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School Story

3.96  ·  Rating Details ·  9,076 Ratings  ·  587 Reviews
For use in schools and libraries only. After twelve-year-old Natalie writes a wonderful novel, her friend Zoe helps her devise a scheme to get it accepted at the publishing house where Natalie's mother works as an editor.
Hardcover, 196 pages
Published August 1st 2002 by Turtleback Books (first published June 1st 2001)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jan 17, 2009 Laura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-aloud, 2009
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!
Nov 08, 2015 Elham rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: child-story
I wish everything was as easy as the circumstances in this story. But there are so many talents which need to be discovered and so many talents which are wasted by a wrong educational system.
I especially liked how Andrew Clements created some very good female characters (and also some bad women too) as a male author himself.
Mar 14, 2014 Andree rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
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
Dec 22, 2008 Bev rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
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!
May 09, 2008 Luke rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
Aug 17, 2016 Marylei rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I like this book because Natalie Nelson wrote a novel book called "the cheater". Its a good book because she wants to continue writing a book. Natalie's book is good enough to published but she's only a 6th grader and they need a real grown-ups to do it. She doesn't want to ask any favor from the mom and dad.
Jul 06, 2008 Allyson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Allyson by: 4th grade teacher
This book is what inspired me to write myself!
Feb 15, 2014 Mireille rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2014
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
Dec 19, 2008 Kasey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 25, 2008 Erica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Casandra L
In the book name thew school story. It has to girl's name's are Zoe and nataile. And when nataile wrote a book and Zoe whant to do every thang her way. nataile thankes that is bad but Zoe thankes is good .but thay have no know to puples her book . But she relased that her mom is a kid's pluples book for kids.And so she ask her mom to pulpes her book .
Dec 21, 2016 Tahni rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't dislike it as much as I was expecting to dislike it. The characters were fun and reasonably realistic and relatable, even if the circumstances of the story itself and the way it unfolds are wildly unrealistic. The more unrealistic it got near the end the harder time I had focusing on reading, but hey. I'm not the target audience, so that makes sense.

This one of the many books that the teacher I work with "assigned" for me to read. This one he wanted me to read because, as a writer, I m
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
Jul 10, 2008 Tim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
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,
Elizabeth L.
Nov 02, 2012 Elizabeth L. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Mar 17, 2008 Rebecca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 07, 2015 Calvin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 03, 2009 KatieLynn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
Jan 11, 2009 Alvin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 07, 2008 Nicole Javvaji rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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!
Another battle book.

This was SO GREAT. I wasn't sure if I'd like it. The premise seemed like it could be eye-rolling, but they way it played out was REALLY GREAT and felt like something that could happen.

And the last lines made me tear up a little.
Oct 21, 2015 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was about a little girl who wanted to write a book. She asked her best friend if she could read the first few chapters. Her best friend thought it was amazing and said she should get it published. But how? Suddenly she remembered he mom is a publisher but she knows only adults can get their books published. Join this girl and her best friends journey to a successful author.
Oct 20, 2016 Janessa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really like this book The School Story. I really recommend this book to my friends. I like this book because the kids in the book learns to become writers. This book is good because it encourages kids to write more and want to become a writer.
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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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