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Saturday, January 27, 2007

Stanford Wong Flunks Big Time - Lisa Yee

Finally, I finished Stanford Wong which I have started and interrupted several times this year. Things just keep coming up, you know? Anyway, it was awesome. I loved Millicent Mi,n Girl Genius, which is Lisa Yee's companion novel to this book, but I really think this book is much funnier. You may have heard me say before that for me as a reader, character development is the most important element of a book, and Stanford Wong is QUITE a character. He's hilarious and he can be quite serious, as well. But mostly he's hilarious.

Stanford isn't so big into schoolwork. He's into basketball. Which is why he's the first 6th grader who ever got placed on the top team for Rancho Rosetta Middle School. And he is SO excited about it. He's all ready to go to summer basketball camp where he can learn even more about how to be a great basketball player. Unfortunately, he doesn't pass his English class, and so instead of going to basketball camp, Stanford gets to go to summer school. Let's just say he's less than enthusiastic. If he doesn't pass summer school, he's going to get kicked off the team!

But this is not the worst of Stanford's summer, it's really just the beginning. For one thing, his grandmother's getting senile and she has to go live in a care facility instead of with Stanford's family where she's been living. You could say that like Stanford about summer school, Yin-Yin, his grandmother, is less than enthusiastic about the move. And then there's the thing of his parents fighting all the time and his dad never having anything good to say about him. Plus he's lying to his friends the Roadrunners about the whole summer school thing but Digger, the bully of the group, somehow finds out. Not good. And worst of all, his parents arrange for MILLICENT MIN, of all people, to tutor him. Less than enthusiastic...

One thing Stanford does get enthusiastic about is Emily Ebers, Millicent Min's very cute friend. Oh, yeah, he's VERY enthusiastic about her. But does she just like him or does she LIKE like him?

Just as Millicent Min gets herself into quite a pickle by lying to people around her - that always seems to blow up in your face, have you noticed? - Stanford Wong ends up in a pretty fine mess as well. Have you ever heard this quote from Sir Walter Scott, "Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive."? Yeah, that pretty much sums up both Millicent and Stanford. You will have to read this book to find out if and how they manage to get untangled. And when you do read it, you'll also get some fine recommendations for other books to read from none other than Stanford himself, who I will tell you, actually starts to LIKE books. Maybe not LIKE like, but at least like. Miracles never cease.

This was a really delightful book, and I would highly recommend both Millicent Min, Girl Genius and Stanford Wong Flunks Big Time by Lisa Yee.

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