Arminzerella's Reviews > Stanford Wong Flunks Big-time

Stanford Wong Flunks Big-time by Lisa Yee
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** spoiler alert ** Stanford is a great basketball player. He’s been picked for the A-Team, and he’s going to a prestigious summer camp to play basketball. Things look great. Unfortunately, Stanford Wong isn’t a great student by any stretch of the imagination. Even so, he’s never failed before – until now. Stanford Wong is failing English, and this has several undesirable consequences: he’s kicked off the basketball team until he brings his grade up, he can’t go to basketball summer camp, he has to go to summer school, and Millicent Min is going to be his English tutor. Things couldn’t be worse. Oh, except that they are, because he told his friends the reason he can’t go to camp is because his dad is making him work for him over the summer. That’s a big lie. So now Stanford has to make sure no one sees him around the school.

It’s not so bad, though. Stanford, with a little coaching from Millicent, learns to appreciate some of the books he’s reading. He even enjoys them. He improves a lot, and becomes friendly with his English teacher. He also meets Millicent’s new friend who is so incredibly perfect and funny he can’t get enough of her. Except that she can never know Millicent is tutoring him, because if she were to find out he was stupid, she’d hate him! More lying.

Of course everything falls apart in the end. Standford’s lies and Millicent’s lies get them both into trouble. But it all wraps up nicely, too. Stanford passes English, he’s back on the team, he gets the girl, Millicent gets to keep her friend, and even Stanford’s dad lightens up. There are family issues thrown in here and there, and some obvious bad stuff going on with one of Stanford’s friends that doesn’t get a lot of mention, but enough to make you wonder. Will his be the next story that gets told? Sounds like abuse. How can Lisa Yee make that one funny?

This is a companion novel to Millicent Min, Girl Genius by the same author. This was not as good as Yee’s first book about Millicent Min, which was hysterical. Stanford Wong’s voice is not as well-developed, and as with many parallel tales, you’ve already read this book from another point of view. So, not a whole lot of brand-spanking-new material here.

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