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The Looney Experiment

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  125 Ratings  ·  51 Reviews
Atticus Hobart couldn't feel lower. He s in love with a girl who doesn't know he exists, he is the class bully's personal punching bag, and to top it all off, his dad has just left the family. Into this drama steps Mr. Looney, a 77-year-old substitute English teacher with uncanny insight and a most unconventional approach to teaching. But Atticus soon discovers there's mor ...more
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published August 4th 2015 by Blink (first published August 3rd 2015)
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Janie Johnson
Aug 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015-challenge
I received this book in exchange for an honest review. I find that I don't give too many review books higher than 3 stars very often, but this was good. I was actually surprised that I enjoyed it as much as I did since it was a middle grade book. I am so glad that I got the opportunity to read this one. A very small book with a huge story to tell.

This a story of Atticus Hobart who seems to struggle with everyday life. He is in love with a Audrey, but lacks the courage to let her know. He is also
Aug 11, 2015 rated it did not like it
I was looking forward to reading this book because I was in the mood to laugh. I did not find laughs with this book. In fact, I had to check about three times to the back of the book on the reference for the age group/category that this book was listed for. It is listed as Juvenile Fiction/Social Issues/Adolescence. This is a good thing as there was the use of swear words and lots of bullying. With the current issues of bullying in the world I would suggest only older, mature readers read this b ...more
A heartwarming and candid look at life for an eighth grade boy who has an extra dose of awkwardness, anxieties about public speaking, secret crush, being bullied, parents splitting up and dad leaving.

How does Atticus -yeah, that's his name- deal with this life? Well, at first he doesn't. But with the help of a new teacher who's all kinds of eccentric and a classroom assigned book, Atticus learns the secret to making it through life's craziness.

The story is told through the eyes of Atticus. I fe
Yo Leo Ficción Cristiana
Jul 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015, inglés


Young adult book suitable for all audiences.

Sometimes fiction books that have bullying as the center of the story, are very sad and dramatic, but this is the exception to the rule.

Atticus Hobart is a character who suffers because of the bad things that happen to him, but the help of Mr. Looney, he learns to see life in a different way.

If you have read To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, then you know that there is a connection between the two protagonists, but if you
Aug 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: booksparks, favorites
This book was a treat to read. I was completely in love with the messages in this book. And this isn't just for kids - adults can love this book too!

Luke Reynolds is spot on with the voices of his characters. Spot on! He had me rooting for Atticus and Mr. Looney. I laughed in all the right spots, wanted to tear out Danny's eyeballs (until I understood his character), and wanted to be Audrey.

The best compliment I can give is the one where I think this book should be available to all middle schoo
Sep 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
While the book started off a little slow for me, it was easy to warm up to the eccentric Mr. Looney and the good-hearted Audrey while cheering on Atticus, the main character who is going through a difficult period in his life. Kids will easily identify with Atticus even if they're not going through similar issues (such as parental separation and school bullies) because Luke Reynolds makes him a sympathetic character. There are many touching truisms in the book that had me nodding in agreement. T ...more
Tj Shay
Dec 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I give this book seven out of five stars. This is a book kids NEED to read. all come together in the perfect realistic combination. I loved this book and I think it's so important for kids to read.

"Doing what's good is never about trying to be a hero; it's always about being exactly the person you are-- the best version of who you really, really are...and anyone can do that, no matter what they're up against." Luke Reynolds from "The Looney Experiment"
This. Book.

I don't even know where to start.

Actually, I don't have more words to say but: please people, READ THIS BOOK!

