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About Average

3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  1,057 Ratings  ·  198 Reviews
Can average be amazing? A girl challenges herself to become extraordinary in the latest from bestselling author Andrew Clements.

Jordan Johnston is average. Not short, not tall. Not plump, not slim. Not blond, not brunette. Not gifted, not flunking out. Even her shoe size is average. She’s ordinary for her school, for her town, for even the whole wide world, it seems.
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published July 24th 2012 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers (first published June 26th 2012)
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(showing 1-30)
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Andrew Clements delivers a pitch-perfect novel for elementary-aged readers here. It works on so many levels - it addresses trendy issues like the unrealistic focus on fame in youth culture and bullying, but it also speaks to kids who just aren't too comfortable in their own skins, and who are trying to discover who they are and who they want to be. Clements does all this with a masterful hand that is never too heavy or preachy, but always simply and in a relatable way. But wait, there's more! Al ...more
Barb Middleton
Dec 15, 2012 Barb Middleton rated it liked it
Shelves: realistic, bully
No superstar in 6th grader Jordan. No super-duper grades. No super-duper looks. No super-duper athleticism. Just your super average run-of-the-mill kid. When you read as many fantasy books as I do it is refreshing to get a normal protagonist once in a while which is what I liked best about this book. While Clements descriptions bring alive the story and characters, the forced plot kept it from standing out in a crowd.

Jordan is finishing up the school year and is in the orchestra, but struggles a
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
Jordan Johnston feels that all her sixth-grade schoolmates are talented or pretty or somehow above average, while she is just...average. Throughout the story other characters point out to her what she's really good at, but she either doesn't believe them or doesn't understand what they're hinting at. I guess it's human nature to compare ourselves with others, but I learned a long time ago that, if you do that, you'll never come out on top. It's much better to look at what you are good at and can ...more
Oct 14, 2016 Kyle rated it liked it
Part of our new Interactive Read Aloud program. Good story with a good message. All I have time for is new school books...
Oct 01, 2014 Lia rated it did not like it
I am usually a fan of Andrew Clements' work. I enjoyed Frindle and The Landry News as well as others. But this book really didn't work. The premise, of having an average female protagonist, is good. But the execution doesn't work. The antagonist is a girl who is bullying the main character. It is very typical Female Relational Aggression, which is a cutting and damaging. The heroine muses to herself that the physical bullying she was aware of was brought to the school authorities and then halted ...more
Steven R. McEvoy
Oct 28, 2016 Steven R. McEvoy rated it it was amazing
I have read 14 books by Andrew Clements in the last 8 months. With each book I have a greater appreciation for him as an author, and for his understanding of children and their development. Most of his books are wonderful realistic reads, and this book lives up to all my expectations. Andrew Clements is one of my all-time favorite authors for children's books or middle grade reads. And this book will speak to everyone who thinks they are not the star, the athlete, in the in group. But it deals w ...more
Apr 06, 2015 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book and honestly wish it was around when I was younger. The book is about a girl named Jordan who is seemingly average at everything, and how she gets bullied by a more popular girl named Marlea. Jordan makes a list of things she is good at, including gardening and babysitting, and her list is found by Marlea and gets her teased by many kids. To sum it up, Jordan eventually realized her talents and starts to find her identity and own talents, and realizes she is better tha ...more
Jun 02, 2016 Cheryl rated it really liked it
Sweet. A bit implausible, but that's ok. The thing is, not everyone is a Stargirl, a bookworm, or a misfit... some kids are just nice average kids. And at some point they'll find their niche, or prove their worth, or discover their special talent. And they deserve stories w/ characters they can empathize with.

