If A Tree Falls At Lunch Break
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If A Tree Falls At Lunch Break

3.49 of 5 stars 3.49  ·  rating details  ·  1,707 ratings  ·  287 reviews
Kirsten's world is crumbling. Her parents are barely speaking to each other and her 'best friend' has fallen under the spell of queen bee, Brianna. For Walker the goal is simply to survive in his new private school. Then Kirsten discovers something that will affect both her and Walker.
Paperback, 216 pages
Published January 21st 2008 by Bloomsbury UK (first published September 1st 2007)
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Yeah, no I did not like this one. Characters were bland stereotypes. I thought the major plot twist about 2/3 through would save it, but it only emphasized the incomplete ending. The author expects too much of her readers (think: what is my demographic?) with her abrupt ending. Perhaps she is crafting herself a sequel, but still. Also, the chapters are alternately narrated which is usually a technique that works... except in this novel. Kristen's chapters are in the 1st person while Walker's are...more
I hated this book, I had to read it for school and I love to read but when I read this only a few words came to mind, racist, non christian, bullying, bad behavior, foul language, literal. I didn't like it. Any kids that are out there, don't read this. All the boys going into 7th grade like me had to read this, and boy they will be asking questions about stuff now after reading this. My friend asked me which summer reading book she should read, I told her not this one then she said I was going t...more
I was browsing the audiobooks section of the library and happened upon this book, by the author of another book I've been interested in reading for a few years now: Al Capone does my Shirts. I hadn't heard of this one, but it also seemed to have an interesting title, so I thought I'd give it a try. Unfortunately, this whole story was really messed up, in my opinion. There are plenty of periods in my life that are nostalgic for me. I remember them with fondness and sometimes feel a wish to return...more
Jul 09, 2008 Stephanie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
I wasn't sure I was going to like this book so much, but it totally captured me, resulting in me staying up later than I should've because I had to read more.

One thing I really like about this book is that the author lets the little moments be. There are many times in the book where a character will do or say something that strikes you hard and leaves an imprint, but they aren't persued to death, which I found really nice.

The characters in this book are very well done. I actually got REALLY an...more
Anne Crotty
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This book is about the young teenager Kirsten who is having trouble with her parents fighting and when the school year starts up to a very bad start, it only gets worse. The popular but mean girl Brianna thinks she owns Kirsten and her best friend Rory, making them addicted to her. But Kirsten doesn't take long to snap out of the trance, when Brianna insults Kirsten's size. You would think she finally got rid of all her trouble when Brianna is gone, but she discovers something much worse after t...more
In my magical journey through children's literature, I rarely come across much writing dealing with the other end of an eating disorder. In this here book, the author of the acclaimed, (but unread, at least by me) Al Capone Does My Shirts touches on the emotional roots of overeating. Kristen is a sheltered & affluent kid, but of course that doesn't mean she won't have problems. Sadly, food becomes her means of dealing with her parent's obviously dissolving relationship.

Kristen's mantra at th...more
I do wish Goodreads allowed you to give half stars, because I really only want to give this three and a half--but I'm erring on the side of generosity, because I think Choldenko is such a terrific writer. This is the third novel of hers I have read and really enjoyed. Top marks still go to "Notes from a Liar and Her Dog" (which also wins my prize for Worst All-Time Parents in a middle years novel, although Kirsten's mother in this one veers close at times!).

Choldenko handles school dynamics real...more
This book started to be good in the beginning. One thing I can say I didn't really like was when they switched to Walk's POV, it was in third person, meanwhile Kirsten's POV was in first person. The story got better when the plot took a surprising turn that I definitely did not expect. But after that towards the ending, it goes downhill because the ending is not good. I can definitely say the author did not end this book properly, at least not to my satisfaction.

Anyway I thought this book was pr...more
Beth Ann
This book frustrates me. I wanted to really like it. The characters were likable, and unfortunately for me, easy to relate to. I was the fat kid in school, too. (granted, now I am the fat adult, but that is another story.) So I understood what Kristy was going through. But the story was awkward and frustrating. Like, why choose to write in 2 voices (Kristy's story and Walk's story) but have one speak in first person, but the other not? It was weird. Also the end felt like she just picked a rando...more
Pros: super-gripping, read in basically one sitting, engaging characters and DIFFERENT VOICES FOR EACH ONE. (I cannot stress how rare I find this in children's lit, but Kirsten and Walk's sections were narrated differently and it was reflected in the style of the prose, not just "Kirsten's stuff is in first person and Walk's is in third person.")

