SCHOOLED

Thirteen-year-old Capricorn “Cap” Anderson has only left the Garland Farm Commune (founded 1967) with his grandmother (“Rain”) a few times for supplies. He doesn’t know what TV is like, and he’s never held money in his hand. When Rain falls from a plum tree and has to spend two months in the hospital, Cap gets his first real taste of the confusing, “real” world of 2007. Fortunately, his caseworker Mrs. Donnelly spent a few of her childhood years at Garland, and she knows what he’s in for. Unfortunately, there’s this tradition at Claverage (C-average) Middle School in which the eighth-grade class elects the strangest kid and biggest nerd to be Class President. They don’t come any stranger than Cap, and Zach Powers and his clique do their level best to make Cap’s life hell. Claverage gets a taste of peace, love and understanding it won’t soon forget. Korman’s novel narrated by the good, the bad and the only slightly involved is his usual smart, funny, slightly skewed realism. Tweens will definitely identify and could view their grandparents in a whole new light. (Fiction. 9-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-7868-5692-3

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2007

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DIARY OF A WIMPY KID

A NOVEL IN CARTOONS

From the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series , Vol. 1

First volume of a planned three, this edited version of an ongoing online serial records a middle-school everykid’s triumphs and (more often) tribulations through the course of a school year. Largely through his own fault, mishaps seem to plague Greg at every turn, from the minor freak-outs of finding himself permanently seated in class between two pierced stoners and then being saddled with his mom for a substitute teacher, to being forced to wrestle in gym with a weird classmate who has invited him to view his “secret freckle.” Presented in a mix of legible “hand-lettered” text and lots of simple cartoon illustrations with the punch lines often in dialogue balloons, Greg’s escapades, unwavering self-interest and sardonic commentary are a hoot and a half—certain to elicit both gales of giggles and winces of sympathy (not to mention recognition) from young readers. (Fiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: April 1, 2007

ISBN: 0-8109-9313-9

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2007

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  • Newbery Honor Book

BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE

A 10-year old girl learns to adjust to a strange town, makes some fascinating friends, and fills the empty space in her heart thanks to a big old stray dog in this lyrical, moving, and enchanting book by a fresh new voice. India Opal’s mama left when she was only three, and her father, “the preacher,” is absorbed in his own loss and in the work of his new ministry at the Open-Arms Baptist Church of Naomi [Florida]. Enter Winn-Dixie, a dog who “looked like a big piece of old brown carpet that had been left out in the rain.” But, this dog had a grin “so big that it made him sneeze.” And, as Opal says, “It’s hard not to immediately fall in love with a dog who has a good sense of humor.” Because of Winn-Dixie, Opal meets Miss Franny Block, an elderly lady whose papa built her a library of her own when she was just a little girl and she’s been the librarian ever since. Then, there’s nearly blind Gloria Dump, who hangs the empty bottle wreckage of her past from the mistake tree in her back yard. And, Otis, oh yes, Otis, whose music charms the gerbils, rabbits, snakes and lizards he’s let out of their cages in the pet store. Brush strokes of magical realism elevate this beyond a simple story of friendship to a well-crafted tale of community and fellowship, of sweetness, sorrow and hope. And, it’s funny, too. A real gem. (Fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: March 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-7636-0776-2

Page Count: 182

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2000

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