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The Edumacation of Jay Baker (Christy Ottaviano Books) Hardcover – January 31, 2012


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Product Details

  • Series: Christy Ottaviano Books
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR); First Edition edition (January 31, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805092560
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805092561
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,750,699 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* First off: not a thing happens here that’s unusual for a teen, or a teen book for that matter. Jay Baker nurses a crush on his longtime best friend, Cam; becomes an emotional mess after his parents’ separation; clashes with his homecoming-queen older sister; and weathers a feud with a pushy jock who could squash him like a bug. But the magic lies in the telling. Jay, a large-hearted wiseass who’s nearly impossible to dislike, has a narrative patter so deeply laced with groaner puns, pop-culture bombs, and warp-speed free associations that it’s almost a new language. It’s an argot he shares with vivacious Cam (whose real name, hilariously, is Cameo Appearance Parnell), but after he gets rebuffed trying to share a bit more with her, he starts seeing another cutie who’s more or less the anti-Cam. While their awkward love triangle takes shape, Jay’s parents get mired in their own supremely embarrassing love-life disaster. To help him out of his funk, Jay’s government teacher (who can match him bon mot for bon mot) challenges him to use his considerable powers of clever to write a school blog. OK, so it’s not the most thrilling goal ever, but getting there is both flippantly fun and surprisingly resistant to ironic detachment. Most of all, though, Jay’s smarts, originality, and warmth make the old teen trope of the hot girl(s) falling for the doofus guy actually believable. Grades 8-11. --Ian Chipman

Review

"The Edumacation of Jay Baker has something for everyone, and hopefully you'll emerge smarter for having read it."--Teenreads.com

"I don't remember the last time I laughed out loud so often while reading a book."--Mundie Moms Blog 

“Readers eager to give both their hearts and their brains an energetic work-out will enjoy this mash-up…”--BCCB
 
“Jay’s smarts, originality, and warmth make the old teen trope of the hot girl(s) falling for the doofus guy actually believable.”--Booklist, Starred Review

More About the Author

The Edumacation of Jay Baker is the debut young adult novel of ... none other than Jay Clark. A tennis enthusiast and former teaching pro, Jay's essays and articles have appeared in The Washington Post and Tennis Magazine.

Until recently, Jay resided in Columbus, Ohio, in a condo owned by his sister, paying his post-grad dues at various lame jobs for zero financial gain. He did hold a gym membership during this dead-end tenure, albeit by masquerading as his sister's "husband" on her corporate account. Jay now lives in Virginia with his girlfriend, Caroline Baker, whom he met through a tennis blog (long story). Things are looking up.

Customer Reviews

Brilliant humor, amazing story.
J. Kellogg
Meet Jay Baker - self deprecating, witty, hopelessly in love, and in the midst of his parents' marital crisis.
delicateflower152
I highly recommend this book for teen and adult readers.
K M R

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By April VINE VOICE on March 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The Edumacation Of Jay Baker by Jay Clark is a young adult contemporary novel about a boy whose parents are divorcing and the effects of the divorce on him. Jay is an average freshman boy for the most part, he's got a huge crush on his best friend Cameo Parnell, is running for student government and has an enemy, Mike Hibbert, who likes to rhyme Jay with other words.

The Edumacation Of Jay Baker by Jay Clark is mostly a book about self-discovery. It's a book about not defining yourself by others, but by the things you are good at and care about. I'm being purposefully vague, but Jay Baker certainly has a lot to learn.

The best element of The Edumacation of Jay Baker is the humor. Reading about Jay trading barbs with Mike is laugh out loud funny. Plus, Jay is very self-deprecating which is something I appreciate in a YA character. Also, there's one character, a teacher, who is a hoot and zany and wonderful.

However, The Edumacation Of Jay Baker is not a perfect read. Jay's love interests, Cameo and Caroline, are bland and never seem very three dimensional. There is not much nuance going on with the two. Also the book is weighed down by excessive pop culture references. It felt like every other sentence contained one.

