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The School Story Paperback – August 1, 2002


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The School Story + No Talking + Frindle
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 760L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (August 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689851863
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689851865
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (118 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #90,761 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Don't mess with Zee Zee Reisman from the Sherry Clutch Literary Agency. Especially when she's promoting the hot new novelist Cassandra Day. New York's publishing scene is familiar with tough players like Zee Zee, and impressed by the book she's pushing... but stunned when they find out Zee Zee and Cassandra are both 12-year-old girls. Zee Zee is really Zoe, fiercely loyal and self-assured best friend to Natalie Nelson, a.k.a. Cassandra Day. When Natalie writes a story, a really good story, Zoe is determined to let the whole world know. Using her formidable wits and all the resources available to a well-to-do New York City girl, Zoe, along with their timid English teacher, Ms. Clayton, proceeds to chip away at the challenge. The catch? The editor Natalie wants happens to be her own mother, an editor at Shipley Junior Books. But Natalie wants her authorship to remain a secret to her mom so that she'll get a fair shake. What ensues is a masterfully elaborate plot to get the manuscript in the right hands--and away from the arrogant, unfriendly editor in chief.

A highly original plot with plenty of intriguing side stories makes this a thoroughly satisfying read, especially for future novelists, agents, and editors. The publishing world is explored in just enough detail to gently banish romantic notions, but not to quell enthusiasm. The subplot around Natalie's father, who died four years earlier, is an almost silent but strong undercurrent to the story. This graceful and enjoyable novel from Andrew Clements (the bestselling author of The Janitor's Boy, Frindle, and The Landry News) is illustrated with rather gloomy, yet strangely funny black-and-white drawings from Brian Selznick, the illustrator of Clements' Frindle and The Landry News. (Ages 8 to 12) --Emilie Coulter --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

In a starred review, PW called this book about a 12-year-old aspiring author a "standout. Indeed a 'school story,' this is at heart a tale about the love between a father and a daughter." Ages 8-12. (Sept.)
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Most of my characters are fairly normal people who are dealing with the basics of everyday life--getting along with others, finding a place in the world, discovering talents, overcoming challenges, trying to have some wholesome fun along the way, and getting into some scrapes and a little mischief now and then, too. I guess I hope my readers will be able to see bits and pieces of themselves in the stories, particularly the novels that take place in and around school. School is a rich setting because schools and education are at the heart of every community. The stories that are set in school seem to resonate with kids, teachers, parents, librarians--readers of all ages. Everyone's life has been touched by school experiences. And I also hope, of course, that kids and others will enjoy reading, enjoy the use of language, enjoy my storytelling.

Customer Reviews

Can Natalie and Zoe get Natalie's book published?!?!?!
LW
Definitely read this book it is so good for kids that don't like reading because it uses kid language and is just great!!!
unicornlover<3
Another great gift idea for middle grade students who have the desire to write and be published!
Michelle A. Cope

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By halles5 on June 10, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This book is another great one by Andrew Clements and was chosen as our first summer read for a mother-daughter book club. Twelve-year old Natalie writes a story and her friend Zoe is certain she can get it published. Although Natalie's Mom works as an editor for a publishing story, Zoe wants the book to be published on its own merit. Natalie, who is a remarkable writer, couldn't get the book published without Zoe's determination, cunning, and confidence. As an adult reader, it made me realize how our fears can hold us back and keep us from fulfilling our dreams, in that Zoe showed no fear at all. A great book to demonstrate that talents come in different packages (be it that of a writer, agent or seller) and to encourage both boys and girls to pursue their talents. Neither my 9-year old daughter or I could put this book down.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Mary Whipple HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on June 20, 2006
Format: Paperback
When Natalie Nelson, in sixth grade, writes a novel which her best friend Zoe thinks is the best book she's ever read, the two girls decide to get it published. Natalie's mother is an editor of Shipley Junior Books, but she does not know Natalie has written a book, and the girls do not want special favors from her. Natalie decides to use a pen name, Cassandra Day, for her book, and with Zoe acting as her agent and calling herself Zee Zee Reisman, the girls contact publishers and learn how books are produced, while keeping their ages a secret.

