How to Get Suspended and Influence People
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How to Get Suspended and Influence People

3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  126 ratings  ·  27 reviews
It all starts with an assignment. Leon's "gifted and talented" class has to make educational videos for the sixth and seventh graders. Leon originally chooses "sex ed" as his subject in the hopes of showing a flash of boob. But as time goes on, his project starts to mean something. He wants to tell the younger kids that puberty is tough, but what they're going through is n...more
ebook, 192 pages
Published September 9th 2008 by Laurel Leaf (first published February 13th 2007)
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Ms. Yingling
I was fully prepared to hate this book. In fact, I am not quite sure why I even wanted to read it, since it was about a gifted student who was making a sex ed video for a class. The fact that the author looked 12 also gave me pause.

I loved this book.

Never mind the painful epiphany this morning that yeah, I should identify more with the parents. (Since my daughter is 13, I should, shouldn't I?). Not only will students want to read this because of the topic, the cartoon cover, and the great Danzig...more
8th grader Leon is in gifted classes, he's smart but a bit of a slacker. When his health class is assigned to make health topic videos to show to the 6th graders, however, he gets excited about making a sex education video for them. He's learning about avant garde art and decides to make a really avant garde video, with random photos of nude art and a jazzy soundtrack and a voiceover poem created by a friend of his. He's sure it will be like nothing those kids have ever seen before; it'll get th...more
Gwen the Librarian
Leon is one of the kids in the gifted pool of his junior high. While he considers himself a metal-head to avoid being labeled nerd, Leon feels like he comes from pretty pathetic stock. His dad loves to come up with things that have already been invented and his mom’s hobby is to cook really gross food from other eras, like the 1950’s. At least the other kids in the gifted pool are pretty cool, rebellious kids. When Leon’s teacher assigns a project to make new films for the younger grades, Leon c...more
Leon's parents are very eccentric. His father is an inventor of things that already exist, and his mother's hobby is to make dinners out of out-dated cookbooks that are as hideous as she can make them, just to be ironic. He has learned one thing from them, and that is to honor your creativity, no matter what. A smart-but-rebellious thirteen year old, Leon decides to take a school assignment and run with it- he decides to make an avant-garde sex education movie. Leon gets suspended for his effort...more
Julie Decker
Leon's a gifted kid and has a few odd friends who think on his level, but he's also a middle-school boy and often thinks like one. For an assignment, he creates an educational film and decides his subject will be a no-holds-barred sex education film--inspired by the avant-garde style he's picked up an admiration for through love interest Anna. However, when his frank references to masturbation and less clinical representations of sexuality are NOT well received by Mrs. Smollet, the school's cons...more
Brandon Will
Leon Harris: Here's a very real young guy who, through his junior high hi-jinks is searching - albeit fumbling - for meaning, trying to express the beliefs he's slowly realizing he has.

The overall voice is more authenitc in a true way, rather than just sassy to be sassy, like so many young adult novels are currently.

The assignment: each of the students in "the giften pool" are to make an educational video to be shown to the younger students. Drawing on memories of the guilt that come with rag...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Jeremey for

Eighth-grader Leon has a project in his class for gifted and talented students. Each student must make his or her own educational video to show the lower classmen. What subject do you think a hormonal teenager will choose? Of course, sex education.

