Charlie Joe Jackson learns that “being a perfect student is just really, really hard.”
Charlie Joe’s parents mean business: He must earn all A’s (he negotiates for one B) in his last quarter of school or he’s headed to Camp Rituhbukee for summer school. Charlie Joe has spent so much time avoiding schoolwork and causing problems that he now has to spend any free time earning extra credit. Luckily, he has great friends who are willing to help him learn to be a student. He still needs help, so he asks his art, drama and PE teachers for some extra credit. While it’s clear no one thinks Charlie Joe has what it takes, these three teachers come up with inventive ways to assist. In art, he poses for the art students (and meets future girlfriend Zoe). In drama, he uses his schmoozing abilities to land the lead role in the school musical. And in PE, he joins student government. But things do not always turn out as planned. Snappy, sarcastic middle-school humor lifts this overlong book, and the spot drawings and occasional very short pithy paragraphs are a pleasant surprise.
No middle schooler wants to face a month at summer enrichment camp, but many will enjoy watching Charlie Joe work harder than he has ever worked before to avoid it…even if he fails. (Fiction. 8-12)