This is a much easier and shorter book than I expected, given that the characters are finishing their 6th-grade year. And sometimes they act and even think like third-graders. But given tha
Karen Arendt
This is a warm tale about Jordan, a girl who feels she is just average (or below average) in almost everything she does. She even makes a list of her above, about, and below average things she can do. A mean girl, Marlea, finds the list in the trash and begins to bully Jordan. While this could have been a story about bullying and dealing with being bullied, Clements chooses to have Jordan rethink her own thoughts to deal with the bully. She focuses on positive thinking and tries niceness with Ma ...more
Apr 01, 2013 Alison rated it liked it
I absolutely loved the first half of the book. With a daughter that is at an age where you worry how they are fitting in and a society that is so focused on bullying I thought this would be the perfect book. It goes a long way in showing that everyone can find things that they are good at. I am also very fond of Jordan's plan to counter Marlea's bullying with niceness. I just wish that the book had ended with Jordan finding her own place without the help of a natural disaster. Some way that othe ...more
Nov 24, 2012 Allison rated it it was ok
I would "drop" this. Books dealing with bullies are everywhere these days, and I was looking forward to one by one the best contemporary children's authors. Unfortunately, this is probably Clement's most lackluster book. It is anticlimactic and unremarkable. Jordan depicts a very common situation among elementary school students. She has no talents to speak of, and is completely average in every way. She does not magically discover a talent; which is one aspect of the book that I did appreciate. ...more
Carol Strange
Sep 04, 2015 Carol Strange rated it liked it
Maybe that is more like 2 1/2 stars. I really enjoy reading Andrew Clements with my son, but this book was somewhat of a disappointment. The idea of a girl who seemed just average was appealing to me who had similar feelings in school. She has a idea about some of the things she is good at (very few), but someone's strong points aren't always obvious. Eventually she is able to make a real contribution. Meanwhile she has trouble with girl "bullying," something not everyone recognizes but is all t ...more
Ann Williams
Aug 10, 2012 Ann Williams rated it really liked it
What a great story about courage and quick thinking. This book will be a great companion novel to our weather unit. If tornadoes scare you, this book might scare you, but the ending is just right! I would like to read this book again just to examine the main character's personality traits and to figure out what motivates her to act on the way that she does. I think you will like this new novel from Andrew Clements.
Jul 25, 2012 Laura rated it it was ok
For such a short book, the repeated jumping back and forth in time was distracting. And the most exciting part of the whole story took place over just seven pages. The whole thing just felt like it was missing something.
Apr 01, 2016 Heather rated it liked it
I listened to this one on cd in the car with my little girls, and it was good. Not my favorite, but it has a good message about bullying and embracing who you are. Finding the good in everyone, and bring kind.
Aug 02, 2015 Meg rated it really liked it
Love Andrew Clements. Love this story of a girl who never stands out in anything, but is an absolutely outstanding girl.
Jul 22, 2015 Jana rated it liked it
Surprising ending although characters are not very well developed.
Mar 23, 2017 Jennifer rated it really liked it
A super quick read with a great message about staying true to yourself and not letting bullies change you. Highly recommended.
Mar 04, 2013 Josiah rated it it was ok
"Jordan's memory was a powerful force. A moment from the past would sneak up and kidnap her and then force her to think about it until she discovered something she didn't know she knew."

About Average, P. 9

Andrew Clements has put together a pretty good book here. Sturdy characters, a sincere sense of humor and an unexpected twist or two are all important to the story, and the references sprinkled in to pop culture are refreshing and not as prone to dating the book as in some novels. I especia
Carol Royce Owen
Jun 03, 2013 Carol Royce Owen rated it really liked it
Andrew Clements is best known for his book, Frindle, which puts a student and his teacher at odds with one another when he makes up a new word for "pen," and everyone starts using it. Since then and even before, Clements has written many more books of appeal to students. One, The Report Card, tells of a girl that is extremely gifted, in fact a genius, who has managed to hide that truth from everyone including her parents, because she does not want to be seen as different than her friends. Clemen ...more
Katie Fitzgerald
This review also appears on my blog, Read-at-Home Mom.

