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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Nerds, Robots, Cheerleaders, Elections for Class President, and Plans Gone Awry (All Wrapped in a Graphic Novel)

Shen, Prudence; Hicks, Faith Erin (2013) Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong.  New York:  First Second

     This is Shen's first book (though, of course, Hick's has proven herself again and again) and for the first attempt out of the gate, I'd say it is a really good story.  Charlie is the captain of the basketball team.  Because of his dorky friend Nate, he finds himself drawn into a competition for budget money between the cheerleaders and the robotics team.  Charlie also finds himself running for student body president and trying to figure out how to deal with his divorced mom and her fiancé coming to his Dad's for thanksgiving.  He also needs to figure out whether to continue dating the cheerleader who doesn't seem to care abut him for anything other than his status, or find out a bit more about the girl on the robotics team, Joanna. 
      Maybe that story sounds a little cliche'd or trite, but it actually does work.  You find yourself rooting for certain characters and against others. The only drawback for teachers who want to include this in their class library is that there is some beer drinking, vulgar language, obscene gestures, and brief references to having sex with goats. That sounds pretty bad, but in the context, it really isn't such a big deal.  That is going to make the book kind of a hard sell for parents, principals, and other authority figures.  I doubt it will bother your students much -- but adults might not be so understanding. 

1 comment:

  1. It's interesting you mention the language and gestures being an issue, because I read this book only a few weeks ago and already forgot about them. I just didn't see it being a barrier for teen readers, so I didn't pay much attention to it. My issues with this book were that it felt rushed towards the end and that we didn't get enough about reparations with Charlie's family. Overall, though, it was a fun, quick read and felt like an episode of a teen sitcom, which I feel would really appeal to some readers.