Cons: I don't know what I make about the twist. (view spoiler)...more
Elise Huffman
Summary- Kirsten is having lots of problems with her life. She is overweight, and her friends are turning on her. Rory has started hanging out with the popular group at school and tried to invite Kirsten to be their friend, but they made fun of her because she was fat. She thinks that her parents are getting a divorce, and so does Kippy, her little sister. Her main friends are Walk, Matteo, Rory, and Kippy. She soon finds out that her parents have been keeping a secret from her for a long time....more
Told from the points of view of Kirsten and Walk, 7th graders from different backgrounds who find they have something unexpected in common. The resolution is strong and believable, but the real charms of the story are the build-up and characters. Definitely one to reread.
Young Reader Reaction: I enjoyed the book, but didn’t love it. Its ongoing and suspenseful plot kept to turning the pages. The main characters’ feelings were enhanced by their realization of who they are, and the striking differences between them and other people. A lot of the concepts mentioned in this book are related to family problems. The parents fight, the kids worry, then everybody lives happily ever after. My favorite part of the story was when Kirsten’s dad Mac, told her that she could...more
I grabbed this one at the library since it was written by Gennifer and I really liked Al Capone, but I was somewhat disappointed. She pulled plot points out of no where.

If you like a story with character’s who are in a relationship,school,and maids then you should read If A Tree Falls Down At Lunch Period.

The story is about how Kirsten and Walk have a relationship going on in school. And then they find out that Kirsten’s dad was dating Walk’s dad and so then basically she find’s out that Walk is her step brother and she has to get ready for Walk to join the family.

I would recommend this book to people who like reading Realistic Fiction and like relationship’s w...more
This book, by Gennifer Choldenko, was an unusually quick read for me. The story could be summed up like this (inspired by the Book-A-Minute Website):

I don’t want friends.

(various EVENTS occur between main characters and co-characters)

I discovered a long lost secret related to the two of us.

Really? I don’t believe you.

(KIRSTEN patches things up)

Kirsten/Walk + Their Families
We are in peace now.


Anonymous bob
I think that this was in my top ten books that I read. I really got into it at about the 20th chapter. I don't get into a lot of books so I'm surprised that I got into this one so quickly.Kristen was at school when this book started. She was being bullied by all the "cool" kids. Kristen is almost like me. We both don't like that our parents get us into things and didn't even tell us. She has some problems with friends and I do too. Walk in the story is new this school year. He is very smart and...more
I shouldn't be surprised by anything Gennifer Choldenko achieves. She demonstrated clearly in her first novel, 2005 Newbery Honoree Al Capone Does My Shirts, that she can tell a story equally measured to put readers in fits of laughter and give them chills with its deeper meaning, strains of harmonic sound lightly wafting on the breeze and recalling to mind the best of Cynthia Kadohata and Barbara Park. I shouldn't have been surprised, then, to find such fine writing and memorable story in If a...more
I was almost done reading this book when the 2010-11 Maud Hart Lovelace nominee books were announced and this book was on the list. Being on the reading committee who helps to decide the MHL books, I had mixed emotions about this book making the cut. It wasn't until around page 130 when I finally got into this book. It's told through alternating chapters, told through the eyes of "Walk" (short for Walker) Jones who is the new token African American in an all-white private school and Kirsten McKe...more
Melinda Schmidbauer
I was at a middle school the other day, and noticed a lot of students carrying this book around. They were reading it in their Language Arts class. One student told me they had been reading it for "two months."

Al Capone Does My Laundry, an earlier book by this author, was one I enjoyed a lot, so I picked this up during my lunch period and started reading. I was sucked in right away. This is another book where the author really effectively tells the story from the points of view of two different...more
Alexa SOF2014
Kristin and Walker are both 7th graders at a very prestigious private school. They both come from two different worlds. Kristin, who is Caucasian lives with her parents that constantly fight. Walker is the only African American at this elite private school. He lives with his mom. This unlikely pare become very good friends. They discover a deep family connection between themselves.

