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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Schooled by Gordon Korman

Remember that post-modern theory about no original ideas? Well here’s another Beehive nominee that fits the bill. If Jerry Spinelli had written a Starboy to go with his Stargirl, I imagine it would be something like Schooled. A hippie commune-raised teen is thrown into public school without a clue about anything modern, technological, or pop-culture related. His social skills are negative zero since he’s spent his whole life on the farm where he only knew one person. Then, we basically follow the Stargirl Pattern: everyone hates him because he’s different, they ridicule and persecute, he doesn’t respond how they expect, and he ends up as the most popular kid in the school. Everyone decides that releasing their inner hippie could help make the world a better place after all. This is a charming tale of acceptance and popularity, told from many points of view including a social worker, the hippie-teen extraordinaire, most popular boy in the middle school, popular middle school girl, middle school loser/geek, etc. The major problem with the story: we’ve seen it before. This doesn’t mean it isn’t worth reading – goodness knows the teenage world can use all the messages about acceptance it can get. It does mean that it’s just not quite up to par for the Beehive Award.

1 comment:

  1. Stargirl...isn't really about acceptance. At least not in my opinion. I mean, she's accepted for a time... but, well. Also it had only one narrator. I was a big fan of the book -- I'd probably like this one.

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