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Schooled Paperback – August 26, 2008
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About the Author
Gordon Korman is one of the most popular young adult and middle grade authors writing today. He published his first book at the young age of fourteen and has been going strong ever since. A tireless self-promoter, Gordon is constantly traveling across the country to visit different schools. He and his wife, a teacher, live on Long Island with their three children.
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Best Book About School Ever
How a hippie kid learns how to be in the real world
Capricorn has always lived in Garland with his grandmother Rain. When Rain falls out of a tree picking plums she gets injured and must go to the hospital. Of course, she can't drive so Cap has to drive her but then he gets caught and almost arrested on the way to the hospital. He is only 13! They make it to the hospital and Rain has a broken hip, so Cap must go to a public school and try to fit in while Rain gets better in the hospital. I would give this book an A because it had admirable characters and it went right into the plot action. Also, there was a lot of humor and a recurring message: even if you look weird you can still be a kind and loyal friend.
This is a great book because it has an admirable main character, Capricorn. "When the burning haze cleared my eyes, the first person I saw was Zach, untouched and laughing at me. Down at my feet lay Cap, out cold, his nose gushing blood like a geyser, (page 141)". This shows that Cap would sacrifice himself so there would not be a fight. Another admirable character is Ms. Donnely, Cap's foster mom. "My mother is the most generous, caring, good-hearted, sympathetic person in the world. She even chose a career devoted to helping people. She's a saint, (page 56)".
There was a lot of humor in the book. For example, the whole plot idea of a hippie kid trying to fit into a public school when he thinks the best tool ever is duct tape and doesn't even know what money is makes this book very entertaining and funny. One example of Capricorn not knowing about money is when he thinks you have unlimited money to spend just because you have a check. "I didn't have any money. But I had something even better – checks, which automatically counted as exactly as much money as you wrote in the box, (page 108)." Another funny thing is how different Capricorn's life is from most kids. "'Well, there was the time I whacked my head on the pump handle of our well. Doc Cafferty shaved part of my scalp so he could put in stitches.' (…)'Who's he? Your pediatrician?' 'No, the vet', (page 93)"
I also enjoyed how this book got right into the plot action. On the first very page Capricorn says "I was thirteen the first time I saw a police officer up close. He was arresting me for driving without a license, (page 3)". Then, a few pages later, Capricorn asks himself "How could an able-bodied teenager allow his grandmother to scale a plum tree? Simple. She wasn't my grandmother at the time. She was my teacher, (page 5)". That drew me in and me made me curious about if he was homeschooled or was just sick.
Overall, this was a suspenseful book that made me want to keep reading. My mom had been bugging me for a year to read it, and I'm glad I finally did. It gets right to the action, has admirable characters, and is hilarious.
In the end, everything works out and the students have come to love Cap the way he is. They have learned more from him than they could ever have imagined. The humor and the positive ending made up for the hard to believe elements of the plot and this was overall a fun read.
My 12 year old grandson was reading this book when we visited. I read about 5 pages and decided right then it was a good book.
I talked with him later to see how he liked the book and he really liked it and told me what parts really impressed him.