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Carlos Is Gonna Get It Hardcover – October 1, 2008

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 870L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books; 1 edition (October 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0439935253
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439935258
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 5.8 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #619,665 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4–6—Trina and her seventh-grade classmates organize a trick against Carlos, their special-needs classmate with big hair, a squeaky voice, and scratching issues. Trina uncovers his fear of aliens after being partnered with him for a school project, and the pranksters plan an extraterrestrial encounter for him during their class's wilderness excursion. As Trina gets to know Carlos, she begins second-guessing herself, especially since Sara, her best friend, has grown distant. Emerson fully explores some characters only to leave others languishing. Trina's anger and embarrassment after her in-class humiliation because of an accident Carlos causes becomes almost visceral, and readers will be shocked at how well they identify with her in that moment. They will commiserate with the students over the perceived favoritism that Carlos receives. The suspenseful forest scene in which the plan goes awry and the children become lost stirs the primeval fears of cold and dark, and generates empathy for both the pranksters and the victim. However, the author allows too much action to occur offstage, and there's not enough information about Carlos's unspecified disorder to understand him or the teachers' treatment of him. Still, this tale can illustrate the consequences of one's actions and provides comfort to those who are waiting for the pranks to end.—Chris Shoemaker, New York Public Library
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From Booklist

*Starred Review* The jungle of middle-school peer pressure is the setting of this gripping story about seventh-graders in Boston who gang up on their troubled classmate, Carlos. The story is told from the viewpoint of Trina, a nice, smart African American girl who does not want to hurt Carlos, but she cannot stand up to her friends who bully him. Then she is appointed to be his partner in a science project, and she learns his secrets, especially his fear of “aliens.” The class uses the information to plan a trick even asTrina discovers that she cares for Carlos. The author is a middle-grade teacher, and he perfectly captures the classroom power struggles of friends and enemies, as well as the terror of being an outsider if you don’t go along with the group. The dialogue is right on, as is the hurt of betrayal and the guilt that cannot be resolved. In the exciting climax, the class plays their prank during a lightning storm in the mountains, and the setting is part of the drama as a city kid discovers the sense of space on the mountaintop and the feeling of being a giant and a speck at the same time. Grades 4-7. --Hazel Rochman

More About the Author


Kevin Emerson once competed in a beauty pageant and lost (probably because he was wearing a suit of armor). He is the author of the EXILE series, the ATLANTEANS series, THE FELLOWSHIP FOR ALIEN DETECTION, the OLIVER NOCTURNE series and CARLOS IS GONNA GET IT. He is also a musician. His current projects are the EXILE SOUNDTRACK (songs from the EXILE book series), NORTHERN ALLIES (his new band), and THE BOARD OF EDUCATION (music for kids and kids-at-heart).

Kevin grew up in Cheshire, CT, where he wrote stories all the time, played in the marching and jazz bands, and ran track. One time, he won a spelling bee, prevailing over his ex-girlfriend in the final round. The word that launched him to victory was 'vague.' Kevin now lives in Seattle with his wife and two children. A former science teacher, he can often be found teaching writing workshops to middle and high school students. Also, Kevin knows that bow ties are cool, that Pinkie Pie is the best MLP, and that Han shot first.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on September 25, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Have you ever had that voice in the back of your head telling you not to do something...that it wasn't a good idea and only trouble could come of following through with the act?

Well, Trina has that voice -- or guilt demon.

Carlos is a small and annoying boy in class who always acts out to get attention but never gets in trouble. One day, Trina's friends decide that they're going to pull the ultimate prank on Carlos on an upcoming overnight trip. Trina goes along for the ride, but she quickly discovers that the guilt demon and her budding friendship with Carlos could get in the way of the prank.

This entertaining yet serious book follows a young girl as she battles internally between right and wrong. Trina must decide whether to go through with the prank -- to succumb to her friends and peer pressure -- or to back down and help Carlos, a boy who is desperately in need of a friend.

Emerson writes an interesting story that gets readers to feel for this alienated boy (Carlos) and the troubled protagonist and narrator (Trina). He shows the reality of cause and effect -- of the consequences of one's actions. He also shows through this moving story that missed chances are a person's greatest regret.

Reviewed by: Steph
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. Goetz on May 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover
1)This book brilliantly captures the trials of being stuck in junior high.
2)It tackles the internal drama of what you believe is right vs what you think you need to do to fit in.
3)Tricia and her internal conflict as she wanders the grounds between friendship, peer-pressure and "understanding" the weird guy
5)Messes in the science room
7)Overnight Field trip
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By BeatleBangs1964 TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Trina is a smart, savvy 6th-grader who lives in Dorchester, Massachusetts. She has a few close friends who band together and who have found a regular after school meeting place in some abandoned bathtubs behind an equally abandoned warehouse. It is in these tubs where Trina and her friends brainstorm to solve what they view as the Carlos problems.

Carlos, an extremely small classmate who suffers from mental illness. He believes aliens are talking to him and he is often found scratching himself. (It has been reported that people with more severe forms of schizophrenia experience a "crawling" sensation on their skin). His verbalizations are bizarre and his ideations do not fit reality. Trina and the other kids feel Carlos is looking for attention in addition to being just plain strange. Carlos leaves class to see the school psychologist.

Trina's conscience or "guilt demon" as she calls it, urges her to be more tolerant of her very strange classmate. In fact, her guilt demon kicks her into high gear when her friends talk about finding a way to "get" Carlos.

Matters reach a head when Trina is paired with Carlos as science partners. Trina, too embarrassed to invite Carlos to her home, insists on going to his home. She also tries to be as inconspicuous as possible as she is embarrassed to be seen with Carlos.

Carlos' house is as disorganized as his thinking. Pans of partially cooked food sit untouched on counters; laundry, clean and dirty alike is allowed to pile up on the floor or on the furniture in Carlos' room. His preschool sister, Kasey appears to have serious problems as well. Kasey is nonverbal and chews the heads off of her dolls.
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