If you're looking for a young adult take on divorce with a light tough and don't mind excessive pop culture references, by all means check out The Edumacation of Jay Baker by Jay Clark.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By drebbles VINE VOICE on March 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
In many ways, Jay Baker is a typical teenager. He is smart (even if he doesn't realize it); in love with his close friend, Cameo (even if she doesn't realize it); fights with his sister (whom he really loves even if neither one wants to admit it); a bit of a class clown who loves pop culture references, jokes, and puns. In other words, he has basically built an invisible wall around himself, hiding his true feelings from his family and friends - even himself. But that wall is about to come tumbling down as Jay watches his parents' marriage begin to fall apart and he starts looking at his own relationship with his family and friends.

Aimed at readers ages 12 and up, "The Edumacation of Jay Baker" is the nicely done story of a teenager who is just starting to learn who he is and that his friends and family aren't perfect. Writing in the first-person as Jay, author Jay Clark does an excellent job of developing the fictional Jay's character. On the surface, Jay may seem a bit shallow, with all his joking around, but Clark deftly has other characters reveal that Jay is really insecure and putting himself down far too much. What I really like is how Clark captures a typical teenage boy's "voice" - too many young adult books feature characters who talk like they swallow a dictionary. Not Jay - he has a typical teenage vocabulary with current slang (and a swear or two). Clark also does a good job of capturing high school life (you'll cringe every time Jay is called "Gay" Baker) Jay's confusion about his feelings for Cameo (and Caroline) is also nicely done, although Cameo does seem a bit too good to be true at the end.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mundie Moms & Mundie Kids Book Reviews on February 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover
If you're looking for a good, laugh out loud read pick up Jay Clark's debut book! Jay Baker is hilarious. There were times he had me laughing out loud and other teams I felt so sorry for him, but before I could teary eyed for all he's dealing with he says something funny that makes me start laughing again. He's a typical teenager who deals with a lot, his first love, a great best friend, a broken home and a bully. Normally I'd feel horrible for Jay, I mean I did, but his snarky and down right hilarious comments he makes to deal with all that goes around him had me laughing at moments I didn't even except to laugh out. For most of the book I found his sarcastic ways charming, and some of his best lines were used towards the bully he deals with in the story.

Jay does a lot of stuff and says a lot of things I felt were very realistic for a typical teenage guy. I felt his character was very believable and may even be relatable to some. Jay Clark did an awesome job at giving his character a true to life teenage voice, which is one of the things that made me like this book. That doesn't mean I agreed with everything Jay says or does, but there's something about what he does through out the story that makes him so enduring. The other person I enjoyed was Jay's sister. They both dish it to each other like all normal siblings do, but they're both also there for each other when the other needs it. I won't even get on the topic of Jay's mother... that women irritated so much.

Jay's writing is fresh, it's surprising, and it's real. I enjoyed the way he tells Jay's story and how he allowed me to get to know his characters. I don't remember the last time I laughed out loud so often while reading a book. His debut is a solid read, and I even enjoyed the surprise ending.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Miller VINE VOICE on February 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Summary:
Jay Baker is a freshman in high school. He is in love with his cheerleader best friend (at the moment), and in a constant battle with Mike, the football playing bully that insists on calling in Gay Baker. Jay is no slouch on insults, so the two of them go at it throughout almost the entire book. Ms. Lambert helps guide Jay at school, but his home life seems to be in ruins. His parents are separating because his mother is having an affair. This leads to heartache, confusion, and sarcasm dedicated to avoiding the situations that bombard Jay. Throughout the novel, he has to grow up and start facing things. As a reader, you get to go through all of these mixed emotions with him.
My thoughts:
I was literally laughing out loud constantly throughout this book. The sarcasm is thick within this book. It's witty, snarky, and sometimes ridiculous, but almost always hilarious. Unfortunately, the slang gets annoying. I wonder if it rings better with an older generation than it will with a younger one. A lot of the pop culture references, and cheesy slang terms that are used relate to an older audience than to current young adults. I think that teenagers will understand the references, but don't believe that they are as relevant any longer. Also, occasionally Jay Clark makes up words. This was cute for about seventy pages or so, but it became overwhelmingly obnoxious. If you can get past the lingo, then this is a real fun read that will keep you laughing through the good times and the bad.
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