Another winner by Gordon Korman! I enjoy his books so much! And I say this with no apologies because I’m fully aware that his target audience is middle school preteens. Even so, the messages are for everyone. In fact, I wish more adults would read his books.
Here we follow the journey of Capricorn “Cap” Anderson, a sensitive thirteen year old who has been raised and home-schooled by his grandmother. They live together on a modest farm, once a thriving commune, raising their own food and shunning the materialism that has overtaken society. But when Cap’s grandma is hospitalized, his world turns upside down. Now he must go to public school, navigate the social fabric of cliques and bullies, use modern technology, and learn Life’s harshest lessons, all while staying with his new social worker and her pretty but moody teenage daughter.
As you can guess, the mean kids immediately prey on Cap and exploit his innocence. As a joke, he is elected 8th grade class president and becomes the target of every prank imaginable. But is a prank a success when the “prankee” doesn’t react? With his calm demeanor, morning tai chi, and forgiving nature, Cap is no ordinary middle school student. Instead, he exudes generosity and positivity, qualities that eclipse others’ nonsense.
This story was a delight. Anyone of any age can see the subtext that peace and humility always win over violence and arguing. If you want to read a book full of humor and heart, I highly recommend this one. Read it with your kids, read it for yourself. Just read it.