Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Schooled, by Gordon Korman

I opened this at a particularly good time. My workplace is particularly crazy the last couple of weeks. I needed a reminder that there are multiple perspectives in any situation and that all have value.

This is a funny book, but also has social value for teens. The protagonist, Capricorn (Cap) Anderson, is the last flower child on the last "commune." His grandmother, Rain (Rachel Esther Rosenblatt), has held onto the principles of the commune long after everyone else has left. She and Cap keep the spirit alive and live happily--just the two of them--on the land. When Rain falls out of a tree and breaks her hip Cap becomes involved with the child protective services and public school.

As a complete "flower child," Cap has had no exposure to television, telephones, or even other people. He discovers that he really only knows one person, his grandmother. As a result of Rain's hospitalization Cap enters Claverage middle school. He is totally unprepared for anything in middle school (or actually is the modern world).

Korman's book lets us look at the issues we all deal with on a daily basis with new eyes. The journey with Cap into the 21st century is certainly worth the time. It will help everyone examine their own place in the world and choices made.

Middle school teachers tell me that their students are wild about this book. I give it 4 stars

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