From School Library Journal
Grade 5-7?Lanie Strata's eighth-grade science class is totally out of control because Mr. Fisher is the most incompetent teacher at Morgan Middle School. Unfairly accused of cheating in his class, Lanie and her friends fantasize revenge. When these fantasies are realized, with Mr. Fisher's violets and tropical fish killed and his grade book stolen, the girl courageously intervenes, learning a lot about loyalty, honesty, friendship, and her not-so-ordinary self. Other themes are woven into this adequate but unremarkable novel, as Lanie deals with her first date, a friend's move, and her mother's return to work. Hopper is adept at humorously portraying typical middle schoolers, especially as they begin boy-girl relationships and sort out what is most important to them.?Connie Tyrrell Burns, Mahoney Middle School, South Portland, ME
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 4^-7. Eighth-grader Lanie deals with a common set of problems--a best friend who has moved, boy-girl relationships, and teacher trouble--but Hopper tells Lanie's story without hasty, happy wrap-ups. "Repulsive" eighth-grader Vinnie, who has a crush on Lanie, is vividly and humorously appalling at times, but readers (and Lanie) eventually discover that he does have his strengths. Mr. Fisher, who teaches science, lacks classroom management skills. He is never marvelously transformed in the book, and, in fact, he decides to leave teaching. But as with Vinnie, Lanie comes to see that his faults and virtues coexist. Hopper, who never makes Lanie too silly or too preachy, ably convinces us that Lanie's gradual awareness of human complexity is a clear sign she's growing up. Mary Harris Veeder