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The School Story

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  7,661 ratings  ·  496 reviews
Two middle school girls scheme to publish a book in this novel from Andrew Clements, the author of Frindle.

Natalie's best friend, Zoe, is sure that the novel Natalie's written is good enough to be published. But how can a twelve-year-old girl publish a book? Natalie's mother is an editor for a big children's publisher, but Natalie doesn't want to ask for any favors.

Then Z
Paperback, 224 pages
Published August 1st 2002 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers (first published June 1st 2001)
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Okay, because this book is out of the battle. I'm going to post my review.

3.5 stars really. Because this book has moments of being perfect and moments that just don’t work for me. (Note, this review devolves into a more general discussion of my thoughts on MG fiction pretty fast.)

Not just because I'm almost 30 an it's middle grade fiction (which I think I might have some issues with in general).

This is objectively a charming story about a young girl who ends up getting a book published with the
My daughter, Anne, told me that I had to read this book because it is the "best book ever written!" For a third grader, she loved how someone not much older than she was able to have her own office and succeed in the adult world. It is an entertaining book, well written, and empowering for children. A great read aloud!
It's no wonder that Andrew Clements books are popular with my students. He assumes that his reading audience is intelligent; he never writes down to kids. The main characters in this story are bright, witty and clever. Terrific book!
This is definitely one of my all time favorite books! I can really relate to this book because I like to write and the whole plot revovles around Natalie and her friend Zoe who try to publish Natalie's novel (with her mom as the editor) without their plan getting unmasked. It is an amazing read and your life is not complete until you read this book!
Even though I almost never read stories aimed at children, I found The School Story delightful. The description of the main character and how she learned to read was relatable to the extreme – I could just imagine reading this at that age and saying yes, that! that's it! The caper movie adventures sprinkled throughout the story make the book a page-turner.

The School Story also has lovely family relationships – and a missing father that made me cry, an awesome teacher who’s a very positive influe
Jan 27, 2011 Ally rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Ally by: 4th grade teacher
This book is what inspired me to write myself!
Mar 28, 2009 Kasey rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Andrew Clement fans
Recommended to Kasey by: My librarian
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Normally I love Andrew Clements books because there's a strong social justice message and the young protagonists risk a lot to stand up for what they think is right. For this book, I couldn't get that excited about a privileged 12-year trying to get her first novel published by questionable means. Plus, even though Clements seemed to want to write a book about interesting women and girls, the only characters with any power in the book are men (except for the villain, who seems to be a villain be ...more
Panda Incognito
I really wanted to love this book, but the premise of a twelve-year-old successfully publishing a best-selling book was simply too preposterous for me to suspend my disbelief. I enjoyed the book a great deal, but even though it is a sweet story and teaches kids about the publishing process, I can't take it seriously. I would like to give it four stars, but the suspension of disbelief problems pushes it down to three.

I've been a twelve-year-old writer, and I know how the creative process works,
Jan 25, 2008 Erica rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Erica by: me
This book is really good! It is about a girl how writes a book called a school story. Well her best friend thinks it should be published and they do all these things to try to get it publish. Heres the chach, here mom works at the publishing compony so they need to do it with out her moms finding out!
tori flores
The School Story is pretty good. It is about a girl who loves writing storys. But she writes a really good one called "The Cheater." Her mom is the editor so she changes her name to Casandra Day. Plus her agent is her best friend Zoe. They are in sixth grade.
My favorite Clements book, despite its wild implausibility (It is a light cheery story that definitely takes a hearty measure of disbelief suspension). The characters are well-developed, and the idea of a book about the process of publishing a book is quite interesting to me. And while it may portray the publishing process as far easier than it actually is, finding a more realistic description of publishing is quite easy, and I prefer hopeful books to dreary ones. A fun quick read for those with ...more
Natalie is a gifted writer and is lucky enough to have a tenacious best friend, Zoe, who is intent on getting her book published, and a mother who is a children's book editor. She knows, however, that parental bias would make it very difficult for her to submit her book to her mother for publication. With the help of Zoe and a brave teacher, Natalie attempts to publish under a pen name using a sort-of-fictitious agent (Zoe, pretending to be older and as if she works for a literary agency that th ...more
When I told my daughter this morning that I had finished The Report Card she handed me The School Story (actually she handed me three more Clement books, I took this one). Clement's stories, which are mostly school stories themselves, all showcase bright kids, who go against the system, thinking their own thoughts and using their own initiative. I appreciate that these kids normally get adults on their side, whether teachers or parents, and so they are not stories of loner kids without family s ...more
The school story took me back to fifth grade and made me remember the way my elementary school was. The school story was about two friends that plot out in an adventure to get one of their books published by there mother behind all adults backs. In the end it pays off and she succeeds in her quest. I would reccomend this book to any school student. Mostly because of the desire that this little girl had to accomplish a dream that took lots of work and dedication to make it happen. I would say the ...more
Sofia A.


