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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Schooled - gordon Korman

Really enjoyed this quick, fun Battle of the Books choice. How does this guy keep thinking up funny story lines? I mean, really. He's got like a zillion books out, well, OK, I just went to his website and he's only got SIXTY!! And the guy's only two years older than I am. Wow! Anyway, he just keeps cranking them out, and they're always good.

Cap is a hippie kid who lives with his grandmother as the only two remaining people on a former commune. He's always been homeschooled and hasn't really had much contact with other people for any reason. Suddenly, he's catapulted into "real" life when his grandmother falls and breaks her hip and there's no one to care for him. Cap is put into foster care and has to go to regular school (Claverage Middle School, lovingly referred to by the kids there as C Average MS). Imagine, if you will, you've never been to a regular school and suddenly you're plonked down in the middle of a middle school after the first week. Does NOT sound like fun to me. The thing about Cap is, though, he 's sort of like the kid in Jerry Spinelli's book Loser. He doesn't really notice what's going on, and he just goes along with it. Cap doesn't always get it, but he certainly doesn't think everyone's out to get him, which they actually are.

But here's the really great part. Cap just being true to himself and not reacting works in his favor. And suddenly where he'd been the king dweebie, now kids are getting on his bandwagon. It's awesome.

The story is fun and funny and pulls at your heartstrings all at the same time. You cheer for Cap the whole way because you just can't do anything else. Even the bully's won over in the end.

A great read. Available at the WOMS library.

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