About Average, Andrew Clements’s latest school story, is about Jordan Johnston, a girl who feels terribly average. She’s okay at a lot of things, but feels great at only a few, and those things are continually mocked by a mean girl in her class who found her “Things I’m Good At” list in the trash. Jordan tries her hardest to be nice against all odds and basically kill her classmate with kindness, but it’s difficult, and Jordan doubts whether
Feb 27, 2017 Portia rated it it was ok
A few chapters in, I thought it was so bad I almost closed it but it got better. Without the ingenuity of some of Clement's other books and saccharinely oversimple, but still OK.
Jamie Braziel
Nov 12, 2015 Jamie Braziel rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Patricia Powell
Aug 27, 2012 Patricia Powell rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
It’s not easy for sixth grader, Jordan, who is an average violin player, not terribly pretty, not a great student, can’t play chess worth a darn—when there are people in her class who are terrific at all those things. Besides, it’s sweltering hot at the end of the year and her central Illinois school has no a/c in “About Average” by Andrew Clements (2012).
“Average” Jordan has mistakenly discarded a list of what she’s great at (not much). Marlea reads it aloud in the girl’s restroom to humiliate
Nov 24, 2014 Lindsay rated it really liked it
Jordan Johnston is about average. At many things, she was even below average. In fact, she had made a list of all the things she stinks at, the things she is okay at, and the things she is really good at. The lists for the first two were quite extensive, but the last list was quite short. She was really good at babysitting and gardening. Jordan thought that was pretty pathetic. So did Marlea, a member of what Jordan called, "The Cuteness Club," when she found Jordan's list in the recycling bin. ...more
Christian Wallace
Apr 13, 2015 Christian Wallace rated it really liked it
Personal Reaction- This is another book that I was not assigned in class, but decided to read because I am a fan of Andrew Clements. I had also heard good things about the book from other students, which intrigued me to go ahead and read it, and I am very glad that I decided to. The story follows a 6th grade girl named Jordan Johnston, who suffers internally with self esteem and confidence because she feels as though she is simply average in intelligence, looks, and social ability. Once again, C ...more
Lindsay Garber
1. Personal Reaction:
About Average by Andrew Clements, is a compelling story that allows the reader to understand the beauty and importance of personal acceptance. This novel tells a story of a girl named Jordan Johnston who sees herself as very ordinary while everyone else appears to be perfect. Her goal by the end of the year is to find a great talent that will be known by everyone. Andrew Clements does a phenomenal job of relating to students in a classroom setting and helping them understand
May 13, 2013 Dolly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: middle grade readers
I borrowed this book on audio CD because it was only about two hours long and I figured it'd be a good story to listen to during one of our trips up to the lake house.

Our youngest and I listened to it running errands around town instead, and it was an engaging tale that I think she could empathize with, at least somewhat.

I thought that Celia Keenan-Bolger did a terrific job at narrating the story; she was terrific with the different voices and being able to capture the energy and emotion of the
Jun 03, 2014 Juihsuen rated it it was amazing
I think that this book is very good and the main character should be friends with the person that she hate a lot, even though the person that she hate always pass out her secrets such as getting a very bad score on reading or other subjects. For example, the day the main character was cleaning her desk and she threw all the papers into the trash can and after that the person she hate walk over and look if there are something very interesting such as the main charters grade or something very secr ...more
April Murillo
Feb 08, 2017 April Murillo rated it really liked it
About Average is about a girl named Jordan, Jordan was getting bullied by a girl named Marlea and Jordan didn't know why. One morning it was 3 minutes before class and Jordan didn't want to see Marlea so she went to the bath room turns out Marlea was in side he bathroom laughing at Jordan because a few days earlier Jordan cleaned out he desk and through away some papers and Marlea found them and got a paper that had a list on what she was good at and what she was bad at. Then Jordan had a plan t ...more
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Is this a good read? 2 7 Jan 04, 2013 11:04PM  
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I was born in Camden, New Jersey in 1949 and lived in Oaklyn and Cherry Hill until the middle of sixth grade. Then we moved to Springfield, Illinois. My parents were avid readers and they gave that love of books and reading to me and to all my brothers and sisters. I didn’t think about being a writer at all back then, but I did love to read. I'm certain there's a link between reading good books an ...more
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