Schooled by Gordon Korman
* Rebecca Caudill Award 2011 Nominee *
Gordon Korman (need I say more?)
He does not disappoint with this fast-paced realistic fiction. Thirteen-year-old Capricorn (Cap) lives only with his grandmother on a hippie farm commune. The farm is huge and isolated. He has never ever seen television. He has never ever had his hair cut. His grandmother breaks her hip after falling while picking plums. Due to her extended hospital stay, Cap can't stay at the commune by himself.
Cap has to attend school - a real school that has eleven hundred students. His hair is so long that he hardly notices the spit balls stuck in his hair. This "freakazoid" is made class president. His big project is the Halloween dance. He doesn't even know what a dance is. He really is tested, but the grandmother's philosophy of peace really has an effect on Cap. Will it have an effect on his class and the entire school? Cap remembers his grandmother teaching him that when people are negative, "they're trying to put duck tape on their own damaged souls".
Cap's grandmother taught him to drive a long time ago on their own property. I was amazed how his driving ties the whole story together. The story is told from multiple points of view. Each chapter heading is a name of a different character. This book really is a good bridge between the generations. It is too funny how Art Garfunkel is referred to as "grandpa guitarfunkel". I will not say who learns the most in the story. I will have to argue with you about that later. No, I will have to peacefully discuss it with you!!!