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Schooled Hardcover – July 31, 2007

4.5 out of 5 stars 264 customer reviews

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Fish in a Tree
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The uplifting and unforgettable New York Times bestselling, Schneider Award-winner that's perfect for fans of "Wonder." Hardcover | Kindle book | See more for ages 9-12
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Homeschooled on an isolated "alternate farm commune" that has dwindled since the 1960s to 2 members, 13-year-old Cap has always lived with his grandmother, Rain. When she is hospitalized, Cap is taken in by a social worker and sent—like a lamb to slaughter—to middle school. Smart and capable, innocent and inexperienced (he learned to drive on the farm, but he has never watched television), long-haired Cap soon becomes the butt of pranks. He reacts in unexpected ways and, in the end, elevates those around him to higher ground. From chapter to chapter, the first-person narrative shifts among certain characters: Cap, a social worker (who takes him into her home), her daughter (who resents his presence there), an A-list bully, a Z-list victim, a popular girl, the school principal, and a football player (who unintentionally decks Cap twice in one day). Korman capably manages the shifting points of view of characters who begin by scorning or resenting Cap and end up on his side. From the eye-catching jacket art to the scene in which Cap says good-bye to his 1,100 fellow students, individually and by name, this rewarding novel features an engaging main character and some memorable moments of comedy, tenderness, and reflection. Pair this with Jerry Spinelli's 2000 Stargirl (the sequel is reviewed in this issue) for a discussion of the stifling effects of conformity within school culture or just read it for the fun of it. Phelan, Carolyn

About the Author

GORDON KORMAN has written more than seventy middle-grade and teen novels, including the New York Times bestseller The Medusa Plot (The 39 Clues: Cahills vs. Vespers, book one), the Swindle series, Ungifted, the Island trilogy, Pop, Schooled, No More Dead Dogs, Son of the Mob and many other favorites. Gordon lives with his family on Long Island, New York. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 740L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion; First Edition edition (July 31, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786856920
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786856923
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (264 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #639,599 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Margaret Silver on July 16, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I came across "Schooled" at a local bookstore and picked it up. Two minutes into the novel I was hooked. With a tall glass of iced coffee, I sat down and read the entire book. The plot is simple--a 14 year old boy, Capricorn, is raised on a commune by his grandmother, a hippie he calls Rain. He is home schooled by Rain as the two of them are the only ones left on this commune/farm. Cap has little contact with the outside world, has never watched TV, handled money, or had a friend his age. When Rain falls while picking a plum, she is hospitalized. When he is temporarily placed in the home of a social worker with a teenage daughter--who hates him--and attends a local middle school, look out! Innocent and gullible child walks into the jungle of a middle school campus, creating many interesting events

The story is humorous, touching, and at times aggravating. Capricorn becomes the butt of all jokes, the campus geek. How he handles his exposure to the corrupt world is a wonderful story. Somehow he manages to change those around him yet retain his own values.
While the ending was a bit contrived, it didn't take away from the plot. I highly recommend this one to all--but especially to middle school boys who are made to feel insecure if they don't conform to the expectations of the middle school culture.
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Format: Hardcover
I probably would never have picked this book up on my own. I have a bit of trepidation with books about homeschool--so far, I haven't been that comfortable with how homeschoolers are portrayed in various forms of media--and this one, with thirteen year old Capricorn Anderson being raised alone in a farm commune by his hippie grandmother, Rain, sounded like another book about some off-the-wall family that didn't represent at all what homeschool is like for most of us. But, it came highly recommended so I gave it a go.

I have to say, I ended up really liking it. It was fast-paced and all the characters seemed believable and vivid. The book is comprised of short segments from the perspective of various characters, from Cap himself to Mrs Donnelley, social worker who takes him in after Rain has to go to rehab from hip surgery (and who grew up on the commune herself until her parents decided they wanted a different life for their family); to some of the kids Cap meets when he starts 8th grade--Hugh, who was the bottom of the bottom until Cap became a bigger target; Zack, leader of the cool kids who gets Cap elected as 8th grade president just so everyone can make even more fun of him; Naomi, who likes Zack but starts to be won over by Cap's kindness and maturity in the face of cruel enmity. I devoured the book in an afternoon!

I appreciate that the book doesn't give easy answers, and that the characters all have complex thoughts and emotions. It's easy to see how much the middle school kids do, not based on their own convictions or sense of morality, but as some way to keep their heads above water in the cruel shark-tank they face Monday through Friday.
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Format: Hardcover
I was under the impression that this book was about the sixties, when I read the other reviews posted here. Some people included quotes from the quintessential figures that were so effective and prominent in the 1960s, i.e. the Beatles. But, when I read "Schooled" by Gordon Korman (I got it for my thirteenth birthday) it wasn't really like that. It was about how the sixties affect us today, and how they defined a great deal of American society today, such as cynicism towards the government.
"Schooled" has an interesting and impossibly entertaining premise. Capricorn (Cap) Anderson is a homeschooled hippie kid living in a deadbeat 1960s eco-commune, Garland Farm, with his grandmother Rain. His grandmother has raised him and taught him all that she believes to be important, and tells him to be wary of the world that they are nearly disconnected from, save for trips into town for supplies. Rain keeps him close so the outside world will not taint him.
So, as you can imagine, when Rain falls from a tree (she was picking plums) and breaks her hip and has to undergo six weeks of physical therapy, Cap is utterly and completely lost, innocent and unknowing of the normal middleschool hierarchy that exists in Claverage Middle School (dubbed C Average by students). He stays with a social worker, Mrs. Donnelly, who actually herself lived on Garland Farm at one time, running barefoot in peasant dresses and doing farm chores. Mrs. Donnelly takes Cap to live with her and her daughter, Sophie, at her home.
It goes from there with Cap being terrorized by popular students, but, despite their obviously harmful intentions and downright meanness towards Cap, he never tries to get back at them, never gets angry or frustrated, only confused ("Why can't we all just get along?
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a book that needs to be read by young and old. It is a great story that opens your eyes to how ridiculous some of our customs are, and how we are seen through others eyes. This book is filled with humor, and will make you read it for hours on end!
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