This book is about a girl named Natalie who loveds to write. I love to write once I wrote a 7 page story. This book is a great book I have really enjoyed it so far. In the story Natalie's best friend named Zoe wants to help publish one of her books. I think that is a having a best friend also be a main character is really cool because I have never read a book like that. One thing I really like about this book is there is not much going on and it has very good detail and goes into depth ab
I first read this book in fifth grade, I think. And I still love it to this day. The book is about a girl named Natalie who writes a story--a "school story," in other words a story about normal kids--and her journey to get it published. Her mom is an editor but doesn't know she likes to write. Through lots of laughter-inducing and tough spots, Natalie, her friend Zoe, and her teacher Ms. Clayton work together to publish the book at Natalie's mom's publishing house without her knowing. At the end ...more
Elizabeth L.
I recently finished the book The School Story By: Andew Clements. This book is about a girl named Natilie who loves to write books so she dicided to write one of her own. Her freind named Zoe thinks that the book she wrote was good enough to be published. Natilie is trying to figure out how she can get her book published. If you whant know, you will just have to read the book. This book relates to me because just like Natiliy I love to write storys. I really like this book because it showes what ...more
when I first read this book in 3rd or 4th grade, it really inspired me. Of course the plot of a middle school girl getting a book published with an agent who was her best friend, also in middle school, without letting this girl's mom know until the mom (who worked at a children's publishing field) published it without knowing the author's identity, is highly unlikely, but I still really enjoyed it! i think to some extent this is every young writer's dream: to write a book good enough to be publi ...more
Claire Anderson

The book, The School Story, by Andrew Clements, is a realistic fiction book describing a young girl, Natalie, trying to publish her own novel. In the story, Natalie writes a fantastic book based on a girls struggles at school. When her best friend, Zoe, reads it she thinks that it is so great that it needs to be published. Although Natalie's Mom is an editor, Natalie does not want her mom to know that she wrote the story. Zoe thinks that she might have a great idea: to publish the book under a p

Alison Treat
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
the girl in the story writes what is happening in school. She is daring to posts it in 1 of his teachers room. The teacher has alot of mysterys behind him.

Like he was the best teach for a year, how did he get it? When all he does it sit and doesn't teach. He just drinks coffee and read his newspaper.

Like another of Andrew Clements book. A student does something and someone gets mad. They argue and a happy ending you can say. Its still fun to read
Nicole Javvaji
Nov 30, 2008 Nicole Javvaji rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Young adults interested in writing a book or learn more about how books are made
Loved this book! Could not put it down. The main character is an aspiring writer who's mother happens to work for a publishing company. The girl and her friend hatch a scheme to get a novel published under a pen name. I felt like I was the process of publishing a children's book was portrayed pretty realistically, and I would love to use this book in the classroom to explore the writing process, writing as a profession, and the publishing industry.
Jackie B. Forman
A charming book about the friendship between two 6th grade opposites and their quest to become a writer/agent and get a book published. Like previous Andrew Clements stories I've read, the teacher is also an integral but minor character. Also, parents have a strong supporting role. It's a really heart-warming story intended to inspire middle-grade students to push themselves to achieve more than they can.

In reading reviews from other readers, I found a common thread in the "wild implausibility"
"The School Story" is an amazing non-fiction story written by the distinguished author Andrew Clements. It is about a twelve year old girl named Natalie whos talent is to write books. She loves writing book and looks forward to publish them. The only problem is that, since Natalie is a yound girl, nobody will be concerned about the book. Her solution was to come up with a fake name, Cassandra Day, and publish the book to a publishing company. As Natalie goes on with her process, she puts her sto ...more
Feb 03, 2009 KatieLynn rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone Out There! Read This Book
This was one of Andrew Clements better works. I enjoyed the story from page one, until the very last page.

This book is about a girl named Natalie Nelson who oneday wrote a little piece of a school story book. Her mother, Hannah Nelson, and editor for books, had been extremely busy lately. With the help of Natalie's friend Zoe, they are determine to confuse Hannah, and convince her to publish Natalie's book!
This was one of my all time favorite books! It is about a young girl who wishes to publish a book she has written, but she changes her name in order for no one to treat her like a child, especially her mother who just happened to be the one reading her story at the publishing company! Will anyone find out about her little white lie? Read this book!
Jordan Davidson
The School Story
Andrew Clements
Aladdin Paperbacks, 2001

Summary: Natalie Nelson and Zoe Reisman have been best friends since kindergarten. Now they are in sixth grade, and Natalie has written a novel titled The Cheater. After reading the novel, Zoe is convinced that The Cheater is worthy of publication; what’s more, Natalie’s mother works as an editor for a publisher of children’s books, which means that they have an insider’s look into the publication industry. However, Natalie doesn’t want to b
I found this book delightful. I read it to my 2nd and 4th graders. And my 7th grader couldn't be left out, so she ended up listening in as well, even though she had other work she was supposed to do. I know that my fourth and 7th grader really enjoyed this book. I don't think it was quite as good of a fit for my 2nd grader. It was a little more geared to older kids--although she did enjoy it. I thought the characters were fun and engaging. I noticed that all of my kids started writing more and t ...more
Eynique Waterman
This book is very interesting. This book is about a girl named Natalie who wrote a book. She is in the sixth grade. She loves writing and her teacher, best friend Zoey, mother and other people surely know it. She finishes writing this book and looks for an editor. She learns all the struggles for writing a book. She gets help from many people and figures out how to go about doing this. Her own mother is an editor.
Natalie and Zoey look for an editor. Soon enough they decide to call Natalie 's
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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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