Tuesday, May 6, 2008



by Gordon Korman

Capricorn "Cap" Anderson has spent his entire life on what's left of a hippy-style commune. He has been home schooled by his fierce grandmother. His hair is long and shaggy and he wears homemade shoes. He's never seen a TV, rarely used a phone, and has had very little contact with the outside world. He doesn't know a single person his own age or even in his own generation. All that changes though when his grandmother is hurt, and she has to spend several weeks recovering. Cap moves into a foster home until she gets better.

Abruptly Cap is faced with modern life, and modern life in Claverage (C-Average) Middle School no less. The "popular crowd" quickly zeros in on Cap for bullying. As part of a prank, Cap is elected eighth-grade class president. An assistant principal looks the other way as Cap becomes target for spit balls, phoney press conferences in non-existent rooms, and other mean-spirited pranks. Through it all Cap stays true to the ethics of the sixties that his grandmother has taught him (All you need is love...and a little duck tape) and wins the heart of the student body. Of course, driving the school bus to the hospital in a police chase doesn't hurt his popularity either. Before long, Tai Chi in the morning on the school lawn becomes a social event and Tie-dye is the new fashion. When Cap goes missing just before the big dance of the year, chaos commences.

This book is classic Gordon Korman...funny, funnier, and even more hilarious with every page! Cap is a thoroughly likable character: kind and conscientious without a touch of malice. Which is good, because there is more than enough malice in the characters around him. All that changes with Cap's influence as each character undergoes a change of heart.

A fun, lighthearted read.

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