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Crush: The Theory, Practice and Destructive Properties of Love Paperback – May 14, 2013


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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 5-8-Once again, Kevin Spencer (Liar, Liar and Flat Broke) tackles the problems of his world, this time with careful, scientific logic, and no lies. Kevin still has a crush on Tina Zabinski,. He's sure that he is her perfect match, but he won't approach her until he's 100 percent positive that he can win her heart. This doesn't seem likely, since he becomes more awkward and tongue-tied whenever she's around. When handsome and smooth-talking Cash Devine starts moving in on his target, Kevin has to move quickly. Since love is based on chemistry, Kevin decides to set up a series of scientific experiments to help him discover the meaning of love and the way to a girl's heart. While a candlelit dinner for his parents is a disaster and his version of the Cake Walk at the Carnival doesn't quite work out as planned, some seemingly impossible matches do work. Even his jock of a brother and the hockey team members are paired off with lovely figure skaters. Through it all, Kevin is never discouraged, no matter how badly his romantic setups backfire. Joshua Swanson brings Kevin to life with his witty and animated expression, sounding just like an enthusiastic eighth grader in love. Both boys and girls will enjoy Paulsen's novel "study" of young love (Wendy Lamb Bks., 2012), which is totally hilarious and not the least bit mushy.-MaryAnn Karre, West Middle School, Binghamton, NYα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

About the Author

GARY PAULSEN is the distinguished author of many critically acclaimed books for young people, His most recent books are Flat Broke, Liar, Liar, Lawn Boy Returns, Woods Runner, Masters of Disaster, Notes from the Dog, Mudshark, Lawn Boy, Molly McGinty Has a Really Good Day, The Time Hackers, and The Amazing Life of Birds (The Twenty Day Puberty Journal of Duane Homer Leech).
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 780L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Yearling; Reprint edition (May 14, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385742312
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385742313
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.4 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #564,350 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Gary Paulsen is one of the most honored writers of contemporary literature for young readers. He has written more than one hundred book for adults and young readers, and is the author of three Newberry Honor titles: Dogsong, Hatchet, and The Winter Room. He divides his time among Alaska, New Mexico, Minnesota, and the Pacific.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By KidsReads on July 17, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Eighth-grade student Kevin Spencer is cute and funny --- and a bit full of himself. In his 14 years, he has developed interpersonal skills with the knowledge that "the best way to make other people like you is to show them how great you think they are."

In the past, Kevin's manipulative ways of getting people to like him and do what he wants have been successful to some degree. Now he's working on romance. Kevin considers himself the "most romantic guy you'll ever meet," except that he's never had a girlfriend. In fact, he has never even gone out on a real date. He's hoping to change all that by asking Katrina Maria Zabinski to a middle-school dance. Tina, whose laugh "sounds like bells or angels," is the most beautiful girl he has ever seen.

One day, after working up the courage to spring the question on Tina, Kevin walks into the cafeteria and sees her sitting at the lunch table with another guy. To make matters worse, Cash Devine, the new kid at school, has the looks and confidence of a "male-model wannabee."

To win Tina's heart, and learn all about romance, Kevin decides to take a scientific approach and create experiments to observe the behaviors of test subjects. By applying the principles of scientific method, he believes he can understand the chemistry between males and females. In Kevin's mind, to unleash his "inner Casanova," he has to tap into his "inner umm, Copernicus."

The budding Casanova's experiments begin with his family. His observation of his parents, with the help of his young neighbor Markie, ends dismally. Frequently married and often divorced Auntie Buzz doesn't have the best track record in the lasting romance department. Kevin turns to his sister Sarah for help, but she turns the tables on him, which is an eye-opening experience.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kristi Bernard on July 14, 2013
Format: Paperback
Have you ever noticed how hard young love can be? Kevin Spencer has got a ridiculously bad crush on Tina, unfortunately, he isn't real good at asking beautiful girls out on dates. But, he has a plan. Basically he is going to take it slow and play it cool before he makes his move, that is until Tina is caught hanging out with Cash Devine, a new cute boy at school. Kevin now decides it might make more sense to take a more scientific approach regarding matters of the heart. Kevin attempted to observe his parents but that was a disaster. He cooked a fantastic dinner for them only to have them become suspicious, clumsy and wonder why he was spying on them. He went to Auntie Buzz, who lived over the garage, but her advice was outdated and a little nutty. In a last attempt of desperation he went to his sister Sarah. To his surprise she contacted her girl clan and set up a boot camp for Kevin, but that didn't work either. All Kevin got was a bunch of criticism from the know-it-all girls who, at the end of the day, thought he was a lost cause. Kevin then decided he must get aggressive. He needed to observe a relationship from the very beginning so that he can learn how it develops and ultimately how it works. His great idea is to help his brother find a girlfriend, with the hopes of learning how to get and keep Tina' attention. Paulsen has created another hilarious tale for middle grade boys to enjoy and laugh along with the characters. School shenanigans of adolescents will have young readers laughing and turning the pages for more of this really fast paced read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 30, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
:o this was an amazing book and it was another great book by Gary Paulsen and I think that Kevin really righted his twins in this book and I look forward to the next book
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By the l on November 30, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
This book shows how it's like to have a crush and also mixed in with some funny quote s I would give it eight stars if could
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By stupid it stinks on November 2, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Love the book,author and characters one of my favorite books would recommend this to anyone who love to read and gets into books/series
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By WLTeacher on March 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Using the scientific method to find love - how cute! My students enjoyed hearing this story. Gary Paulsen is great to read.
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Format: Hardcover
For full synopsis see above.

Gary Paulsen is one of my favorite authors especially for adventure and historical fiction books for boys. In meeting Kevin in Crush I've seen a whole other side to Paulsen and I love it! Kevin wants to ask a girl out on a date but believes he needs to learn the ins and outs of love and relationships first. He set out to find out what he can. His observations are hilarious and readers, boy and girls alike, will laugh out loud. I did! Once readers get to know Kevin, they may also want to read the two previous books about Kevin, Liar, Liar and Flat Broke. Recommended for fourth graders and up who enjoy humorous stories. I will also recommended it for girls asking for romance books. Read as an ebook arc courtesy of Random House Children's Books via Netgalley.
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By Josie on July 7, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
It's a very good book
Social knowledge that is the first choice for middle schoolers.
The only one that has such scientific evidence on girls + boys
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