SCHOOLED, by Gordon Korman, is one of the few Middle Grade novels that utilizes a multiple first person narrative. Each chapter is from the perspective of either the protagonist, Capricorn Anderson, or the supporting or less than supporting cast around him. SCHOOLED is a charming, witty story of a boy trying to understand a world he has never known. After always being home schooled in a commune by his hippie grandmother, Cap must figure out his new life at a big city middle school
DATE OF PUBLICATION:2007 LEVEL: 4.9
WORD COUNT: 40,313
FIVE THINGS TO LIKE ABOUT SCHOOLED:
- Cap is a gullible character who doesn’t know better. He deals with the world of teasing and bullying in his own natural way. It’s a great lesson for any middle school boy who is dealing with trying to fit in.
- The hilarious side story as Cap watches daily episodes of the popular teen drama, “Trigonometry and Tears.” It helps him understand the culture of his new school.
- All the characters have complex thoughts and emotions, which would have been hard to flesh out from a single POV.
- All the storytellers point of views intermingle to a satisfying conclusion. It may be hard for some readers to bounce from one character to the next, but if they stick with it, an understanding of both worlds Cap is dealing with is the rich payoff.
- I don’t always feel satisfied after reading a novel for middle graders, but this one left me smiling and it should do the same for any boy or girl. It would also make a great read a loud.
Check the links to other Middle Grade novels over at Shannon Messenger’s Marvelous Middle Grade Monday post.