Friday, May 4, 2012
January 23rd, 2012
Genre: School Story, Fantasy
Description: Super smart George and his older niece (her mom is George’s much older sister) get enrolled in the Whittaker Magnet School—a place promising the finest education around. However, it is more of a nightmare than a dream come true as the school is so obsessed with perfect scores on standardized tests that all the students ever do is study and take practice exams—even for tests not in their state! If that doesn’t sound bad enough the Whittaker family rules everything and the two children are the school’s prizes pupils who get everything they want, including Kate’s coveted role in the school play and George’s first place prize in the science fair. Soon things become interesting when a secret passageway is discovered and multiple accidents and deaths occur. Does the school’s history really include being haunted by a demon?
Opinion: I’ve read a number of Bloor’s books and quite honestly this one just doesn’t fit with his usual style. It dragged on forver and ever (being more than 400 pages long) and while it promised an interesting premise it just wasn’t executed well. There was too much repetition about the school and the annoyance of the Whittaker family which took up most of the first half of the book and by the time the demon and the deaths showed up the whole premise fell apart as a lot of things were left unexplained. What was supposed to be Bloor’s commentary on schools obsessed with test-based curriculum ended up falling short.