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My School Is Worse Than Yours (Puffin Chapters) Paperback – July 1, 1999
From School Library Journal
Grade 2-4?Toles, an Oliphant-styled syndicated political cartoonist (with a Pulitzer Prize to boot), has ventured into children's chapter books with this rambling story of a budding artist looking for validation...and a drier school. Despite a winning opening sentence?"My grandfather is a hat"?the story displays unfulfilled Sacharian promise. Toles's unnamed, outdated, subterranean institution is dark and dismal and damp enough to be little more than brief political commentary on impersonal instruction. Raven, the adolescent narrator, has a mechanical teacher, a rusty robot with arrow-straight rows of chalk for teeth. Wending her way through a school staff with names like Mr. Crevice, Mrs. Goodremote, Mr. Bleek, and, of course, Mrs. Rust (RST=Robotic School Teacher), the girl finally finds a sympathetic mentor in Mrs. Blythe, her new art teacher. Readers wend their way through a bizarre parody of The Indian in the Cupboard, a cafeteria that serves fallout-shelter crackers, and more. The text jumps around enough to disappoint even diehard readers sucked in by the appealing title and potential goofiness and who want to know what the sometimes berserk Mrs. Rust might do next. Sympathy for Raven when she hits her head trying to change the sole but forever burnt-out lightbulb in her educational dungeon just isn't forthcoming, nor is there joy in her artistic victory at the end because the character is only two-dimensional. Toles's black-and-white cartoons are fine, but they look like they need a punch line in a balloon.?John Sigwald, Unger Memorial Library, Plainview, TX
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Kirkus Reviews
A Pulitzer Prizewinning cartoonist debuts with a hilarious book that is ideal for classroom read-alouds. Irreverent, perceptive Raven Royce guarantees that her school is the absolute worst and dares readers to argue with her. She and her classmates wear rubber boots to slosh through the hallways of their dark, leaky school that is built underground. She has--literally--a robotic teacher, Mrs. Rust, and the students must make sure their lunches don't end up airborne when the meal selections are whooshed down the assembly-line slide. Kids will love Toles's sense of humor and funny, offbeat characters, especially Raven's snooty older sister, Angelica. The chapters are short, manageable vignettes that tie together nicely--and happily--in the end. Middle-schoolers, including reluctant readers, will want more fast- paced, attention-grabbing books about Raven Royce and her wacky school. (Fiction. 8-12) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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I think other kids will really enjoy reading this book as much as I did. I read the whole book in one day!