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The Next Great Paulie Fink

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  64 ratings  ·  27 reviews
When Caitlyn Breen enters the tiny Mitchell School in rural Mitchell, Vermont, she is a complete outsider: the seventh grade has just ten other kids, and they've known each other since kindergarten. Her classmates are in for a shock of their own: Paulie Fink--the class clown, oddball, troublemaker, and evil genius--is gone this year.

As stories of Paulie's hijinks unfold,
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published April 16th 2019 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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4.03  · 
Rating details
 ·  64 ratings  ·  27 reviews

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Hannah Greendale
Mar 11, 2019 marked it as dnf
Shelves: middle-grade
DNF at page 100. This is unfocused and lacks intrigue. A significant departure from the depth, insight, and emotional gravity of The Thing About Jellyfish.
Kristen Beverly
Jan 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
I think this will be a great book for its target audience - middle graders and will be a bit more difficult for older fans of the author to read. It’s got a lot of really great lessons for kids.
Nov 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is a lot of fun! The rather unrealistic story of one memorable class of seventh grade students, their teachers, and their idolized former classmate. Although many of the events in the book are quite far-fetched the characters' reactions are extremely plausible. Additionally, at the heart of the book is an important message about the way we view others and the way our perceptions are limited. I especially appreciated how one clever teacher managed to incorporate Ancient Greek history in ...more
It was actually, kinda impressive.

At first, I didn't really think this book is something I would like to read, I just didn't think it would appeal to my taste. But no, it was like, really good.

The Next Great Paulie Fink is all about the horrors, ups, downs, and how to overcome that evil middle school version of yourself. It follows the life of Caitlyn Breen ,a girl in seventh grade that has to move to a new middle school in the middle of nowhere. She has to overcome the obstacle that is finding
Apr 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade, arcs
Happy pub day to The Next Great Paulie Fink! Thanks to Hachette Book Group Canada who provided me with a free advance copy in exchange for an honest review.

I loved Ali Benjamin's debut novel, The Thing About Jellyfish, and she hasn't published anything new in several years, so I was thrilled when I saw she was publishing a second novel! Both of Benjamin's books are middle grade and I'll admit, when I read the plot synopsis for Paulie Fink, it didn't appeal to me quite as much as her first book
Lizz Axnick
Mar 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Next Great Paulie Fink is about a girl, Caitlin, who moves to a teeny town in Vermont to start seventh grade. When she gets there, she meets an eccentric group of classmates who have essentially known each other forever as there are only 11 kids, including Caitlin, in the seventh grade at this school.