I love this book so much!! ❤
Bridgett Brown
May 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaways
I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway.
Very good book. Age range 11-15
Synopsis- 8th grader Atticus Hobart has it pretty tough. Not only is he bullied, but he has an overactive imagination (to the point of seriously distracting). Add the fact that his dad just up and left his family, and you can see why Atticus doesn’t know what to do now. When his English teacher takes off for maternity leave, and a crazy seventy-seven year old man named Mr. Looney is their substitute, he takes the class by sur
Jan 15, 2018 rated it did not like it
I got 91 pages in before giving it up. I just couldn't get into it at all. I considered taking a break from it to read the other unread library books sitting by my bed, and then coming back to this one to try and finish it (because I usually try really hard to complete a book, even if I'm not crazy about it.), but then I decided I had wasted enough time on The Looney Experiment already. Time to cut my losses and move on to something I know I'll actually enjoy. (Ranger's Apprentice book 10 is wai ...more
MrsK Books
Aug 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Atticus is intelligent, his imagination is like a script waiting to be published. He is kind, compassionate, and being bullied. Middle school is difficult for everyone, yet this year in particular is made of the stuff that would cause "cracks" in his schemata about life. This year the bullying goes beyond words... this year his father needs a "Figure-Myself-Out" leave of absence ... this year he realizes that a girl friend is no longer just a friend... this year he discovers the strength with i ...more
Aug 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
I am reviewing this novel since I received an advanced copy from NetGalley.
I had never heard of the author Luke Reynolds before I read The Looney Experiment. And quite frankly, when I pick up a work by an author unknown to me, I am both anxious and worried. Anxious to uncover a great author, but worried that my time will be wasted if it turns out the writing falls flat. Luckily, I thoroughly enjoyed Reynold's The Looney Experiment!
Atticus Hobart is a kid who just wanted to get done with middle s
Nov 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: realistic
A great anti-bullying book for middle school readers (including 6th grade); short, funny, and packs a good message in disguise. 8th grader Atticus, shy, overweight and completely lacking in self-confidence, has an overactive imagination that takes over in times of stress and has him seeing everything from dead poets talking to hearing a stadium announcer narrate his life, to having a mental argument with his anthropomorphized baseball uniform. (They're hilarious, these exchanges!) He's stressed ...more
Oct 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2015
I don’t normally read what is classified as Middle Grade Fiction, but something about this book spoke to me. Perhaps it was the fact that our main character and narrator Atticus Hobart is bullied and so were my best friend and I. Maybe not, but upon discovering that the book deals in a way with the topic of bullying, I had to read it and see what it was about.

Atticus Hobart is a 13-year-old boy who is good at pretty much nothing except for imagining things. He is quiet, unassuming, and frankly,
Tony Parsons
Mar 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Atticus Hobart (aka Fatticus) lives with his 2 parents: James Hobart (dad), Helen Hobart (mom) & his brother Adrian Hobart.
Atticus like most kids nowadays has to deal with Danny Wills (bully, classmate), the school system & his dad leaving the family behind.
He also has a crush on Aubrey Higgins (classmate) but is very scared to tell her.

What other perils does Atticus have to deal with during the school yr.?

As a retired school social worker the only thing I saw wrong with this book was
Sep 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
This was a very thoughtful and enjoyable read. I'd give it 4.5 stars if I could. When I find myself talking about a book to others around me while and after I read it, I know it's impacting me in positive and challenging ways.

If I could give comparable tiles for this book, I'd actually liken it to something like the school-focused movie "Stand and Deliver" in many ways and even a little like "Dead Poets Society" in regards to the teacher (not necessarily so in plot, so don't worry). The teacher
Jalynn Patterson
Nov 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
About the Book:
Atticus Hobart couldn't feel lower. He s in love with a girl who doesn't know he exists, he is the class bully's personal punching bag, and to top it all off, his dad has just left the family. Into this drama steps Mr. Looney, a 77-year-old substitute English teacher with uncanny insight and a most unconventional approach to teaching. But Atticus soon discovers there's more to Mr. Looney's methods than he'd first thought. And as Atticus begins to unlock the truths within his own n
Marissa Suddreth
Oct 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
PG for mild language and bullying
Recommend to 10 & up

I was very surprised by this book. I came into expecting a simplified, fast-paced story, but this book actually was beautifully written and delved into some impressive topics about life for a middle school read. I finished this in a day, staying up late to read it, and I will definitely be keeping this.

