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The Classroom (The Epic Documentary of a Not-Yet-Epic Kid) (A Classroom Novel) Hardcover – June 19, 2012

11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 4-7-Trevor Jones admits that he's obsessive and a little neurotic, but his best friend, Libby, has stuck by him and defended him throughout elementary school and he's depending on her to continue to do so. But while they wait for the bus on the first day of middle school, she explains to him that he's on his own now. Seventh grade is a whole new ball game with new rules and new friends and she can't have him tagging along. Trevor seems shell-shocked and is just hoping his sneakers are adequately scuffed up to not look new, and he's confused about why Libby is sporting a new skirt and lip gloss. The book is set up to resemble a film documentary, with cameo inserts of characters done in contrasting fonts with clever ideas like labeling the illustrations as "Camerawork" and calling the author the "Director." Unlikely scenarios like having to have a date for the fall dance by the end of the first day of school seem out of place, and the tempo seems to drag, calling it curtains for suggesting this title to reluctant readers. While there are some amusing illustrations that will appeal to "Wimpy Kid" readers, the slow, evasive plot will keep this book from flying off library shelves. Strictly an additional purchase.-Cheryl Ashton, Amherst Public Library, OHα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

About the Author


Robin Mellomused to teach middle schoolers and now she writes about them. (Any fictional characters that resemble her previous real-life students is purely coincidental. Probably.) She is also the author ofDitched: A Love Story.She lives with her husband and son on the Central Coast of California. Learn more atwww.robinmellom.comand follow her on Twitter (@robinmellom).



Through a freak incident involving a school bus, a Labrador retriever, and twenty-four rolls of toilet paper,Stephen Gilpinknew that someday he would be an artist. He applied himself diligently and many years later, he has found himself the illustrator of around thirty children's books. He lives in Hiawatha, Kansas with his genius wife, Angie and a whole bunch of kids. Visit his Web site atwww.sgilpin.com.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 720L (What's this?)
  • Series: A Classroom Novel
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion Book CH (June 19, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1423150635
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423150633
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #956,450 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mundie Moms & Mundie Kids Book Reviews on June 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover
A fabulously written, relatable middle grade coming of age story, The Classroom is a hysterical read with witty, well grounded characters and a quick, engaging plot line. It's been awhile since I've read a truly fun book, and Robin Mellom's middle grade debut is just that! With a documentary crew descending on Westside Middle School to document the life of an average 7th grade boy as he learns to navigate his way through MS, Robin was able to give a creative writing spin to her book by telling it from a documentary point of view. This not only allows readers to get to know the main character Trevor better, she also introduces readers to a variety of other characters through various interviews that take place in the book.

Trevor is a character I think a lot of people will relate to. He's hit that awkward stage where you reluctantly leave behind some of your "childhood" tendencies and learn to deal with a more mature scene in middle school. If that wasn't hard enough, learning to navigate your way around middle school for the first time isn't fun, and nor is learning how to fit into a new crowd. What Trevor deals with and learns to cope with are things adults will get, and young readers will be able to relate to. It's not just Trevor that readers will understand, but the rest of the characters who now make up Trevor's social scene.

Libby, who's Trevor's best friend is a a little bit neurotic and started off the story in a surprising way. Having grown up with Trevor all their lives (they're now 7th graders), they've done everything together. Being that Trevor tends to get himself in awkward situations, Libby has decided that this year they need to make new friends. I kind of got her point, but poor Trevor is forced to quickly learn to rely on himself vs is best friend.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Reader on July 15, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the kind of book I know my fifth grade son is going to be passing around to all his friends. It's light, funny, quick, and about kids they can all relate to. I love finding realistic middle grade that feature "good" kids, kids who want to do well and are generally trying to be good people and do the right thing. On top of that, this book is just plain funny. And I know my son and his friends always appreciate short chapters and fun drawings, and the "documentary" style of this book definitely lends itself to that. I'll be looking forward to more!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Cathe VINE VOICE on August 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Trevor (socially clueless) and Libby (slightly neurotic) are starting middle-school and are trying to do what they think it takes to fit in. This book is written as a documentary -- interspersed with interviews, pages from notebooks, pamphlets, posters, and other media making it different and fun. Mellom's characters are both sweet and over-the-top funny. The short chapters will appeal to reluctant readers. This is a great choice for fans of Diary of a Wimpy Kid and The Strange Case of Origami Yoda.
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Format: Hardcover
Having spent many years teaching middle school students and dearly loving each and every one of them, I read this book through their eyes as well as mine. From the beginning, the cover tells you, this book is going to be fun. The students depicted on the cover are comical and cartoon like in their appearance. Flipping through the book, the drawings carry that fun loving feeling throughout.

The way the book is formatted with the personal interviews and photos of the characters laced throughout, the narrative is just genius to me. At first, I liked it because it enabled the reader to get to know the characters better, to know what they were really thinking. By the end of the book, their personal thoughts and photos were so imprinted in my mind, I knew I'd probably never forget them. They will live on in my memory until I meet them again in the next book. But then later in the book,the real genius seemed to come when the interviews were used to interplay or serve as a juxtaposition or contrast to each other and/or to the narrative. Using the character's first person account to take the reader somewhere unexpected is delightful. And through the interviews, Mellom so captures the language for each character along with the illustration of each of them, I can hear and picture them saying those words. I think I know them! I want a Cindy Applegate doll! And of course a Trevor doll! There's something so whimsical about him, he reminds me of Woody in Toy Story. And certainly a Libby doll! and Molly and Marty and...
Needless to say, I loved this book!
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By Librarian Laura on July 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Middle grades often get stuck between children's books and YA, but this book bridges that gap. Witty writing and frequent pictures will make this a popular title with both reluctant and avid readers.

Trevor has studied all summer to prepare for 7th grade, but he knows he can't survive without his best friend and defender Libby's help. When she announces that he has to find new friends and a date for the first dance by the end of the day, he is left on his own to face the bullies and social games. Trevor is a likable character, and his bumblings make for an entertaining read. The minor characters are fun and add to the overall humor of the book--like the teacher who loves his red Skittles and the AP who is convinced the kids need to eat only veggies.

The format of the book with the stage being set as a documentary and the characters giving journal entries of sorts will appeal to kids, especially those reluctant readers who are intimidated by a lot of text.

The topics in the book--bullying, crushes, friendships, and confidence--are discussed through action and character reactions instead of long dialogue where the reader becomes bored.

I enjoyed this book and plan to share it with my students in the library.

I received this book in exchange for my review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.
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