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If a Tree Falls at Lunch Period
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If a Tree Falls at Lunch Period

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  2,697 ratings  ·  421 reviews
Two worlds collide in one compelling story set in a suburban American middle-school. Kirsten's world is crumbling. Her parents are barely speaking to one another and her best friend has come under the spell of the queen bee Brianna. Walker's goal is to survive the new very white private school his mom has sent him to because she thinks he's going to screw up like his cousi ...more
Hardcover, 216 pages
Published September 1st 2007 by Harcourt Children's Books
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Average rating 3.52  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,697 ratings  ·  421 reviews

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Yeah, no I did not like this one. Characters were bland stereotypes. I thought the major plot twist about 2/3 through would save it, but it only emphasized the incomplete ending. The author expects too much of her readers (think: what is my demographic?) with her abrupt ending. Perhaps she is crafting herself a sequel, but still. Also, the chapters are alternately narrated which is usually a technique that works... except in this novel. Kristen's chapters are in the 1st person while Walker's are ...more
Jul 14, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: getting-rid-of
I hated this book, I had to read it for school and I love to read but when I read this only a few words came to mind, racist, non christian, bullying, bad behavior, foul language, literal. I didn't like it. Any kids that are out there, don't read this. All the boys going into 7th grade like me had to read this, and boy they will be asking questions about stuff now after reading this. My friend asked me which summer reading book she should read, I told her not this one then she said I was going t ...more
Jul 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
I wasn't sure I was going to like this book so much, but it totally captured me, resulting in me staying up later than I should've because I had to read more.

One thing I really like about this book is that the author lets the little moments be. There are many times in the book where a character will do or say something that strikes you hard and leaves an imprint, but they aren't persued to death, which I found really nice.

The characters in this book are very well done. I actually got REALLY an
Aug 23, 2019 rated it liked it
was not expecting that twist in the story. a good one though.
Grace Gotelaere
Feb 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
I thought this was a very good book. I did enjoy reading from Kirsten's point of view better than Walk's perspective though. My favorite part was the end because it was very joyful.
Keida Avdo
Jun 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was so good. I absolutely loved it. It definitely surprised me. I am not giving it away, you just have to read it.
Cassie Kugel
Sep 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The book is about this girl that is having a tough time during her first year of high school. She is being picked on and she has a problem with food. The important characters are: Walker and Kirsten. Walker is a tall guy and his mother is very protective over her new car and she makes sure it doesn't get a single dent or scratch every time she gets in and out of the car. Kirsten, her family is a normal family she has a sister named Kippy, she lives with her mom and dad and they consistently figh ...more
Mar 18, 2014 rated it did not like it
I was browsing the audiobooks section of the library and happened upon this book, by the author of another book I've been interested in reading for a few years now: Al Capone does my Shirts. I hadn't heard of this one, but it also seemed to have an interesting title, so I thought I'd give it a try. Unfortunately, this whole story was really messed up, in my opinion. There are plenty of periods in my life that are nostalgic for me. I remember them with fondness and sometimes feel a wish to return ...more
Jul 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
I liked it! Nothing Earth shattering, but enjoyable story with wide array of characters. Some mature themes featured in the book.
Yareli Becerril
Jun 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Really good book, I can't believe some of the stuff that happened.
Mar 08, 2019 rated it it was ok
This book was not what I was hoping. It was boring to me and the only thing that was surprising was such a quick reveal. I didn't like the characters and just found it to be a blah story. Not for me.
May 27, 2020 rated it it was ok
Hard to like anyone in this book which ruins the story for me.
Apr 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'm not getting the ending. :\
Apr 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book was about Kirsten and Walk. They are 2 middle or high schoolers (the book doesn't say which), that are friends. The books chapters express each characters points of view,and tells how each character became, friends, classmates and things I wouldn't want to reveal.

Theme: A true story of heartache, friendship, and how the past can come back to the future.

