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A Year in the Life of a Total and Complete Genius (Arthur Bean #1)

3.72  ·  Rating Details ·  232 Ratings  ·  61 Reviews
Arthur Bean, soon-to-be a rich and famous author, has set two goals for himself: to win the school writing contest and to win the heart of his secret crush, Kennedy. But his life has had some major twists and turns lately, and the recent loss of his mother definitely complicates things.

Arthur is in turns outrageous, defiant, and unintentionally hilarious as we peek over h
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published September 1st 2014 by Scholastic Canada
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(showing 1-30)
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Feb 23, 2016 Danielle rated it really liked it
Shelves: canadian-2015
This story is written through letters, emails and journal entries. It is humourous, appealing for grades 7 and 8s, and has a deeper story of friendship and loss beneath the surface. I enjoyed it very much.
Jun 30, 2015 Grace rated it really liked it
What an AWESOME book. I have never read a book that managed to tell a story entirely in journal entries and emails and letters! Not only that, but I really enjoyed reading the story and getting to know the characters. I think the plot of the story was very cool, and there were quite a lot of twists. If there was ever a sequel to this book, I would buy it in a heartbeat (:

The one problem I had with this book was a character named Kennedy. She was a kind, sweet character but she overused the caps
Mar 12, 2016 Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book for middle schoolers who are reluctant readers. The book follows a 7th grade boy throughout his whole school year. His mom died the summer before school starts. He learns to cope with this along with handling his arch nemesis and the girl on which he has a major crush. The story is told through emails, letters, and journal entries, which will also appeal to many students.
Read Arthur Beans' reading journal (RJ), texts, and assignments...follow his writing for the school paper and his rehearsals as Romeo, his knitting projects, his daily confrontations with bully Robbie Zack, and he thoughts and feelings about his mother's death. For fans of The Fourth Stall.
Mar 20, 2015 Kim rated it really liked it
soooo funny!!!!!
Nov 28, 2016 T rated it liked it
Shelves: rf-boys, letters, school
An interesting way to tell a story - Diary entries, letters, emails, and assignments back and forth between two teachers and Arthur Bean. Arthur Bean is struggling to mourn the loss of his mother, find his way through middle school, and become a famous writer. But a horrible case of writer's block gets in his way.

Not my favorite, but a unique, fun read.
Nov 27, 2016 Colby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was very good especially because it was written in different styles
Thank you to NetGalley for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review!

A few months ago, I went on a Susin Nielsen binge, and this would have been the perfect follow-up!

What I liked:

-I'm a sucker for epistolary books to begin with, which is probably one of the reasons why I requested this. Itwasn't just standard journal entries - there were emails and classroom notes and sometimes cute little drawings. Love it!

-the plot was cute and relatively simple, but it had a lot of heart and the
Sep 07, 2014 Ashley rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
A Year in the Life of a Total and Complete Genius is possibly one of Scholastic Canada's best in recent years. Written for readers ages 10-14, this wonderful novel is told from the point-of-view of a young boy who struggles with a wide range of typical middle school problems, including girls, grades, and bullies. The entire story is told through Arthur's emails, letters, journal entries, assignments, and drawings. This is an easy, enjoyable, and fast-paced read with a charming main character and ...more
Sep 19, 2016 Abbie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, death
Read my review at Bookish Adventures.
Ally Camble
Jun 09, 2015 Ally Camble rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
Absolutely loved it! This is possibly the best book I've read this year! Arthur Bean thinks he's all that and deserves some of the cockiness. Not many 7th-graders have his skills and wit combined in his favourite subject. Arthur Bean makes no bones about what he thinks but he certainly knows how to get away with it, such as when he emails Kennedy "I love you" then immediately glosses over it with a follow-up, "Sorry Kennedy! I accidentally hit send before finishing that sentence. I meant to say ...more
Michelle McBeth
SUMMARY: "Arthur Bean is a genius. It’s just that no one else realizes this quite yet." Arthur hopes to make it big by winning this year's writing contest. But too many problems get in his way. He make some poor choices that land him in trouble. But by the end of the school year, he has learned a thing or two and maybe even made a new friend.
This book is written completely in the form of letters, emails, school assignments, and journal entries.

