Friday, May 4, 2012


Gordon Korman
$5.99, Paperback
Scholastic, 2008
January 2nd, 2012

Genre: Realistic, School Story, Humor
Age: 10+
Description: Capricorn “Cap” Anderson has never watched TV. He’s never tried pizza. He’s certainly never heard or let alone experienced a “wedgie.” This is because he had grown up with his grandma, Rain, on Garland Farm, the last remaining residents of a farm commune from the 1960s. Educated his whole life by Rain, he is an alien in the modern world when Rain accidentally breaks her hip and is forced to stay in the hospital. Cap temporarily moves in with his social worker, a former resident of Garland Farm herself, who got out when she was still young. Cap is enrolled in a public middle school for the first time in his life and neither he nor it is ready for his long hippie dreads, tie-dye shirts, and hemp sandals. Little does he know that the eighth graders of Claverage Middle School have a plan for him. See it is a tradition for the popular eighth graders to nominate the biggest geek on campus as class president only to make the person’s life a living hell. What they don’t expect is Cap turning into the greatest president “C-Average” Middle School has ever seen.
Opinion: Korman is a hugely popular teen author in my community. He has actually visited schools here in Nebraska a number of times and each time teens come clamoring to the library for his books. This is the first book of Korman’s I have read. Schooled was definitely a lively story. The thing that makes Cap the perfect candidate for class president—his total naivety—is also the thing that ends up making him an enduring one. The story is told in alternating chapters of various characters—Cap; Zack, the boy in charge of making his life miserable; Hugh, the nerd who would have been class president; Mrs. Donnelly, the social worker and her daughter, Sophi; and Naomi, the popular girl who falls for Cap. Cap’s naivety is realistic and it shows how having beliefs is good but sometimes some can just be too unrealistic, such as when Cap, needing to plan the Halloween Dance, is given the school checkbook without being told how checks and the basics of managing money work and he proceeds to give most of the money to charity. It all works out in the end as Rain realizes she can’t shelter Cap from the real world anymore and sells Garland Farm which lets him stay in school with his new friends.

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