Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tween Book Review:

Schooled - Gordon Korman (Ages 11 - 14)

This is a book I've had on my 'to read' list for years but kept bumping for the 'newest' book to land on that list. Finally, I put and end to that business and I'm happy I read it. Most books I read because someone said you should definitely read this. Unfortunately, that hype sets me up for the inevitable letdown. I think this happens too often for the reluctant reader. High expectations are established, and the reader is disappointed and not as willing to pick up another book.
Schooled isn't going to make my best list this year. However, it is a fun and easy read. It motivated me to pick up another Korman book, Son of the Mob, another very good read. Schooled tells the story of 8th grader Capricorn Anderson, a boy raised on a long forgotten hippie commune by his grandmother, Rain. When she is hospitalized, Cap is forced out of homeschooling into publich middle-school in the modern world of televisions, cell phones and commericalism. An interesting choice of the author was to tell the story in first person with chapters alternating between a half dozen major characters as narrator. This was bold but turned out fantastic as Cap, other middle schoolers, and adults each viewing the other practically as some alien life form.

Every kid at this age can relate to that issue of trying to fit in to a social situation that seems completely unnatural, even alien to him. Despite conflict and hearache, this is an uplifting tale of acceptance and tolerance. For me, Schooled delivers a 'B'.