Despite his wanting to see pictures of naked people, Leon wants to show the kids that puberty is normal. Hair grows, things change, you have certain urges, and everything's like a big explosion. With his friend,...more
I bought and read this 'cause my friend got engaged to the author and I wanted to read something he wrote. I thought it was very readable and fun young adult book--my only criticism is that (like a lot of kids' books) the characters' dialogue was often more witty and well-constructed than you'd expect even adults' dialogue to be (which I found difficult to swallow despite the fact that they were supposed to be "gifted pool" kids--I was in the gifted program and we weren't quite that well-spoken...more
This teen novel will likely appeal to librarian-types because of its focus on information creation and intellectual freedom issues. That's right up our alley! For non-librarian types, the story is about a middle schooler who gets an assignment to create a health video for sixth and seventh graders. He, like any other normal teen boy, chooses sex ed in case there's any chance of filming some nudity. In the end his video comes to mean more to him, especially in light of the fact that it gets him s...more
First off, this book is going straight to the middle school. If the librarian there will take it. It was a mistake to buy it for a high school population.
Second. I didn't warm to the first person narrator. Yes he's a gifted kid with gifted friends. The author goes to great lengths to make sure we know that, but still, the kid, the kid's language just didn't ring true for me. But then, I'm not around 8th graders all day, either.
Third, the suspension part (and the real story) doesn't start till...more
Aidan Ceszynski
Do you know what avant-garde is? If not, read this book. If you do, read this book. If you are breathing right now, read this book. This is such a good book about middle schoolers that I think everyone should read it. Pretty much, a eigth grader from the gifted pool (or as he calls it, the smartasses) tries to make a avant garde movie about sex education caleed La Dolce Pubert. It involves artistic nudity, kissing, a CPR dummy, a explosion and a flash of boob. But the teacher Ms. Smollet won't a...more
Diamond Newman
Oct 07, 2013 Diamond Newman rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: a troubled Young Adult
I am a new Library Associate and I was looking within our collection for interesting books for our Young Adults to read. I actually built a relationship with a Young Adult at my Library who told me that she was suspended and she wasn't doing too well in her classes. She is a very witty and (I can sense), gifted young lady. The title caught me first, but by reading the book's summary I think she would be able to relate and become inspired. I am excited to get her feedback on the book, and intere...more
Jonathan Garske
I enjoyed the book "How to Get Suspended and Influence People". As as middle school student i could strongly relate to the main character Leon and his problems. The story is about Leon turning a regular school project into a creative work of art. Leon stands up against authority for what he believes in. The story makes you think just because someone is authority to you does that mean that they are always right and shouldn't be challenged. I would recommend this book for 7th, 8th, or 9th graders...more
This book caught me by the title and it was very good. It's about how a boy named Leon makes a video about puberty for his advanced class assignment in middle school. when it's finished, he ends up getting suspended and the movie gets banned from his entire town. but his fellow classmates won't take that, they organize protest and by the end of the semester everyone has an "illegal" copy of his movie. I liked the book because of its sarcasm and how the character's would talk the way actual teena...more
The Library Lady
Funny--kids will enjoy it--but I found it a little contrived and the adult characters a little cardboardy. Still, lots of fun and lots for kids to talk about.

Warning school librarians, this includes another male anatomical word other than "scrotum", and some talk about "whacking off". But then, the main character is making an avant garde sex education film to show younger students at this middle school--what would you expect?
A solid first novel (a bit nostalgic for the author's own junior high days, but not as badly as other first YA novels) about Leon Noside Harris and his quest to irritate his teacher and offer art the world needs with a video in the style of Fellini explaining "it's all normal, you're okay": La Dolce Pubert. Terrible cover, good book.
In some ways this is rather like a middle-school version of Rats Saw God (though it is not as good as RSG, one of my very favorite YA novels), and it made me laugh out loud, despite suffering from the quirky character (in this case, quirky parents: Dad is an inventor who hates Edison) curse.
Funny and enjoyable. The kind of YA book I would've been happy to read when I was in middle school. Too bad it didn't come out until the year I graduated.
Funny, but totally inappropriate to bring in for my eighth graders due to a little too much discussion about puberty.
Plot was weak. Almost got started going somewhere then fizzled.
it started out rather good but i just got really bored with it.
Feb 08, 2011 Allison marked it as gave-up-on  ·  review of another edition
good concept but....i just didn't dig it. Couldn't finish it.
Teen guys will read this book.
Sarah W
Maybe in a few years!
Oct 26, 2009 Erin marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
Challenged in 2009, Idaho.
Jun 26, 2007 Caitlin rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Middle School
Asi marked it as to-read
Sep 15, 2014
Alexis marked it as to-read
Sep 07, 2014
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Adam Selzer blocked Goodreads on his computer for years but now he's on here, so let him have it. His first book was HOW TO GET SUSPENDED AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE (now available in a "Now With More Swearing") edition, his next one is PLAY ME BACKWARDS (for satanic young adults), and his best known is probably I KISSED A ZOMBIE AND I LIKED IT, a Twilight satire that was not marketed as a satire.

He also...more
More about Adam Selzer...
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