Story Time
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Story Time

3.48 of 5 stars 3.48  ·  rating details  ·  739 ratings  ·  99 reviews

George and Kate are promised the finest education when they transfer to the Whittaker Magnet School. It boasts the highest test scores in the nation. But at what price? Their school's curriculum is focused on beating standardized tests; classes are held in dreary, windowless rooms; and students are force-fed noxious protein shakes to improve their test performance. Worst o

Paperback, 444 pages
Published August 1st 2005 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published October 1st 2001)
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This struck me as what would happen if Lemony Snicket wrote a book with a more realistic setting and plot. And, um, with demons. And standardized testing. And superweapons. So I guess it's maybe not so realistic at all. But it still had a certain Lemony Snicket-esque vibe in the wordplay and the sarcasm.

Ah, hell. I can't be articulate. I liked it. It was good.
Barks & Bites
This is a good satire on the current state of our education system and the No Child Left Behind program. In this story 8th grader Kate and her genius uncle George (who is actually younger than her) are invited to attend the Whittaker Magnet School. George, who is a bit of genius, is thrilled but Kate, notsomuch. The Whittaker Magnet School is the last place Kate wants to go. She loves her public school and has been practicing her whole life for the lead in their production of Peter Pan. She's al...more
I had a hard time slogging through it, it didn't really capture my interest. It's intended as a scathing criticism of standardized testing and education, but that's such a minimal part of the book, it's more like tepid criticism. The paranormal parts weren't very interesting or exciting, and the characters, other than Uncle George, were flat. I like demons as much as the next person, but we learned so little about them, where they came from, why they were in the book, and why they liked to hurt...more
Dan Keating
It legitimately pains me to be writing this review. Bloor's "Tangerine" is, and will probably always be, my favorite young adult novel ever, but after reading his "Crusader" and now this, I've come to accept that Bloor hasn't been able to duplicate the success of his first novel - while duplicating many thematic elements in a way that reveals his writing as somewhat formulaic.

Story Time tells the story of eighth grade Kate and her sixth grade Uncle George and their family, as Kate and George are...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I love Tangerine, so I was expecting to love this. Story Time is about a school that has kids take standardized tests all day, every day, to improve their scores. The government thinks the school is AMAZING from the test scores, but we know better. Bloor's Tangerine was a terrific, funny satire on environmental issues and from this book jacket, I was expecting a similar satire on today's standardized testing. But Bloor added this whole demon thing to the plot that just didn't work. It was a devi...more
I loved this. Part ghost-story, part satire, a good story that makes it's point without losing the elements of good storytelling.
If you have a child in public school, you are familiar with the horror that the "Test Based Curriculum." You know, "teaching to the test", meaning standardized testing? Designed by androids whose only desire is to suck every scrap of joy and wonder out of learning, this unmitigated crap is the current standard here in the good old US of A. (Thanks Bush. Don't let the d...more
ThatStalkerGirlBehindYouWhoIsAlsoACreeper *Sklip*  WhoIsAlsoAHighlySkilledNinja
Best paranormal book I've read in a long time. It's better than all the paranormal romances that keep coming out lol!

I really liked the idea of a haunted college-prep school that branches out. There's really nothing to say, but it's fast-paced and full of interesting little bits of information and kept my attention the whole time.

I don't really have a favorite character or a hated character in this book for some reason. However, the characters in this book was amazingly created. Each character w...more
Bizarre! I just didn't get it. I listened to it. It cannot be pigeon-holed into a genre. It had elements of the supernatural and evil and an odd interjection of a visit by the First Lady and later by the President of the United States. At the beginning, I was drawn in because of the setting of a library and how the magnet school's unwise choices about education were being ridiculed. Later, however, I just couldn't see how any presidential administration could spend time on these unenlightened ad...more
I absolutely loved this book. It is a funny satire of the whole "Standardized Testing" in public education. It is a young adult book, but worth the read.
I love fiction books. This was really funny and ironic.It gives a complete different point of towards standardized testing.
In 1997, author Edward Bloor took the literary world captive with the lightning-fast, suspense-packed writing in his first novel, Tangerine. His follow-up to Tangerine, Crusader, once again teleported readers to a darkly mysterious world in which nothing was quite what it seemed, where people who seemed good could turn out to be the vilest of villains, and those who appeared to be bad might end up saving the day in the end.

Story Time is actually quite different from those earlier books. The plo...more
Penelope Bartotto
This is another one of those books my teenage daughter brought home from her book club and once she had read it she was pretty adamant that I would like it too. What can I say she knows her mama loves a good book, and she is catching on to what styles of books intrigue me the most. She's been pretty spot on with all of the recommendations she has made. This was no exception!
Ultimately quirky, with some highly unique characters, the story takes you into the twisted and dark side of what education...more
Amy Snyder
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Julie S.
I loved this book. It was such an interesting look at schools and testing. It had so many running references: Peter Pan, the mutant octopus-shaped school district, clogging, Pogo's quote-talking, and best of all, Andrew Carnegie.

My favorite passage:

Whit then resumed. He pointed behind the audience to the entryway. "A brief history lesson: Andrew Carnegie, the nineteenth-century robber baron, near the end of his life, decided to build a series of public libraries as public monuments to himself."

