Hugh Winkleman would be the school joke no longer!
Schooled by Gordon Korman (narrated by Various) is the story of Capricorn “Cap” Anderson and what happens when he leaves his commune to attend a public middle school.
What I Liked
– I really appreciate that there are several voice actors. The book has a different narrator for each chapter, and it would’ve been pretty weird hearing the same person do each part. Unless it was Robin Williams or something.
– I liked Cap’s naïveté; it really serves the story well. My daughter was frequently exasperated by how naive Cap was, and it showed how much cunning and cruelty are learned behaviors.
– The kids’ changing attitudes towards Cap–for better or worse–felt very authentic.
– There is a lot of humor in the story. I liked that I genuinely liked Cap and wanted him to do well, even as I was laughing at some of the mistakes he made.
– Trigonometry and Tears! Oh my gosh, it sounds like an awesome teen soap. I love, love that Cap falls in love with it and that he uses it as a teaching tool. And he’s so excited about the reruns! Aw, TV.
– There’s such a great visual of Cap with his big hair and tie-dyed clothes. I could picture him perfectly in my mind.
What I Didn’t Like
– The female characters are horrible (minus the grown-ups). The two girl narrators are boy obsessed, cruel, shallow, and self-serving. They’re just so clichéd; it’s ridiculous. Just…ugh. That said, they both have character shifts that make them more palatable, but I seriously rolled my eyes almost every time we got to one of their chapters in the story.
In conclusion: If you’ve ever read Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli, this book is a way more upbeat and fun version. I actually enjoyed the story and its commentary on “normalcy” and middle school dynamics.
Support Your Local Library: 15/30; YA Reading Challenge: 11/20;