CROWN ME! by Kathryn Lay


Age Range: 9 - 12
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Justin Davies hopes to be president of the fifth grade (and someday of the US), so he’s thrilled to be chosen as king of his history class for two weeks. Unfortunately, he soon exhibits all the worst characteristics of a leader corrupted by power. He tries to buy votes by making unrealistic promises, ignores former friends in favor of powerful and popular allies, punishes minor infractions harshly, and fails to recognize and respond to his subjects’ complaints. Even more unfortunately, Justin, as portrayed by first-time author Lay, isn’t very likable. He’s lazy, self-centered, and self-important. This makes his first-person narration problematic and sets up a situation where readers, like his classmates, will be only too happy to see him fall. It also makes his last-minute conversion to a caring, creative, coalition-building school supporter less than convincing. Like the project that Justin’s history teacher sets up, this story seems contrived to teach a lesson—several, in fact. Educational, but uninspiring. (Fiction 9-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-8234-1845-6
Page count: 202pp
Publisher: Holiday House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2004