Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Friendly Middle School

Report to the Principal's Office is the first in Jerry Spinelli's school daze books. I read a later book, where the four kids are already friends, but in this one they are meeting each other and their new junior high. I found the principal deeply unbelievable, because he was so darn nice and so darn willing to embrace the unconventional. There is only so much quirkiness I can take, and in kids books I prefer the adults to be grounded in reality because really, who cares about them anyway? When I was a kid, I thought making the adults fun just seemed like the sad grown-ups who kept trying to be with-it. Now I'm an adult and I know better.

On the plus side, I really liked Eddie, the shrimpy kid whose greatest ambition is not to get beat-up that much. The other kids, the confident pickle inventor, the ambitious writer, and the rebel with a best friend, where too obviously painting their labels, but I hope in the other books Spinelli can relax and just tell the story, now that he's established who the characters are. C+, but with hints of improvement.

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