THE GOOD: By using the writing formats instead of a
Rummanah (Books in the Spotlight)
Arthur Bean, an egotistical and bright seventh grader, chronicles his school year through entries in his reading journal, email exchanges, and writing assignments in this humorous coming-of-age novel. He knows he is very smart and isn't afraid to tell everyone. While some readers maybe put off by his know-it-all attitude, Arthur reminded me of a younger version of Sheldon Cooper, especially when it comes to his teacher insisting that in fact he does not know everything.
Arthur wants to be a famo
Debbie Krenzer
Oct 20, 2015 Debbie Krenzer rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! It was so cute! Little Arthur Bean just tells it like it he sees it. He doesn't care, that's how he sees it and that's how it is. The whole story is told by reports, journal entries, essays, and school projects. He writes about everything he feels in his reading journal. Little does he know that he has to turn in that reading journal at the end of the year.

He wants to write for the newspaper, but is constantly being told that he needs to look for the good in what he is coveri
Spinning Jenny BB
The universe works in mysterious ways... I NEVER go out drinking anymore, but went out for a friend's birthday, and some people were teasing me about trying to read so much (I posted on FB that I wanted to read 40 books this year) and this guy ANDREW said his SISTER reads a lot but that's because she was getting her Masters at UBC and actually just got a book published by Scholastic. What?! I know a guy who's related to someone who's a published author and I'm super interested in writing, ...more
Beginning in October and concluding in June, a series of letters, emails, and journal entries tell the story of Arthur Bean, a seventh grader with a lot more than school on his mind. Not only is Arthur trying to cope with the unexpected death of his mother, but he is certain that he is a genius and imbued with ambition and an elevated sense of self. He is certain that he will easily become a world-famous author on par with Stephen King some day. But his over-confidence and arrogance mask deep ...more
Ms. Yingling
Arthur has a few problems; he starts school late because his mother has passed away, and he has a "nemesis" in Robbie Zack and gets in trouble for writing borderline threats in his writing assignments. The assignments, as well as letters to his teacher, reading journal entries, and e mails to various classmates, tell most of the story. Arthur fancies himself a great writer, but when it comes to writing a story for a contest, he draws a blank. He is besotted with his classmate, Laurel, and if ...more
Marilyn Belsham
Feb 11, 2016 Marilyn Belsham rated it really liked it
The characters in this book wavered in likability for me from letter to letter, email to email, and homework assignment to homework assignment. But I suppose that's like real life with pre-teen kids. Sometimes they're great and other times you need for them to stop writing LOL and using dozens of !!!! at the end of every sentence.

The deeper story of loss of a parent (Arthur's mother) and his struggles with a non-talkative father, hit me particularly hard, likely because that was almost my own c
Apr 24, 2015 Niki rated it liked it
Stacey Matson's debut YA novel has a fun, unique flare. Arthur's story is told through a collection of writing assignments, journal entries, emails, and newspaper articles. The reader learns of Arthur's struggles with friendship, romance and dealing with the death of his mother the year before. It is a year of significant difficulties for Arthur, but his quirky charm and wit win out in the end.

However, one of my struggles with the book is the intended target audience. I bought this book for my 8
Ms Threlkeld
Aug 13, 2015 Ms Threlkeld rated it liked it
Arthur Bean, a 7th grader in Canada, walks the line between charming and extremely annoying, which might turn off a lot of readers. His mother passed away a few months before the book begins and Arthur doesn't have an outlet for his grief, although the writing assignments for his English class do seem to help him work through his feelings. Despite his cockiness and outright lies, Arthur manages to make two friends over the course of the school year and also finds support in one very patient ...more
Alyssa Schneyman
I absolutely loved A Year in the Life of a Total and Complete Genius. Arthur Bean thinks he's all that and deserves some of the cockiness. Arthur Bean makes no bones about what he thinks but he certainly knows how to get away with it.

His interactions with Robbie are delightful. They seamlessly transition from hate to real friendship. They also share some pretty funny emails in which Arthur waxes eloquent and Robbie threatens him using terrible grammar and spelling.

