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This Can't Be Happening at MacDonald Hall! (MacDonald Hall, #1)
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This Can't Be Happening at MacDonald Hall! (Macdonald Hall #1)

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  1,544 ratings  ·  86 reviews
Fast, funny action, written by a thirteen-year-old boy.
Paperback, 128 pages
Published February 1st 1996 by Hyperion Books for Children (first published 1977)
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Korman's first novel, written when he was about fifteen. It's clearly unpolished, but there's something so frenzied and exuberant about it that it makes up for it. A wonderfully funny novel.
Alex Ristea
What a childhood throwback!

I was a voracious reader in my early years, but I'm sad to say that I can barely remember what books I enjoyed. Well, the MacDonald Hall adventures were one of them, and the magic is still there.

Not sure how accurately I can review this, just because it's a 100 page children's book. Plot moves a lot quicker, characters are more two-dimensional, and description is minimal. But who cares; Bruno and Boots!

Also, have I mentioned that the author was FOURTEEN when this book
Thanks to the public library, I was finally able to find out what people were talking about when they squeed about Bruno & Boots. Of course, soon after the fickle library gods betrayed me: only the first book is available, which is a TRAGEDY, because this series is clearly great, funny and delightful and truly squee-worthy. Note: I do not add "slashy," because while the book is, I feel uncomfortable slashing anyone who is, as Korman establishes, "not yet old enough to shave."

However, the cov
YA. Boarding school hijinks. Best friends and roommates Bruno and Boots have been up to no good too many times and The Fish (headmaster of Macdonald Hall) is finally putting his foot down, separating Bruno and Boots and giving them new roommates. Bruno and Boots, by the way, are totally not down with that.

This is a fun little book with capers, harmless riots, and a happy ending. The boys are troublemakers, but not overly malicious, and if the writing's a little simplistic all we need to do is re
The Bruno and Boots books by Gordon Korman were brilliant. I read them back when I was about 9 or 10 and enjoyed them so much I remember them fondly 18 years later.

I'm thinking I might re-read them even.
This didn't hold up, either. Which was kinda depressing, considering the way I read and reread this and half fell over, holding my sides, every single time.
Tara Carpenter
I was such a fan of Gordon Korman's early books, written when he was in his teens. They are hard to find now but I pick them up where I can and I've been sitting on a box set of the Bruno and Boots stories for a couple years. I pulled the first out today to see if my 10yo is ready for them and enjoyed a riotous, LOL filled 30 minutes. Like, actually laughing out loud, just like I remember doing when I read these as a kid.

These early books may not be as well-crafted as Korman's newer ones, but I
Ericy Yine
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Review by Jacob Dunn 203
Bruno and Boots (This can't be happening at Macdonald hall!)

3.) Did you enjoy the book? Why? Why not?
I found that the novel Bruno and Boots was really funny. I found that it was funny because it is all about Bruno and Boots playing practical jokes on students at their boarding school. An example is when they took hundreds of ants this guy collected and let them loose in the hallways and everybody went crazy. “The racket was beginning to penetrate into the other rooms.”
A hilarious tale of two boys and their crazy antics in boarding school. Through their unusual bond and their quick thinking they are always getting into trouble that in the end things turn out just the way they want them to. A great addition to a school classroom library.
Chris G
(2.5 stars)
Chanel Earl
I read another book in this series when I was younger, but I had no idea it was a series. I thought it was a stand alone book. When I saw this one at the Red Cross book sale last week (on half price box day!!!) I couldn't resist. I liked it too. I wish I had read the whole series as a child because I know they would have been my favorites.
Jul 13, 2007 Path rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: ages 9 and up
This book is very entertaining. Although it is really geared to the pre-teen to early teen reader, I found it well written and it made me laugh out loud.
Bruno and Boots meant so much to me when I was a kid. I thought it was hilarious at the time. I would love to read it again.
One of my very favorite childhood books.
Bruno and Boots--what a riot!
Loved these books!
Michael Emond
I used to love this series when I was a child so I wanted to revisit them to see if they still held the same charm. Unfortunately, the answer is a big "no". While I would still recommend them to a seven to ten year old starting to read bigger novels, they don't have the same magic other childhood favorites of mine still have when I reread them now (e.g. The Big Brain series). The pluses are Korman knows how to create fun characters and nice comical situations. He knows how to keep the story movi ...more
The Macdonald Hall series is set in a boarding school. The main character, Bruno and Boots are constantly in trouble, a trouble usually led by Bruno, with Boots trying to be the straight man and the voice of reason. This is a formula found throughout Korman's books, but I'm not going to say it's a bad thing because I love it.

All of the boys at the school are wonderful characters and they have a unique relationship with the girls' boarding school nearby, a school run by Miss Scrimmage, a crazed h
Una novela juvenil es algo bastante 'out of character' en mi persona, lo sé. Pero lo cierto es que con ésta me lo he pasado muy bien. Bruno y Boots residen en un internado en Canadá y su principal pasatiempo consiste en hacer bromas al director de la institución. Bromas que nunca son demasiado pesadas o demasiado crueles, algo que agradezco. Es por esto que el director decide separarlos. Están castigados y a partir de ahora ya no compartirán nunca más habitación. A Bruno le ponen con un empollón ...more
pure shenanigans. a lot thinner then i remember but ehh. korman wrote this when i was fifteen, what was i doing with my life at fifteen? not writing the start to a best selling comedy series i can tell you. plus i did get a couple of solid laughs in throughout

2.5 stars
The Macdonald Hall series is out-of-print in the United States so it's hard to obtain copies. I'm actually reading an e-book copy of This Can't Be Happening at Macdonald Hall that someone kindly uploaded as none of my local libraries carried it.

I'm enjoying it so far, but as one of the reviewers mentioned, it's clear that This Can't Be Happening at Macdonald Hall is one of Korman's earlier works as the flow of the story may not be as smooth. Korman does have a talent with the turn of phrases, if
This book is about two boys, Bruno and Boots who live at a bording school in Macdonal Hall. They are best friends but then when they get in trouble the headmaster, who they call the fish, separates them and puts them in different rooms. Now Bruno and Boots are desperate to get back to their old room.
I picked this book up because I read the Wizzle war and it was really good so I wanted to read the whole series.
I finished this book because it was really funny and I wanted to know what pranks Bruno
Patrick Lemieux
Long before kids were reading about Harry Potter and his friends at Hogwarts, running around the school and getting into trouble, they were reading about Bruno & Boots (and Cathy and Diane) running around Macdonald Hall and Miss Scrimmage's, up to some scheme or another, trying not to get expelled doing so! The result was comedic excellence and even after 30 years, I'm convinced this series would make a great TV show!

This is the first book which is shorter than the rest, but what do you expe
I first read this book in grade six. It has since been updated for new generations. I remember the original having a ticker tape machine for wall street. The only thing Mr Korman missed was the 17 cent stamp.
David Le
Summary: Boots and Bruno are 2 mischievous trouble makers who visit the principal A.K.A The Fish a lot. The Fish decides he's had enough and separates them and gives new room-mates: a bug lover and a scaredy cat of germs. This causes them to make a plan to escape the school. This only gets them into more trouble and destroys their room-mates belongings.

I picked this book up because it was short and had great reviews. It was also recommended to me by my tutor based on my interests.

I finished the
Erinn Michelle
This popped up on my library account and I couldn't resist. Just had a flashback to my tween years by reading this book. Loved it, as always
Jamie Treatman-clark
A lot of it was very very funny like the ants going everywhere and the fire alarm at Scrimmages. My favorite characters are: Bruno, Boots(Melvin), Cathy, Diane, Elmer, Miss Scrimmage, Mr Sturgeon and Mrs Sturgeon. I like that in the end Bruno became friends with Elmer.
Reread an old childhood favorite to my 9-year-old. Still hilarious. I love Bruno and Boots! Why are these books out of print?
Ms. Rose
I am excited to have another book to recommend to my lovers of Diary of a Wimpy Kid. This book is filled with action and the pranks and hilarity of two Canadian high school boys named Boots and Bruno at boarding school that middle schoolers are sure to enjoy.
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Korman wrote his first book, "This Can't be Happening at Macdonald Hall", when he was 12 years old, for a coach who suddenly found himself teaching 7th grade English. He later took that episode and created a book out of it, as well, in "The Sixth Grade Nickname Game", wherein Mr. Huge was based on that 7th grade teacher.

Korman moved to New York City, where he studied film and film writing. While i
More about Gordon Korman...

Other Books in the Series

Macdonald Hall (7 books)
  • Go Jump in the Pool! (MacDonald Hall, #2)
  • Beware the Fish! (MacDonald Hall, #3)
  • The War with Mr. Wizzle (MacDonald Hall, #4)
  • The Zucchini Warriors (MacDonald Hall, #5)
  • MacDonald Hall Goes Hollywood (MacDonald Hall, #6)
  • Something Fishy at Macdonald Hall (MacDonald Hall, #7)
One False Note (The 39 Clues, #2) The Emperor's Code (The 39 Clues, #8) The Medusa Plot (39 Clues: Cahills vs. Vespers, #1) Schooled Swindle

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