Atticus has an amazing imagination, and I was glad the book ended on a good, albeit realistic, note. I also love how To Kill a Mocki
Tara Looney
Aug 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Looney Experiment by Luke Reynolds not only caught my eye because of the title (I’m Tara Looney) but from page one I was hooked. I quickly fell in love with Atticus Hobart, the underdog. He had all the cards stacked against him as an anxiety ridden nerd who was not only the target at school but was having to faces battles at home as well.

Then substitute Mr. Looney comes in to replace Mrs. Kathan during her maternity leave. He was like no teacher before. The kids were stunned and intrigued b
Jul 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What an interesting coincidence that I finally got around to reading this inspired work of fiction in the days leading up to the release of Harper Lee's "Go Set a Watchman." Why? Because the main character in the book is a boy named Atticus Hobart, who is in fact, named for Atticus Finch from "To Kill a Mockingbird." After being bullied by a boy in his class for a while, Atticus Hobart gets the courage to speak up not because of Lee's novel but the teacher who introduces it to his 8th grade Engl ...more
Joe Perreault
Dec 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I was excited to read The Looney Experiment, and was not disappointed. This book tackles issues that are pressing and predominant in the middle grades. While I don't think that I will read this book aloud to my fourth graders, due to its more mature content that is inaccessible for some of my less mature students, I have already passed it along to some of the more mature readers in my class. The reactions have been astonishing and the book is being handed off regularly. The conversations that ha ...more
Aug 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
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REVIEW BY: Michaela, age 11 years, 2 months


This book is good, but very sad. I would recommend this book for older kids because it does have a couple of bad words in it, other than that it was good. My favorite character was Mr. Looney.

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars and, like stated above, I recommend this book for older kids, around ages 13 and up.
Sep 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended Ages: 14-199
Reading The Looney Experiment was like drinking my favorite refreshment on a hot summer day!

Reynolds expertly finds a voice in his fictional characters Robert Looney & Atticus Hobart.

This book is witty and fun, but yet does not fail to acknowledge that life is sometimes painful and unfair. Through Atticus and Robert we find that through the pain we often expose and cultivate courage needed to navigate life.
Sep 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Atticus feels all alone. His dad left, he never speaks in class and he is being bullied at school. But things change when Mr. Looney, the substitute, starts teaching "to Kill a Mockingbird." Atticus learns that he can be strong just like his namesake. Funny, poignant, sweet. This book will attract all realistic fiction fans and it's a quick read.
Aug 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book. Wonderfully written. It's geared toward middle grade readers, but I found it profound and emotional, nonetheless. The references to To Kill a Mockingbird feel so relevant to today's current events that I think it spoke to me even more.
Elizabeth Castro
Nov 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
I literally couldn't stop laughing out loud when reading about Mr. Looney and his wild "jungle music." Luke Reynolds is a genius when it comes to character description and finding the correct teen voice.
I loved The Looney Experiment's message and wished I'd read this book when I was a teen.
Aug 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Found this read to be inspirational with little triumphs.

Loved the character development and growth of main character, Atticus, with some guidance from an unconventional teacher.

Got me thinking of teachers who make a positive difference in children's lives.
Dec 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love love love

A story about facing real challenges. Atticus a worthy storyteller and reminds adults how confusing life can be when your young. Great read!
Jacob W
Oct 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
I think The Looney Experiment was a good book, It showed courage and bravery near the end when Mr. Looney came to his classroom and let him read To Kill a Mockingbird. It brought Atticus into the world and made him make more friends and talk to more people. Atticus helped to try to not get Mr.Looney fired because of Danny.
Jaina Rose
Sep 04, 2015 rated it it was ok
This review is also available on my blog, Read Till Dawn.

Hmm. This one looked a lot better in the description.

I mean, it looks good, doesn't it? The synopsis makes it look like a sort of mix between Dork Diaries (or whatever it's called - Diary of a Teenaged something, maybe? I don't read them, in case you couldn't tell) and the Terupt books (which I have read - and loved!). I always like a good coming-of-age story, and books about kids with crazy-but-super-effective teachers are kind of my secr
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