Character Strengths: Walk: Social Intelligence, Kirsten: Kindness, any many more character express their strengths.
Aug 03, 2011 rated it it was ok
This book frustrates me. I wanted to really like it. The characters were likable, and unfortunately for me, easy to relate to. I was the fat kid in school, too. (granted, now I am the fat adult, but that is another story.) So I understood what Kristy was going through. But the story was awkward and frustrating. Like, why choose to write in 2 voices (Kristy's story and Walk's story) but have one speak in first person, but the other not? It was weird. Also the end felt like she just picked a rando ...more
Jun 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As with all the other books I read by this author, the story is told with humor and respect for young people and the issues they face. This story deals with girl bullies, eating disorders, race relations, illegitimacy, and parental marital issues. The characters are fully realized students at an exclusive Bay Area private school where the the students are mostly rich with a few that are scholarship students and classified as "poor". This divide causes problems for the two main characters, who te ...more
Isabella Malek
May 05, 2015 rated it it was ok
All Kirsten wants is for things to go back to the way they were before summer started, but now her parents are hardly on speaking terms, and something fishy's going on with her best friend Rory and school queen bee, Brianna. Kirsten meets a new student named Walker, and together, they find out something that their parents have always tried to hide. If a Tree Falls at Lunch Period is a story of truth, acceptance and friendship.
Jan 04, 2008 rated it it was ok
I grabbed this one at the library since it was written by Gennifer and I really liked Al Capone, but I was somewhat disappointed. She pulled plot points out of no where.
Erick Amaya
Feb 21, 2018 rated it liked it
This book is a great book for people who like a nice book to read. The characters are funny they are great. IT is a great book for 5th-7th graders to read.
Feb 15, 2018 rated it liked it
If a Tree Falls at Lunch Period by Gennifer Choldenko is about a new year at Mountain middle school. It’s new for Walk, the only African American kid in seventh grade, and for Kirsten, who is losing the brightness of her school days. The friendship between Walk and Kirsten grows strong, but when she comes across a dark secret, it could change not only her friendship, but the whole of their lives. This was an okay book. It was very interesting, and read it in 2 hours, but I didn’t get how the tit ...more
Mar 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I think the theme of this story is too never let hard times get you down and to respect the people who have your back and respect you.
Daniella Spriggs
Oct 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If a Tree Falls at Lunch Period by Gennifer Choldenko was a amazing book. It’s about this academic competition, if your not rich, you are nothing. Friends were also good to have. The main Characters are Walker and Kirsten, luckily they had each other. How they met was when they were both late for class. Walk was a good fancy man. Kirsten was a overweight girl. She wanted to look her best friend Rory. I thought this was a good story because it was funny. I recommend if you like funny books.
Fantasy and Felines
This book was, in fact, really good. The characters and the plot were what let me down. It started off really well, and then my love for the book slowly declined as I got further in to the book.
Anne Crotty
Oct 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-lit
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The 5-star article, “If a Tree Falls at Lunch Period” written by author Gennifer Choldenko is a great read. The story is about 2 kids in the 7th grade, at a school where popularity is everything. But luckily, Walker and Kirsten have each other’s back. All seems well when all of a sudden, Kirsten stumbles across a secret that can disrupt the friendship not only with Walker but their entire lives. This is the first book I've read from Gennifer Choldenko, and judging from the book, she is very hum ...more
Dec 20, 2007 rated it liked it
In my magical journey through children's literature, I rarely come across much writing dealing with the other end of an eating disorder. In this here book, the author of the acclaimed, (but unread, at least by me) Al Capone Does My Shirts touches on the emotional roots of overeating. Kristen is a sheltered & affluent kid, but of course that doesn't mean she won't have problems. Sadly, food becomes her means of dealing with her parent's obviously dissolving relationship.

Kristen's mantra at the op
Jan 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
it was really good,and inspiring,about who you are on the inside. RECOMMENDED
Sep 23, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: romance, young-adult
This book is about the young teenager Kirsten who is having trouble with her parents fighting and when the school year starts up to a very bad start, it only gets worse. The popular but mean girl Brianna thinks she owns Kirsten and her best friend Rory, making them addicted to her. But Kirsten doesn't take long to snap out of the trance, when Brianna insults Kirsten's size. You would think she finally got rid of all her trouble when Brianna is gone, but she discovers something much worse after t ...more
Jul 21, 2008 rated it really liked it
I do wish Goodreads allowed you to give half stars, because I really only want to give this three and a half--but I'm erring on the side of generosity, because I think Choldenko is such a terrific writer. This is the third novel of hers I have read and really enjoyed. Top marks still go to "Notes from a Liar and Her Dog" (which also wins my prize for Worst All-Time Parents in a middle years novel, although Kirsten's mother in this one veers close at times!).

Choldenko handles school dynamics real
Mimi 'Pans' Herondale
Personally I thought I would like it better second time around... no such luck. I liked it less and therefore have changed my rating to two stars.
I didn't like Walk. I am going to be honest right now. Walk was a jerk. Kirsten was nice and I quite enjoyed her character but Walk was just...a little bit racist against white people.
(view spoiler)
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