The remaining 10 classmates are missing their class-clown this year, Paulie Fink. No one knows where he went or why he left. On further questioning, no one remembers his family or where he live
Sally Sugarman
Apr 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book came highly recommended and as I started it I hoped I would like it. No problem. It was even more wonderful than I was led to expect. It was the point late in the book when I was crying that I realized it had everything that makes a book worth reading. One of its strengths is the variety of presentations with interviews interposed with a personal narrative so that we get to know all the characters beyond the main narrator Caitlyn Breen on our own. Caitlyn finds herself entering a weir ...more
Gerard Villegas
Not up to the same emotional riveting story of The Thing About Jellyfish but a sweet read nonetheless. A small town that has been facing an economic recession for years is trying to save their failing school by bringing in a reality show competition to generate finances and attention to their rural town. A new student named Caitlyn is chosen to step into the footsteps left behind by the legendary prankster Paulie Fink and possibly judge this ridiculous contest. Told in interviews, news articles, ...more
Jan 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Caitlyn has a hard time adjusting to rural life when her mother uproots her from her life to move to Vermont and she starts school in a tiny, very unconventional class. In addition to being the new kid, she can't stop hearing stories about a mysterious, ultimate prankster named Paulie Fink who has curiously not returned to school for the new year. Just when it seems Caitlyn can't take it anymore, the students decide to have a reality-show style contest to anoint the next great Paulie Fink and sh ...more
Apr 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: tweens, middle-grade
Thought this book did a better job of not only capturing the internal emotional turmoil of 7th grade girls (which was excellent here and in The Thing About Jellyfish) but also speaking in a voice that'll appeal to the target audience (which I thought wasn't so great about The Thing About Jellyfish - it felt like it was written for adults/librarians who work with 7th graders rather than tweens themselves). Sometimes this meant as an adult reader that I lost a little interest/focus, but quite fran ...more
Karen Arendt
This is a quiet yet thought provoking book. Caitlyn has moved across the country to a small town and even smaller. The legendary Paulie Fink has not returned to school this year and his classmates seem to be at a loss without him. Caitlyn is tasked with finding the person in their class who will replace Paulie. But who was Paulie? And who is Caitlyn? She has left behind some unresolved feelings from her previous school. The story explores many things: bullying, personal identity, belonging.
Jan 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Goats, Soccer, kleos! What more could you want in a school? Oh yeah Paulie Fink! The unusual school setting is perfect place to host the next big reality show! Winner gets kleos (kleos, answer the students learn, means being remembered.) that I was this book has asked, how much do we really know about people who supposedly have kleos! This book sends positive messages about being yourself! And certainly deserves kleos!!
Feb 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Caitlyn moves to a new town, new kids and new school and all when she didn't even want to. The adventures of the Originals from Mitchell School will keep you guessing and wondering who is the next great Paulie Fink? Caitlyn must first try to understand who he was before he can be replaced. Or can that even happen? A lengthier book for MG at almost 400 pages so I'd recommend 5th grade + on this new one from Ali Benjamin.
Cindy Dobrez
Feb 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
I'll be adding this to my middle school "Teachers We Love" bib for the teacher, Mags, who ties Greek civilization to any topic the students want to discuss instead. Benjamin understands middle school social dynamics and there is much to ponder in this book. An interesting take on being the new kid as well. And goats. I loved the goats.
Feb 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Thank you to Ali Benjamin for this book. I won it on goodreads. I don't usually read young adult books but I did enjoy this. When a boy doesn't show up for the first day of school, the children remember all the stuff he did. They tell the new student all about him. You watch how they all change as the year goes on.
Sharon Kolling-Perin
Apr 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It took me a while to get into this book, but I am so glad I kept going. Sweet, funny, and unpredictable, I ended up loving this book and every 7th grade student at The Mitchell School.
Nov 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
After a slow start, I quite liked this book. A book about dismantling the unwritten rules that dominate middle school social life ... if only we all had had a school with the ethos of the Mitchell Academy for the middle school years.
Mar 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
The Mitchell School kind of reminds me of Tomoe Gakue. Great story with philosophy for beginners. Fun to read.
Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Devoured this near-perfect little book. Will try to remember to write a better review once it's published. I loved the author's first book and I think this one could have even broader appeal.
Ms. Yingling
Mar 30, 2019 rated it liked it
ARC provided by Random House
Emily Myhren
Apr 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
A truly original story.
Michele Knott
Mar 27, 2019 rated it liked it
It took almost half of this book just to set up the story. Once it did, it was fun. Wish it had been edited down just a bit
Meag McKeron
Mar 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: juv-fiction
2.5 stars. Maybe kids will enjoy this more than I did. I just found the story moved pretty slowly and all of the connections to Greek mythology felt really forced. There were tons of moments where I thought to myself, “a kid would never say that.” It all just fell a little flat for me.
OwlCrate Jr
rated it it was amazing
Feb 19, 2019
rated it it was amazing
Oct 22, 2018
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Who really knows who Paulie Fink is? Who really knows who anyone is? Using Greek philosophy and reality TV show philosophy a group of 7th graders discover just who they really are.
Literacious (Laura)
rated it really liked it
Feb 16, 2019
rated it it was amazing
Feb 05, 2019
Scott Riley
rated it really liked it
Apr 21, 2019
Arika D
rated it it was amazing
Feb 27, 2019
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Ali Benjamin has written for the Boston Globe Magazine, Martha Stewart's Whole Living, and Sesame Street. She is the co-writer for HIV+ teen Paige Rawl's coming-of-age memoir, Positive, which will be a lead title for Harper Teen this coming Fall, and which will feature an introduction by Jay Asher. She is a member of the New England Science Writers. - See more at: ...more