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Homerooms and Hall Passes

(Homerooms and Hall Passes #1)

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  254 ratings  ·  70 reviews
In the mystical realm of Bríandalör, every day the brave and the bold delve into hidden temples or forgotten dungeons, battling vile monsters and evil wizards to loot their treasure hoards for sweet, sweet magic items.

But in their free time, our heroes—Thromdurr the mighty barbarian, Devis the shifty thief, Vela the noble paladin, Sorrowshade the Gloom Elf assassin, and Al
ebook, 368 pages
Published October 8th 2019 by Balzer + Bray
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Mikyla Meyer No, you should be fine. Knowledge of the game is not important to the plot, it just makes the references more amusing.

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Average rating 4.11  · 
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 ·  254 ratings  ·  70 reviews

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Brandon Forsyth
Nov 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Middle school is truly brutal,” said Sorrowshade, “and I say this as someone whose entire family was eaten by minotaurs.”

So, so charming. A clever premise and a squad of likeable characters have me hoping this is the beginning of a series. This is perfect for the young (and not-so-young) nerd on your list.
Jenna (Falling Letters)
Review originally published 3 April 2020 at Falling Letters.

I thought Homeroom & Hall Passes's premise sounded hilarious and unique. My initial concern was that it would be over-the-top silly, but it is not. For example, each chapter begins with an excerpt from “The Hall Master’s Guide”. These excerpts, while funny enough to make me chuckle, also often frame the unique experiences of middle school in such a way as to validate the challenges readers may experience.
In the real world, political aut
Rebecca McPhedran
A really fun take on a dungeons and dragons game!

A group of adventurers is cursed when one of them steals a ruby from a cave. When the group goes to play their weekly game of Homerooms and Hall Passes; the group is magically transported into their game. Now they are faced with their biggest challenge yet-surviving middle school! They must learn new skills, like Algebra I to stay alive, and save their game world...which might actually be real.

This book was really fun to read. Although I don’t h
Funny and really well done, this has hints of Stranger Things about it. The characters are great, and the stakes feel believable. Also Stinky and all his soups were extremely entertaining. Great for middle school readers looking for an adventure that blends fantasy and reality.
DNF'd the audiobook after about one hour (of 8) over the course of one day.

Look, there's nothing really wrong with this book. It likely would have gotten a third star out of me if I'd stuck with it. Why am I moving on so quickly (especially since I so rarely abandon books)?

1) If I wanted to experience a group of people puzzling out how to deal with a situation from the perspectives of their characters with a bit of metagaming, I'd just get together with my D&D group. Added bonus of that: they do
Apr 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's an adventurer's life for Apprentice Mage Albiorix and his four friends (a Paladin, a Thief, a Barbarian, and a Shadow Elf). They earn their living through completing various quests, but once a week, they gather in the back room of a local inn for some light entertainment: a game of Homerooms and Hall Passes. In this game, they take on various roles (the Nerd, the Loner, the Class Clown) and complete various nonadventures at J. A. Dewar Middle School. All well and good, until certain peculia ...more
I loved the premise. What a fun twist on events. I don't play fantasy games, but I have a little bit of knowledge so I understood what was going on. Cute but nothing I am going to rave about. I also don't have any interest in reading anymore in the series. I didn't find that characters memorable enough. That being said D&D fantasy isn't my thing.

Also I think I have a problem with the ending but maybe I wasn't reading it closely enough.
Dec 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is hands-down my favorite D&D parody/isekai novel. (Come on, it's basically like all the isekai LNs in terms of base plot.) You really do need a basic familiarity with tabletop RPGs in order to fully get the humor, however. ...more
The Bookish Austin
Oh I giggled so much throughout this novel.
Elizabeth Moraff
Oct 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a totally different kind of YA fiction than what I usually read, and I’m glad to have read it! Tightly plotted, clever, hilarious, and relatable. Tongue-in-cheek from beginning to end in a way that had me groaning over my own middle school memories and laughing at the tropes of the fantasy genre. O’Donell has written a book that groups of friends, parents and kids, can all enjoy.
Ms. Yingling
Jul 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
E ARC from Edelweiss Plus