I can identify with Walker because I lived the first six years of my life in South East Asia. I was one of the few...more
Light, quick read which gently deals with some tough topics.
Told in alternate chapters - from first person perspective of Kirsten, then third person perspective inside Walk's head. At first I thought this was a worlds-collide story along the lines of "Perfect Chemistry" (which I haven't read yet, but have on hold), but it turns out not so much. I enjoyed seeing Walk's perspective of Kirsten (and upper-class white society in general). A little cliched, but plays with those stereotypes as well. T...more
Ben Langhinrichs
Reviewed for My Comfy Chair reviews...

A few weeks ago, I reviewed Ms. Choldenko's book, No Passengers Beyond This Point. I had requested the book, but the author included another book along with that, If a Tree Falls at Lunch Period. She explained that this latter book might fit well with my goal of promoting diversity, multiculturalism and acceptance.

I planned to hold off and wait, but this is a uniquely compelling book. I have to admit, it took me a little longer to get into the story, which i...more
I'm still unsure how to review and rate this book, but here's my best shot! It is a book clearly intended for a middle grade audience, but I personally felt that at times the tone and themes seemed much more adult to me. All in all, I did find it to be entertaining to read. Here's the story in brief: Kirsten is beginning 7th grade with trepidation, low self-confidence, and an extra 30 pounds she did not have last year. Her best friend Rory seems more concerned with hanging with the popular girls...more
Two pov characters, Walk, an African-American who is new to the expensive, private school attended by the other character, Kirsten. Walk's chapters are third-person while Kirsten's are first, which kept me wondering during the whole book why the writer made this choice. The 3p gives somewhat more psychic distance between Walk's mind and the narrator, as opposed to the very intimate first, though the constant switch from third to first made it difficult to settle into a reading rhythm.

There are s...more
Kirsten and Walk come from two different worlds. Kirsten is the daughter of a wealthy doctor, but her life is far from perfect. Her parents barely speak to each other, and then it is only to fight, her mother is always on her case about her weight and her friend abandons her to try and fit in with the popular crowd. Walk is the son of a single mother who enrols him in an elite, but very white, private school to keep him out of the trouble of an inner city public school. Kirsten and Walk try to n...more
Ginger Smith
I had kind of a love-hate relationship with this book but in the end I would have to say that I wasn’t too impressed with it. It starts off talking about Kirstan, and how she is dealing with being the fat kid in school. And then we find out that her parents are fighting all the time. Then we meet a boy named Walk who is the only Black kid in the private school that Kirstan is attending. Some elements of race and class are haphazardly introduced in the middle of the story, but there is no continu...more
Gennifer Choldenko's young adult novel If a Tree Falls at Lunch Period is the story of two middle school students: Kirsten and Walker. Kirsten is a fat girl with a self-deprecating sense of humor. Walker is an African-American boy who has been transplanted from his city school to attend a hoity-toity all-white private school. The novel is narrated by both Kirsten and Walker in alternating chapters.

Choldenko writes with the bitter honesty that is middle school. She especially has a keen sense of...more
Shonna Froebel
A good book for tweens, this novel features Kirsten McKenna, who is entering grade seven. She has hardly seen her best friend Rory over the summer, and now Rory seems to be hanging out with a different group of girls. Kirsten's parents are constantly fighting and her mother keeps talking about Kirsten's recent weight gain and food issues. Luckily Kirsten's little sister Kippy is an ally in the household and the girls comfort each other.
Also starting at the same school is Walker Jones, one of the...more
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How did a girl named Snot-Nose end up publishing children’s books?

Here are the facts as I know them . . .

I am the youngest of four kids, all of whom have big mouths. We were so loud, that once a lady asked my brother if our mother was deaf.

She was not.

The only sibling who did not have the trademark Johnson big mouth was my sister, Gina, who had Autism. My parents worked very hard to try to fig...more
More about Gennifer Choldenko...
Al Capone Does My Shirts (Al Capone at Alcatraz, #1) Al Capone Shines My Shoes (Al Capone at Alcatraz, #2) No Passengers Beyond This Point Al Capone Does My Homework (Al Capone at Alcatraz, #3) Notes from a Liar and Her Dog

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“Some people's brilliance is in their head. A surgeon's brilliance is in her hands. But there are people who have brilliant hearts. They shine right through them.” 3 likes
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