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Bad Apple (The Merits of Mischief #1)
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Bad Apple (Merits of Mischief #1)

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  545 Ratings  ·  135 Reviews
“It’s easy to get drawn into this fast-paced, funny, and entertaining adventure” (Publishers Weekly) about a school where making trouble is highly encouraged.

Twelve-year-old Seamus Hinkle is a good kid with a perfect school record—until the day of the unfortunate apple incident.

Seamus is immediately shipped off to a detention facility—only to discover that Kilter Academy i
Kindle Edition, 368 pages
Published (first published April 24th 2012)
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(showing 1-30)
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Mar 09, 2016 Lauren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't a huge fan of the book in the beginning, but by the end I really enjoyed it. I would definitely recommend this book to others, but only if you don't mind having to read the second book. I can't wait to read the second book because the first one left you hanging.
Josh Girard
This book may have lots of pages but the pages are full of wonderful adventures. I liked the book but there is a lot of characters in this book.
Mary Anne
Mar 14, 2012 Mary Anne rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mary Anne by: Mom
Shelves: fiction
My mother picked this up for me as ARC from a small conference she attended. And I sense I'm going to be in the minority on this one. Granted, I'm not the intended audience for this book. With that in mind, enter the spoiler link!

(view spoiler)
"But if this isn't a reform school . . . what is it?

Houdini's feet drop to the floor. He leans forward. Holds my eyes with his. "A world-renowned, top secret training facility."

I want to look away but can't.

"Kilter Academy for Troubled Youth doesn't accept just anyone," Houdini continues. "Each semester, the admissions board receives thousands of applications and fills only thirty slots. Acceptance is based on a number of criteria, the most important being a student's natural talent for bad beha
Jun 05, 2012 Andrew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: amazon-vine
Seamus Hinkle isn’t a bad kid. When he threw his apple during a food fight in the school cafeteria, he was only trying to prevent the substitute teacher from getting in over her head. He certainly didn’t mean to kill her. Now, he finds himself enrolled at the Kilter Academy for Troubled Youth, and he’s quite certain that he’s in for something truly terrible.

But as soon as his parents drive off, he finds that Kilter Academy isn’t what it first appears to be. He is confused to find that he has som
It is always a delight to find such a playful and engaging book as this one, especially for intermediate readers. In this story Seamus Hinkle is sent to a school for misfits after accidentally killing his substitute teacher with an apple. Through a series of (mostly accidental) events Seamus becomes a star on campus at a school that rewards troublemaking and punishes tattling and good behaviors. Eventually he bands up with his fellow classmates to make school history.

What I loved most about thi
Henry S
Nov 05, 2012 Henry S rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i think this is one of the best books I've ever read in my entire life! It's filled with action, like when Seamus (the main character) accidentally kills his substitute teacher in the lunchroom, and when after he accidentally kills his substitute teacher gets sent to the Kilter reform school which is secretly a... you'll have to read it to find out! It's also filled with comedy like when Seamus calls the... and gets NEGATIVE 20 demerits. The book The Bad Apple should have the nobel prize for bei ...more
Jul 14, 2012 Janie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids-fiction
The characters seemed a little flat, and every situation worked out a little too perfectly. The suspense was non-existent. Though the idea for this book wasn't bad, it was poorly executed. I didn't hate it enough to stop reading, but I won't be reading the next installment, even though this one ended on a cliffhanger.
Mar 09, 2016 Trevor rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was bad in the beginning but left of with an interesting cliff-hanger. One of the problems was that if the cliff-hanger is true, is that she planned it horribly by not leaving any clues at all. Overall, its okay.
Mar 08, 2016 Damian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book a lot. I just have to say right off, that the ending is pretty crazy. Other than that I thought everything was good the whole way. I am excited to read the next one in the series.
Mar 09, 2016 Taylor rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I personally wasn't a big fan of this book. I thought it was really boring at points. Other points it was kind of interesting but other then that it was very interesting.
Joshua Birch
I thought it was a very good book and that I was very shocked when the main character had "killed" the substitute teacher. So this was a good book and I liked it a lot.
I don't know if this happened to anybody, but i forgot that some characters existed. I liked the book though. I liked the fact that he had 5000 demerits by the end of the book.
this was a good book, exciting, but i wish i could of just read the whole thing in like one day instead of having to read like 3 pages every day, i just wanted to like finish it.
BAYA Librarian
Aug 13, 2012 BAYA Librarian rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book has an intriguing premise: a school that teaches troublemaking and rewards misbehavior. Sadly, this book failed in so many ways, it was barely readable. Let’s begin with the concept that a school for tomfoolery has a very rigid authoritarian structure. Add to that characters whose motivations and reactions make very little sense much of the time and a plot that goes only to the most obvious places.

Seamus Hinkle has killed a substitute teacher and is shipped off to the Kilter Academy w
Poor Seamus: one incredible, coincidental, horrible throw of an apple and his entire life is changed. That apple? It hit a substitute teacher, in the head, and killed her. And that one action got him sent to Kilter Academy for Troubled Youth, where his roommate, Lemon, has gone through twelve roommates in three weeks thanks to his habit of playing with fire. Seamus is homesick, ashamed of what he did, and hopes only to make it through the first semester so he can go home. But the Kilter Academy ...more
Vicki Sansum
Mar 16, 2012 Vicki Sansum rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this ARC because the back blurb sounded fun. And fun, it was.

