Scott Volz's Reviews > Schooled

Schooled by Gordon Korman
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's review
Mar 05, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: juv-novel, realistic-fiction, grades-6-8
Read in March, 2012

Mixing humor with more serious themes of family, identity, and cultural value (especially as they apply to the social dynamics of middle-school), Gordon Korman's Schooled tells the story of Capricorn (Cap) Anderson, a thirteen-year-old boy whose spent his life homeschooled and living on a commune with his hippie-throwback grandmother, Rain. When Rain falls out of a tree and breaks her hip, Cap has to live with a sympathetic social worker (who spent several girlhood years living in the commune during its heyday) and her not-so-sympathetic teenage daughter. Having never watched TV, handled money, or really interacted with other kids before, Cap is the epitome of a fish out of water. Worse, the popular students at Claverage(or C Average, at it's known) have a terrible tradition of electing the nerdiest kid in school class president so as to enact a special brand of torment. After Cap saves the day during a crisis, students begin to warm to his kindness and individual spirit, much to the chagrin of several members of the eighth-grade class.

A fast-paced read that tells Cap's story through the eyes of a number of the book's characters, Schooled embraces the idea of being different while at the same time understanding the social pressures of school and the bullying and cruelty that can result. Definitely a worthwhile novel for readers in the 5th to 8th grade range.

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