From School Library Journal
Starred Review. Grade 7-10 -Scott Hudson is the quintessential freshman. He's small, he's lost, and seniors yoke him for spare change. His honors homework keeps him up all night and his gym teacher is trying to kill him. He joins the paper, runs for student council, and tries out for the play, just to be near a girl he likes. This all backfires. He turns out to be the least athletic sports reporter in school history, and freshman lackey to the sadists on stage crew. Meanwhile, his mother is pregnant. The plot is framed by Scott's journal of advice for the unborn baby. The novel's absurd, comical mood is evident in its entries, like "Scott Hudson's List of Good Things about Getting Beat Up," and jabs at the fetus ("I hope we can recover our investment [in baby furniture] when I sell you."). The author brings the protagonist to three-dimensional life by combining these introspective musings with active, hilarious narration. This format also breaks up the story for slower readers. Scott's character arc is extremely satisfying as he develops his true strengths over the nine months of school and the pregnancy. His interactions with the school delinquent and the heavily pierced new girl are fresh and subtle. Though Scott purposely peppers his journal with SAT words, Lubar's language use and writing style are deceptively simple. The teen's physical and emotional tumult is as clear, familiar, and complex as high school itself.-Johanna Lewis, New York Public Library
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Gr. 8-11. Scott Hudson chronicles the ups and downs of his eventful freshman year in high school, as he joins the newspaper, works as a stage manager for the spring play, learns a lot from his outstanding English teacher, tries to help a student who attempts suicide, is beaten up because of a girl, and goes to the spring dance. Along the way, he discovers that his mother is pregnant, and he writes a series of insightful letters to his soon-to-be sibling. By the end, Scott has outgrown his freshman insecurities, realizing that he has carved a place for himself in the high-school world. The story delivers too many messages as Scott learns one important lesson after another. Still, most readers will find plenty of amusing, accurate observations about freshman life, from the insecurities of first dates to the dangers of walking the hall between classes. Todd MorningCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved