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)

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  1,214 ratings  ·  65 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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I Want to Go Home! by Gordon KormanGo Jump in the Pool! by Gordon KormanNo More Dead Dogs by Gordon KormanThis Can't Be Happening at MacDonald Hall! by Gordon KormanBeware the Fish! by Gordon Korman
The Best of Gordon Korman
4th out of 29 books — 15 voters
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Boarding School Stories
163rd out of 360 books — 467 voters


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Ferret
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.
Punk
Dec 29, 2007 Punk rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: ya
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...more
Ericy Yine
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Student
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.”
1....more
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...more
Trin
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...more
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.
Beth
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.
Path
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.
Mark
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.
Vanessa
One of my very favorite childhood books.
Katy
Bruno and Boots--what a riot!
Mary
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
Mary-Beth
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...more
Núria
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
Jane
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...more
Rachel
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...more
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...more
Tiffany Williams
I read this book with a group of higher level fourth graders and they loved it, the humor and situations are really upbeat and relative. There is also very "adult-like" sarcasm that I enjoyed myself!
Heidi Landry Phelps
I was pleasantly surprised to learn that this book was written by a thirteen year old boy. Published in 1978, this story is about friendship and will help any writer trying to gain perspective on motivations and actions of thirteen year old boy protagonists.
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...more
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.
Mihan
Have you ever got in to big trouble? If so “This Can’t Be Happening At Macdonald Hall “is the book for you. In This book Bruno and Boots, two best friends, students of the boarding school MacDonald hall in Toronto (just off highway 48.) Bruno and Boots get separated to different rooms because they stole the opponent in hockey's cat. Come and join Bruno and Boots in their fight to reunite

I recommend this book to anyone who has a great sense of humor or just like a good prank. It is hilarious. Goo...more
Nicole Luiken
Onto the Bruno and Boots series! Rereading these Korman books to my son is a pleasure.
Craig
Took a trip down memory lane with the author that spawned my love of reading. Thanks Scholastic Book Club!
Charming, funny tale about the misadventures of two friends in boarding school.
Word of warning: several years ago I glanced through a revised copy in a bookstore and it was bad. I guess they were trying to make the book more accessible to a new generation by adding new elements like the internet and changes that had no business being there. It was like watching one of these unnecessary Holl...more
Lynn Dove
The first book in the "Bruno and Boots" series, this was the novel that catapulted Gordon Korman to fame. The book follows the adventures (or misadventures) of friends, Bruno and Boots whose soul purpose at the private school for boys "Macdonald Hall" is to play practical jokes on their fellow classmates and teachers. Humourous, this Canadian classic is a must read for "tweenies", youth and adults alike. You'll want to read the entire series!
Nick
just saying, give this book a second chance. At first, you'll think it's boring and stupid, but if you give it one or two more tries you'll look at it in a different way. This book is very good, and an instant kids book classic in my opinion. The characters are hilarious and the plot line keeps you hooked. Great series-opener that will keep you going in this fantastic children's series.
Audrey
My first exposure to Gordon Korman was when my 3rd grade teacher opened this book and started reading to us about the antics of the boys at MacDonald Hall, a boarding school near Toronto.

The humor and intelligence of Korman's characters keep them on my favorites shelf, even after all these years.

One of Canada's stellar literary talents, in my opinion.
Merianne
I first read the Bruno and Boots series in grade school on my sister's recommendation. Now that I am in my early thirties, I still enjoy taking these books down and having a laugh. This book is an excellent set up for all the other crazy adventures of these two Canadian schoolboys. Definitely a must-read for kids and adults alike.
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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
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