Rob wants to start seventh grade with a whole new image. He wants to be known as a fairly average, normal guy. But normal might be a little too much to ask.
Because Robs has a problem. His family.
He comes from a family of weirdos. His five-year-old sister, Winnie, is a much-publicized, genuine genius. His mother adores Winnie-the-Pooh - -
and proves it by driving around in a van painted with pictures of Pooh, Rabbit and Piglet. And his father, an ex-surfer, can't even speak without saying things like "stoked," and "awesome," and "cowabunga!" - - especially in front of Rob's friends.
Life doesn't get any easier on Rob's first day of junior high, especially when he is recognized by the school bully, The Shark. Rob's doomed to be the weirdo for the rest of his life, thanks to his off-the-wall family, unless he can come up with a brilliant plan. But when his sister winds up in a dangerous situation with The Shark, he discovers there's no such thing as being perfectly normal . . .
VOYA: "…humorously accounts the trials and tribulations of Rob's first
year in junior high…Wardlaw unerringly hits upon one of the chief
fears of this age group: to be though weird by their peers. Her light
touch keeps a smile on your lips as you read. Sections cry out to be read
aloud to classes, especially at the beginning of a new school year. Also
recommend this book for self-esteem units."
Kirkus: "…very funny."
Booklist: "…the story moves swiftly, the hero is likeable, and the themes
of family solidarity and living according to one's values are important and welcome."
School Library Journal: "…[an] entertaining, sometimes touching story of self-realization…certain poignant moments between Rob and Winnie aptly touch the antithetical relationship between siblings, of affection versus aggravation…heartwarming…reminiscent of Jerry Spinelli's Space Station Seventh Grade, Wardlaw uses lighthearted humor to illustrate the inevitable conflicts within families."
Book Page: "…Wild and humorous situations…Wardlaw is a master of
Dialogue – she maintians a perfect balance of funny, fresh, playful and
realistic kidtalk throughout her books. She experesses the underpinning
psychology – that of coming to an authentic appreciation of self – through
Rob's growth and perceptions, avoiding the distancing didacticism that
prevails in many books for this age group."
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