Albiorix is a young Medieval wizard from the mystical realm of Bríandalör who is Hall Master for the role playing game Homerooms and Hall Passes. He and his friends (Thromdurr, a barbarian; Sorrowshade, a gloom elf; Vela, a paladin; and Devis, a thief) meet at a local pub in between their real life adventures (thwarting evil orcs, rescuing jewels, etc.) to run their newest campaign, The Semester of Stultification. Set in J.A. Dewar Middle School, it involves each of Albi
Nov 29, 2019 rated it liked it
I received a ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This book was funny and if you even have a passing interest in D&D, you’ll love concept. Heroes use to extraordinary quests and challenges, dumped into a utterly normal suburban middle school. Hilarious antics and misunderstandings ensue.
The reason I gave it only 3 stars is because I thought the book was an okay read for me. It made me smile at some of the funny antics and I enjoyed it enough to read the whole thing. But I’m 22
Kat // Novels & Waffles
RATING: 4.5 Stars

Pitched as Dungeons & Dragons meets Jumanji, this book upends the familiar portal fantasy trope in a clever parody of roleplaying games. It's full of dry, tongue-in-cheek humor that never took itself too seriously, and I absolutely loved every hilarious second of it.

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Debbie Tanner
This is my new favorite book! Read the full review here ...more
Dec 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: life, not-graphic, j, fantasy, humor
Oh, that was fun. Of course, I was tickled by the concept as clever, but I was afraid it would be a one-joke idea that quickly grew stale. It doesn't. O'Donnell not only does a masterful job of constantly finding new humor to mine from the setup and continuously developing the concept, he manages to tell a well-plotted story with good character development and real emotion. I was pleasantly surprised and delightfully engaged. I definitely recommend this one.

It begins with a group of hardy advent
Disclaimer: I received this book for free from BookCon 2019 and Balzer + Bray in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This is definitely not the type of book I would normally pick up for myself. Even as this ARC has been sneaking closer and closer to the top of my TBR, I’ve found myself dreading it. It’s just so… solidly… not something I would have chosen, based on the cover and the description?

But I gotta be honest, y’all. Homero
Stephen Stewart
Jan 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Homerooms and Hall Passes by Tom O’Donnell is the first book in a series that follows four protagonists as they find themselves cursed and transported from their medieval Dungeons and Dragons-esque world to a world full of trial and tribulations that they’ve never faced the likes of before – middle school.

This book and its premise are absurd and the book acknowledges it and runs with it, which I loved. Normally portal fantasies involve someone from our world entering fantasy land, but joy of thi
Pop Bop
Sep 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
An Inspired Switcheroo

So, in the usual version of a book like this five normal kids are transported into a role playing game world and have to assume the roles of mage, warrior, thief, and so on in order to fight their way out and get back home. In this book we switch it up. We start with five kids, a wizard, an elf assassin, a warrior, a giant, and a thief, who actually live in a Dungeon and Dragons sort of world and who go on quests all the time. For relaxation they play a role game in which t
Read this and other book reviews on my blog!

Oh my goodness is this an amazing book! Let me start off by saying that I am a huge Dungeons & Dragons fan. I started playing it when I was around 10 so I’ve got 25 years or so under by belt. And with shows like Stranger Things, D&D has definitely come into mainstream popularity. (yay!)

I think that the author did a fantastic job of making D&D an integral part of the story without making it necessary for the reader to have played the game before. It is
Mikyla Meyer
Nov 08, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: middle-grade, fantasy
3 stars not because it was bad, but because (as Goodreads says) I liked it.
Let me start by saying I love DnD (although the oldest edition I've played is 3.5 and this is obviously referencing older editions) and it's great to see books for kids about this increasingly popular hobby.
It has great characters, fun premise. Just... I don't know. If what is written on their character sheet re: backstory, names, etc. was so important then it doesn't make sense they didn't also get their characters perso
Pat Cummings
Jan 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Adults, young adults and middle-schoolers
What if the universe of Dungeons & Dragons is the real one, and to relax after heroic quests and battling trolls, young people in that world play a non-adventure game called Homerooms and Hall Passes, in which they roll dice and consult charts to learn if they will survive in the stressful world of a suburban middle school? That's the premise of this witty, engaging story from Tom O'Donnell. You know, the creator of Hamstersaurus Rex.