The whole story is told in emai
Aug 08, 2016 Diane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theme, read-in-2015, voice
"She was his muse and greatest fan."

Lively voice, wicked sarcasm and brutal honesty highlight this novel written in letters, emails, newspaper articles and Arthur's reading journal ("RJ"). This is the story of a middle school student dealing with the sadness in his life by covering it with sarcasm. Students will relate to Arthur's confusion about his life: Why won't his father help him through this difficult time ... fathers are supposed to bring comfort, right? Why is the teacher pairing him wi
Lee Födi
May 13, 2015 Lee Födi rated it really liked it
This book is written in a series of "entries"—some of them diary entries, some of them notes from teachers to students, some of them as emails, and so forth. This allows us to the see the points of view and perspectives of different characters. What happens slowly over the course of the book is a portrayal of the central character, Arthur. He is an interesting character—he comes across as brash and brazen, but of course, harbors all of the insecurities that we all do. I found him rather ...more
Oct 29, 2016 Mordecai_18 rated it really liked it
I think that Arthur's personality could have ended out a little better. We all have those extremely smart kids, but they act normal usually. I thought he would have changed a bit more. I also think if he had other great pieces of writing he could've used that instead of doing what he did just to win the writing contest. I think that some characters are under rated because of how Arthur thinks they are, and so we adjust our minds to think that this person is this, and another is like this, and so ...more
Div. 6 Ms. Anema`s class
Jun 02, 2016 Div. 6 Ms. Anema`s class rated it it was amazing
A Year in the Life of a Total and Complete Genius is a fabulous, entertaining book full of drama and middle-school madness. I loved it, and after reading the first and second Stacy Matson books, all I wanted was to find out what happened next.
I give this a 5-star rating for great ideas and story-plot. The author, Stacy Matson, is also amazing at bringing the characters to life with emotion and depth. I do hope this series of hers does not end for a long, long time.
Overall :
Rating(1-5): 5 -- an
Aug 23, 2016 Emily rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Stacey Matson’s writing format and quirky characters were enjoyable, but the book didn’t end. One of the most important characters was gone for most of the book, Arthur’s feelings weren’t adequately identified, and I didn’t feel that the characters learned their lesson at the end of the book. A Year in the Life of a Complete and Total Genius did address bullying well, and definitely promoted compassion. However, I wish it would have explored the relationship between Arthur and his father more.

Our Teen Reviewer says: This book does a good job of portraying Arthur's life and challenges. I enjoyed this book a lot. I liked the way it was written, the specific phrasing of the dialogue between the characters. Using the school flyers in the book is done creatively. and I think it'd be a perfect book for its audience: middle school kids.

Pros: The story is one preteens and teens will relate to. The writing is really well done. The presentation of different formats (emails, school flyers) is
Kirsti Call
Sep 18, 2015 Kirsti Call rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I received a copy of this book from netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

What I liked: This book is written entirely in e-mail, letters, journal entries and writing assignments. At first it bothered me, but as soon as I read a few pages, I became immersed in Arthur's world. The characterization was expertly done, the characters were relatable, and the issues of grief and friendship and love grounded the story.

What I didn't like: Although I think this is probably true to life, I don't lik
Mar 14, 2016 Dana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I totally loved this book! Written in the form of 13 year old Arthur's Reading Journal, school newspaper articles, e-mails to Kennedy, his writing partner who he has a crush on, and his notes about tutoring Robbie, his nemesis, the story is simple to read in short bursts. I like the teacher's responses to some of his writing attempts and the cartoon illustrations. I enjoyed the book so much that I read parts of it aloud to my husband and daughter who also thought it was hilarious. Throughout the ...more
Aug 22, 2014 Barbra rated it really liked it
This debut novel is from Stacey Matson, who grew up in Calgary. Written in journal entry, email and school assignment format, we follow Arthur A. Bean as he struggles through school and life after the passing of his mom. This funny insightful tale with references to books and how-to write them, will appeal to high school teachers, and literature lovers’ ages 10 to 14. Some students who are not avid readers may not get some of the book references, but I think they will find this unique approach ...more
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