When quiet 12-year old Seamus Hinkle throws an apple to break up a lunch room fight, the apple hits a substitute teacher in the head and kills her. This premise would be horrible if it weren't for the fact that the story takes an unexpected turn to absurdity.

Seamus is sent to what he thinks is a reform school, but instead he finds out that it's a school deigned to improve the talents of troublemakers.

This fast-paced book ta
Meh. I am the first one to admit that being a realist makes it challenging to read realistic fiction books such as this, because it is SO out of reach of any reality. Most of the time however, I can acknowledge my shortcoming(s) and plug on. While I still "plugged on" with this text (I was doing it as a read-aloud with my students), it was a challenge to do so. And while there are so many examples that I would like to give to support the above comments, I don't want to ruin the entire premise of ...more
I picked up an ARC of The Bad Apple at ALA Midwinters, a few months back. I wish I hadn't waited to read it! It was AMAZING. Full of humor and mystery, mischief and heart. Speaking of hearts, I found my own heart actually racing at one point, I was so caught up in the story. Seriously, folks: palpitations.
My sixth-grade son read it first, loved it, and shoved it on the top of my TBR pile. Glad he did!
We're both a teeny bit desperate for the sequel - one of the great perils of reading an ARC.
I had absolutely no expectations going into this book. I was reading it for a challenge (apple on the cover), and it turned out to be a fast, engaging read. I wasn't crazy about the ending, but it wasn't too unexpected.
Seamus makes a huge mistake and that mistake lands him in reform school. But this reform school is unlike anything you've ever heard of. Troublemaking is required and good behavior is frowned upon. Seamus isn't sure what to make of his new school, but hopefully he can keep his sh
Jan 04, 2017 Eli rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was an amazing book. I read it a couple months ago, and I was stunned. I wish Kilter were real, It seemed like Hogwarts for troublemakers. The description in this book is amazing, and it keeps you reading up until the very end.
Jacob  shirland
Oct 22, 2014 Jacob shirland rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked the book and thought that it had an interesting twist in the end, if you like pranks or any thing like that, i suggest the book to you.
Mar 15, 2017 Stephanie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I truly hated this book. I read it to preview it for my son, and I'm glad I read it first! Even ignoring that the story is poorly conceived, and just plain doesn't make sense much of the time, there are so many other problems. First of all, the main character is a kid who is praised throughout the story by his teachers for being a "murderer". The adult teachers are genuinely delighted by this and it makes him the pet student. Although it was an accident, and the poor kid wants to be a good kid, ...more
Dec 07, 2016 Travis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was the best book I have ever read. I would recommend it to "athletes"
Jan 23, 2015 Ricardo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Bad Apple Merits of Mischief
By: T.R. Burns

Age: 10 - 15
Genre: realistic fiction
Theme: “Think before you act.” “Bad thoughts lead to bad actions”

Quotes: “It is always a delight to find such a playful and engaging book as this one, especially for intermediate readers. In this story Seamus Hinkle is sent to a school for misfits after accidentally killing his substitute teacher with an apple.”
~Rachel from Goodreads
“I think this is one of the best books I've ever read in my entire life! It's fil
Gabrielle Prendergast
Not long ago I entered a contest on Twitter, asking entrants to detail a mischievous act. I told about the time I filled the fountain in front of city hall with laundry soap and red food coloring so it was pink and bubbly the next day. Ah, high school.

Anyway, I won the contest and the prize was a super fun promo pack for T.R. Burns’s THE MERITS OF MISCHIEF: THE BAD APPLE. Here’s the blurb:

Quirky and irreverent new middle-grade series about a group of kids being trained to cause trouble!

For all o
Ismah French
Feb 20, 2014 Ismah French rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed reading this book, it was worth the time it took to finish. This fictional story is about how the main character Seamus Hinkle is sent to what people perceive to be a correctional school for the troubled youth for the murder of his substitute Ms. Parsippany, but it's actually a school for troublemakers. Their principal who the children call Annika, and the rest of the teachers believe in troublemaking as an art and gladly approve of it. Since Seamus was transferred there in mid ...more
Katie Fitzgerald
The Bad Apple is the first title in a new series called Merits of Mischief. When Seamus accidentally kills his substitute teacher with an apple in the cafeteria, his parents send him to Kilter Academy, which they believe is a reform school. When Seamus arrives on campus, he learns that the opposite is true - Kilter is a school for training troublemakers to be better at their particular brand of trouble. For reasons he doesn’t quite understand, especially given how guilty he feels for murdering h ...more
Sep 03, 2012 Lady rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh there will most assuredly be a sequel. The ending and even the book's self-promoting final message to visit the website and to email the students at Kilter Academy make that clear. I thought the title and premise of the book were funny and intriguing so I snagged the book up quickly when it arrived new to our library. As for the previous critiques that Fishstick connoisseur Seamus is nice and therefore shouldn't be at Kilter...well, isn't that the whole point of the fish-seemingly-out-of-wate ...more
Alison (AlisonCanRead)
I've been meaning to check out T.R. Burns book Bad Apple ever since BEA 2012 when the author blurbed the book to us at an author speed-dating event. T.R. Burns is a pseudonym for Tricia Rayburn. Following the model of J.K., Tricia chose a masculine sounding name for her children's book featuring a male main character. It irritates me that authors and publishers find this a necessary tactic to draw in boy readers, but unfortunately they probably do it for good reason.

At any rate, Bad Apple is a c
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