It took me about a hundred pages to finally admit that I was into this book. Bloor builds his story carefully. The book is long, but the chapters are short and, honestly, I couldn't tell you what happened in any given chapter. But by the climax, the reader is wrapped up in a very big, crazy, funny, terrible event that goes beyond anything I could have come up with. It's a social satire that turns very dark and hits some pretty creepy notes on the supernatural side. It wraps itself up a little to...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 13, 2013 Zach rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: nkl
I am 150 pages into this book and will not be going any further -- which is a shame. The premise is great. There's so much about the troubling state of the current American educational apparatus that needs satirizing. But this novel doesn't work as satire, because it tries too hard, but at the same time doesn't try hard enough. Its two young protagonists (Kate and George) are thoughtful, logical, and emotionally appealing, yet everyone else is a lopsided caricature. There are many awkward or abr...more
Edward Bloor is one of my new favorite authors, and Story Time did not disappoint me. At a time when many authors writing juvenile fiction and young adult novels stoop to writing one formula piece after another or material that is dumbed down or overly preachy, it is refreshing to find an author putting out unique pieces with interesting themes and thought provoking plots that are still easy and fun to read.

The premise behind Story Time is demon-ridden library meets ultra-modern school with test...more
Edward Bloor is well-known for his young adult fiction, particularly his book Tangerine (which I read and enjoyed.) I was not quite as thrilled with Story Time. This book is definitely satire, but Bloor has not quite gotten the hang of writing in this genre yet. I still felt manipulated by the text rather than feeling that it caused me to think about the issues at hand: in this case, the prevalence of standardized testing in schools.

The best part of the book, for me, was the afterword in which...more
Ginger Smith
Could not get into this. Was listening to the audio and it did not go fast enough for me.
Jun 21, 2007 Annie rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: teachers and students who have a taste for the wickedly funny
There really isn't anything like a book that can take your opinions about education and turn them sideways in the matter of a few moments. Now, mind you, this book doesn't quite do that because I happen to totally agree with the points that Bloor was making, but it was fun to think about anyway. There's mystery, humor, and ghosts. You really cant ask for much more than that in a story about two intrepid kids who will do anything to figure out why their new school isn't all it was advertised to b...more
Oh, the evils of standardised testing. This book begins when George, young genius, gets a letter telling him that he has been accepted into the Whittaker Magnet School, which has the best standardised test scores in the country. Kate, his niece who is two years older than him is also accepted, because suddenly the school district has 'octopused' to take in their duplex house. When they reach the school they find a place of green children, anonymous teachers and quite possibly a demon.

I really en...more
This story is very unique and nothing like anything I've ever read before. An octopus-shaped school district, a good school cursed by day-long tests and books that house demons, and a genius uncle in 6th grade with an 8th grade niece. Oh, we can't forget the little "mute" girl who speaks only in rhymes, whose will to help her friends; the uncle and his niece; unintentionally hurts and even kills others. She uses a dangerous secret that has been long denied, hidden in between the pages of an anti...more
This book was AMAZING! The thing that I personally liked about it was that it was in between a scary book and a funny book. Story Time had its moments, but it was mainy scary. All that happens is that these people get possessed by ghosts, but it sounds scraier than it really is.Edward Bloor Story Time
Jan 23, 2014 Ayah added it
Hardly got through it. Difficult to follow, difficult to know why I was reading it to begin with.
This book is about George and Kate they are family and they both got accepted to a school called Whittaker Magnet School a school for genius'. They soon discover that the place is not as perfect as the owners make it seem. They discover many disturbing things and are trying to break free from their command.

I liked this book because it was full of mystery and it was a little hard to understand some parts but overall it was good.

I rated this book 4.
I loved Bloor's first two books, but was woried he only had one voice in him, as Tangerine and Crusader were so similar. Story Time, however, is lighter and more sarcastic - I laugh aloud nearly every-other page. Bloor, a former public-school teacher, deftly skewers the modern culture of test-basted-curriculi, something that I, as a highschool teacher, appreciate. Once again Bloor assembles a fantastic cast of well drawn, highly entertaining characters.
Debra Rowand
I listened to the audio of the book which was okay but I think it was far better than actually reading the book. After Tangerine, I expected a bit greater I think? Even though this book is in the teen section and there are deaths involved, it is a lower lever teen read and not really that scary. The plot is a bit fantastical but it is after all a fantasy. Unless a teen reader specifically likes a ghost story, I would not recommend this book.
While this book doesn't always tie together, its satire on a school that focuses on getting the highest standardized test scores is...unfortunately, barely satire but rather very close to the truth these days. Kindergartners having "bubble time" so their pencil marks don't stray? Protein shakes for kids whose scores are a bit low? Treadmill before testing? Daily practice tests? Ensuring your school keeps its best test-takers? Sounding familiar?
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What's The Name o...: SOLVED. Children's or YA mocking standardized tests [s] 13 187 Mar 30, 2014 06:25PM  
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Edward (William) Bloor

Personal Information: Born October 12, 1950, in Trenton, NJ; son of Edward William and Mary (Cowley) Bloor; married Pamela Dixon (a teacher), August 4, 1984. Father to a daughter and a son. Education: Fordham University, B.A., 1973.

Career: Novelist and editor. English teacher in Florida public high schools, 1983-86; Harcourt Brace School Publishers, Orlando, FL, senior editor...more
More about Edward Bloor...
Tangerine Taken London Calling Crusader A Plague Year

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