. Shortly after that, Alec had an agent.

Alec says all the information in “How to Talk to Girls” comes from life on the playground. (However, he notes in his introduction that his statistics are based solely on interactions at Soaring Hawk Elementary School. “They  aren’t worldwide,” he writes. “I would have had to do a lot more research for that.”)

But as far as it goes, Alec’s advice seems excellent.

Boys should dress nicely and ask good questions. (“Did you see that episode of ______?” and “I heard you went to ______. What did you do?” are two recommended conversational openers.)

Boys should not show off, act hyper, appear desperate, be mean, or use attention-getting gambits like flapping their arms like a chicken.

They should also exercise care when it comes to pretty girls. (Pretty girls, says Alec, are the ones with “big earrings, fancy dresses, and all the jewelry.”) “Pretty girls are like cars that need a lot of oil,” he warns. “The best choice for most boys is a regular girl.”

The reason? “About 73 percent of regular girls ditch boys,” estimates Alec, but “98 percent of pretty girls ditch boys.”

If you see a pretty girl, he advises, “Use caution! ... [D]on’t let her tractor beam pull you in.”

Alec is at least as realistic as he is romantic. “Winning victory means the girl you like likes you back.” But, he warns, “It is very rare” and “Sometimes it takes years!” Boys who do win a girl’s heart have to keep working at being courteous, clean, normal, and modest or they will “have to start all over again!”

If things don’t work out, Alec sagely counsels, “Just let it go. Whatever happens, don’t let it make you crazy.” He then concludes, “That’s it. I am all out of ideas.”

But really, what more is there to know?

Marjorie Kehe is the Monitor’s book editor.

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