To spin the story anti-clockwise from a myriad of D&D-insp
Joe Kessler
Dec 05, 2019 rated it liked it
This middle-grade adventure story is lightweight but pretty fun, tracking a band of thirteen-year-old heroes who get magically trapped in the setting of their favorite tabletop roleplaying game, which happens to resemble a middle school of our reality. I have some issues with the worldbuilding that keep me from embracing the novel wholeheartedly -- like how generic the characters' home realm is, or how the text is inconsistent on whether the players have access to local knowledge like computer s ...more
Scottie Draughon
Oct 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you’re a kid who likes Dungeons and Dragons or a parent who wants to get your kids into Dungeons and Dragons, this book is perfect. I, personally, am an adult who likes Dungeons and Dragons, and this book was marvelous.

Our five adventurers are, in fact, adventurers from a land where fantasy and quests are the norm. After a brush with a cursed object, they are thrust into a world they only know from their Homerooms and Hall Passes game books.


Welcome to D&D in reverse.

Now the adven
Dec 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is one to put on your gift list if you have a preteen or older young man in your life. It was just plain entertaining from start to finish. It’s like Jumanji in reverse—5 kids from a Dungeons & Dragons world get sucked into the “real” world—Middle School! The writing is great and the characters are completely entertaining. I COLed (chuckled out loud—is that a thing? It should be...) many times while reading.
Boys and girls alike would love it. I zipped through in a couple of days, but
Feb 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
I enjoyed the "pizza with yellow sauce" perhaps more than I should. The level of humor here brought me back to middle school. I also enjoyed how the characters grew, especially "Armando Boort", the exchange student from Canada. And "Oink Pop" was so compelling my son asked me if it was a real game. I suspect it is based on a real game, but I'm not all that familiar with mobile games so I wasn't sure what it was supposed to be a thinly veiled reference to. Overall a very compelling idea and lots ...more
Jun 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020-2021-msba
Sorrowshade, an elf, Thromdurr the barbarian, Devis the thief, and Vela the padadin, enjoy the role-playing game Homerooms and Hall Passes every week in the Wyvern's Wrist tavern run by their friend Albiorix the apprentice wizard. When Devis does his thing and steals a ruby from a dungeon, he sets a curse in motion that transports the gameplayers to J. A. Dewar Middle School. This book answers the question, what would happen if Dungeons and Dragons were real? This book is hilarious and I can't w ...more
Nov 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
I saw a review for this one on Facebook so I ordered a copy. I don't play D&D (never have) but I have many friends who do and many friends who did in high school and college. I get the gist of it.

I read parts of it out loud to a gamer friend and he laughed. He wants to borrow it next. He said that if he likes it, he'll get a copy to his sister who is raising his nephews to be gamers.

Our school has recently begun a D&D club; I'm probably going to order a copy for the club sponsor.
Dec 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: map-in-the-front
Man, this is another one that's hard to rate! I'd give it four stars for the clever humor, but for some reason, the story didn't hold my attention the way I'd have liked. It's a fun premise, and I like the characters, so I can't quite figure out why it sometimes felt like a slog. Pacing issues, maybe? Anyway, I'd say it's really a 3.5 star book, but I can't quite round up given how long it took me to finish.
Jan 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Well colored me charmed! What a *delightful* fantasy for middle grade readers. The characters were well drawn and motivated. Plus, the inhabited such a relatable setting, most readers will connect instantly. Clever jokes and hilarious hijinks -- so thrilled I got to read this.

Some authors take a fantastic idea and bungle the execution: not Tom O'Donell. Kudos on a fantastic adventure story. Highly recommend!
Shendel Haimes
Feb 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
NEW REVIEW: This week, Mrsreadforfun is very excited to share her review of Homerooms and Hall Passes by Tom O'Donnell.

When they are not fighting monsters, Al Biorix (the good wizard) and his mystical friends play a reality game called Homerooms and Hall Passes. Unfortunately, they get cursed and are stuck in the middle school. Failure to pass all classes means death! What will happen?
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Tom O'Donnell has written for The New Yorker, McSweeney’s, and several TV shows. Tom lives with his wife and kids in Brooklyn, NY.

Other books in the series

Homerooms and Hall Passes (2 books)
  • Homerooms and Hall Passes: Heroes Level Up

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