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CARLOS IS GONNA GET IT by Kevin Emerson

CARLOS IS GONNA GET IT

By Kevin Emerson

Age Range: 10 & up

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-439-93525-8
Publisher: Levine/Scholastic

Bizarre, friendless Carlos is targeted by a group of classmates in this intriguing novel depicting the planning and execution of a cruel prank, told by the most dubious participant in the plan. Thoughtful Trina is unsure whether she wants to take part. While she agrees that Carlos’s insistence that he is in contact with aliens and his incessant body scratching are annoying, she begins to see him in much more nuanced ways after they are paired up to work on a school assignment together. It is only after he completely melts down during the presentation that, in anger, she decides to go through with it. In the aftermath, she finds herself deeply regretting her decision. Emerson’s ability to write realistic dialogue and his understanding of the dynamics of middle-school cliques and their inherent power struggles are evident here. The detailed, original and somewhat mysterious nature of Carlos’s idiosyncrasies adds a real spark to this now familiar tale of bullying. (Fiction. 10 & up)