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Zen And The Art Of Faking It Hardcover – October 1, 2007


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jordan Sonnenblick is the author of the acclaimed DRUMS, GIRLS, & DANGEROUS PIE, NOTES FROM THE MIDNIGHT DRIVER, ZEN AND THE ART OF FAKING IT, and the sequel to DRUMS called AFTER EVER AFTER. He lives in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, with his wife and two children.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 840L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press; Reprint edition (October 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0439837073
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439837071
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,180,306 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Here's my bio from the paperback version of _Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie_:

"Jordan Sonnenblick attended amazing schools in New York City. Then he went to an incredible Ivy League university and studied very, very hard there. However, due to his careful and well-planned course selection strategies, he emerged in 1991 with a fancy-looking diploma and a breathtaking lack of real-world skills or employability.

Thank goodness for Teach for America, a program which takes new college graduates, puts them through 'teacher boot camp', and places them in teaching positions at schools in teacher shortage areas around the country. Through TFA, Mr. Sonnenblick found his place in the grown-up world, teaching adolescents about the wonders and joys, the truth and beauty, of literature.

Mr. Sonnenblick always wanted to be a writer, too, so one day in 2003 he started in on the book that became Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie. This book was inspired by several aspects of the author's real life: like Steven, the main character in the novel, he really plays the drums, he really went through an incredibly awkward year when he was 13, and he really was completely spastic around girls until right around his 21st birthday. The made-up parts of the book are all reflections of the author's basic philosophy, which is that the world is a tough place, so you'd better be kind and laugh a lot.

Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie was published by Scholastic Press in 2005 to great acclaim, and was named to several Best of 2005 lists, including the ALA's Teens' Top Ten.

In October 2006, Scholastic will release Mr. Sonnenblick's second novel, Notes from the Midnight Driver, which is about drunk driving, lawn gnomes, divorced parents, a unique old man, and a beautiful girl with deadly hobbies.

Mr. Sonnenblick lives in Bethlehem, PA with the most supportive wife and lovable children he could ever imagine. Plus a lot of drums and guitars in the basement."

I think that pretty much sums it up.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on October 10, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Author Jordan Sonnenblick has done it again. ZEN AND THE ART OF FAKING IT gets the up and downs and total frustration of being a teen just right.

San Lee's life has been full of new towns and new schools, but this one upsets him more than all of the others combined. This time, instead of having his dad uproot the family in search of his latest scheme, it is just San and his mother because his dad is in prison.

Not particularly successful at anything in the past, San has frequently used negative behavior to get attention. Being Oriental and adopted by a white couple has not always made things easy. Now with his father serving time for his shady business dealings, San finds himself feeling the need to get things right this time.

Faced with not only a new school and trying to fit in, but also with Wednesday night phone calls from a convict father he never wants to talk to again, San is ready to try just about anything. With his mother working long hours to make ends meet, he decides he needs a gimmick to win some friends and positively influence some people. Thanks to his new social studies teacher, the door to Zen Buddhism opens wide.

San's well-worn clothes and tattered sandals become a great disguise as he steps into his role as the Zen expert of the eighth grade. With help from the local library, the perfect "meditation" rock right outside school, and his new friend, Woody, San fools everyone into believing his Buddhist philosophy. Although he seems to be fitting in and gaining popularity, he worries that faking it may make him like the father he has learned to detest.

Sonnenblick uses his humorous, straight-forward style to grab readers on page one, and whisk them into San's world.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Susane Colasanti on October 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover
You know how some people are just naturally hilarious? Jordan Sonnenblick is one of those people. ZEN is an awesome book, containing most excellent dialogue and a plot that will keep you up very late, reading until your eyes hurt to find out what happens next.

This is the story of San Lee, new kid, who's trying to fit in by...well, not exactly being himself. We love San right from the start. Like the rest of us, he has baggage to deal with and family issues and someone special in his life he's trying to impress, and we're sympathetic to his struggles. You'll love how San changes as his confidence grows. And the Zen bits are really fun.

Read it. Love it. Pass it on.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By 8th Grade Reading on April 15, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Jordan Sonnenblick did a wonderful job of representing a teenager's state of mind in his book, Zen and the Art of Faking It. This humorous fiction book shows how teens cope with events happening at school and home. An eighth grader named San has done a lot of moving around in his life due to his father's lack of telling the truth and ending up in jail. When San and his mom moved to Pennsylvania, San sees this as an opportunity to start his life over again. On the first day of school, he saw a girl singing in the cafeteria at lunch; it was love at first sight. He suddenly had a mad crush on that girl, named Woody. Right away he started adjusting himself to her likings and ended up becoming a fake "Zen" artist. San and Woody have many secrets between them that they are scared to admit, but with a little help of Buddhism, they just might be able to work out their problems.

San is a teenage boy who is afraid to tell the truth, but doesn't want to hurt people in the process of lying. He is compassionate and just wants to impress Woody without hurting his reputation while doing so. I really enjoyed San's character because I think he shows the average middle school student, and the changes and problems they are faced with. I also believe he is very mature and can handle situations in positive ways, even though he still has a long way to go. Woody is a singer, guitar player, basketball star, and volunteer who might intimidate San a little, but really she is just trying to get over her hardships at home with her family and find a best friend who will just listen to her.

This hilarious book is perfect for middle school students to read, and it will even help you understand your teenage love life a little bit better!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jordan Dossett on July 4, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have to say I loved this book. It was so great and well written. It may seem odd but I am in my late 30's and I got this book and just had to giggle and loved it. It is enjoyable for every generation and brought back the angst of junior high and trying to fit in and made me realize that it never really fades. The author does an incredible job telling a story and captivating the characters. I highly recommend this book to readers/listeners of all ages.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Chris D. on October 7, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I love the way Jordan Sonnenblick writes. One second you're laughing, the next you're wiping at tears. My kids love all of his books. Great to find totally appropriate kid lit that kids actually love. Also highly recommend Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By tomas r wille buschmann on September 28, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Its a nice light read about zen and faking it

Again amazon guys why is above comment not enough? I said it, buy the book! don't force us with minimum number of words to say a book is good
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