The story uses realistic dialogue between two girls whose personalities are very different--one thoughtful and serious (Natalie/Cassandra), and the other talkative and full of energy (Zoe/ZeeZee)--and as the girls work toward their goal of seeing Natalie's book in print, they learn what makes a good book, the biggest problems with "bad" books, why a literary agent is needed, how publishers connect with authors, the importance of contracts and a lawyer, how editing works, and how publishers create publicity for books.

Twelve-year-old Natalie and Zoe must use all their imagination and energy to solve many adult-sized problems here. As they try to keep Natalie's mother from discovering who Cassandra Day really is, they also learn the value of friendship and loyalty, the importance of being honest, and how to accomplish goals by working hard (with only a little adult help). Natalie and Zoe are lively and natural, and author Andrew Clements gives enough background about their family lives to involve middle-grade readers in their lives--and keep them on the edges of their chairs. A delightful story that will captivate kids--and the adults with whom they may share this story. n Mary Whipple
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By George Buttner VINE VOICE on August 27, 2005
Format: Paperback
Andrew Clements is the author of a number of "school stories," so he's writing about something he's well aware of when he tells the tale of a girl who writes her very own school story and sets out how to get it published. Well --- that's not quite right, rather the girl Natalie Nelson (pen-name Cassandra Day) is encouraged to publish the story by her friend, Zoe Riceman (a.k.a. "Zee Zee.") Andrew Clements describes the girls' friendship as "push-and-pull" Natalie has always been a writer, while Zoe is a talker. Further, Zoe is the daughter of an attorney and could possibly be one herself, she's been winning arguments ever since she could talk. At first, Natalie doesn't want to publish her novel, not sure it would succeed, but is slowly brought around to the idea by Zoe.

What follows is a hilarious, but also touching tale of the ins-and-outs of publishing, friendship, and good, hard-work. Readers will laugh at some of the riotous schemes in the book and cheer as progress is made. And they will also find things to relate to in the tale of a daughter, her widowed mother (and editor) and a girls' memories of her father.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on February 13, 2004
Format: Paperback
Natalie starts to write a book, "The Cheater." Zoe loves the book, and thinks that she can get the book published. The only problem is that Natalie's mom is the only publisher they know. So Zoe thinks up a big plan, and decides to be Natalie's agent, Sherry Clutch. Natalie and their teacher, Ms. Clayton, join in. Natalie decides to have her pen name be Cassandra Day. Will they slip past Natalie's mom, or will she find out?
"School Story" was a great book, almost the best book I've ever read. It has a great plot (I think), and it shows how the girls think and feel. It shows lots of excitement and creativity. The characters have totally different personalities, which makes the book fun. And it is also pretty funny. This is the kind of book that does not need a sequel because the ending finishes perfectly, and locks everything up. It is the kind of book that does not suit some people, because there's not tons of action and fighting, but some people can't stop reading it because they just have to know what happens next. I think most of Andrew Clements books are pretty good, but this is his best book yet.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Gwenn Cosmis on July 29, 2003
Format: Paperback
It doesn't matter to me if this book isn't as thick as a Harry Potter, I don't care. This author{to me} ranks with the highest {example: Hayao Miyazaki}.
The three main resons this is my all time favorite book is:
1. This is about a girl becoming an author, and when I grow up, I wanna be one too.
2. Andrew Clements could make another book out of this one. It's like a book withen a book!!
3. Events in this ccould happen to everyone.
You also learn some stuff in this too!!
Other books this author has written include:
Frindle
The Janitor's Boy
The Landry News {I own this book also}
A cool thing about this book is it has literure questions in the back of it, making it a book teachers might want to think about getting for their students so they could enjoy it!!
So for all these reasons, I would give this book 20 stars.
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