Publisher: Scholastic Press
Number of Pages: 240
Published: April 26th, 2016
Published: April 26th, 2016
Why I wanted to read this: Slacker was a finalist for the Cybils MG Fiction award and I recall that Mrs. Yingling really enjoyed this book. Plus when I saw that cover at the library, I just had to read this.
Cameron Boxer isn't a hard worker unless you count working hard at not doing his homework. He would much rather spend his time playing video games with his friends and training for the East Coast gaming championships is his top priority. Yet, all this gaming is distracting him from everything else going on around him and it ends up having huge consequences when he practically burns the house down. Cameron's parents then lay down the law and tell him he needs to get more involved in school social activities. So, Cameron comes up with the idea for forming a fake school club to cover his tracks and the Postive Action Group is born. Certainly, this will keep his parents off his back so he can keep on playing video games. That is until word starts getting around about the club and people start really signing up. Cameron even has the school counselor pressuring him as the club president to get the group involved in some community service projects. Cameron's slacker days may be over unless he can come up with a way to break up the club. But, Cameron may not have to do anything when the Positive Action Group draws the attention of a rival group and they become embattled in a huge turf war.
As soon as I checked out Slacker from the library, my kiddo couldn't resist picking it up and reading the first chapter to me. That cover just says "read me." We giggled and laughed as the "great ziti inferno" began to unfold. Here's this kid who's mom gives him instructions while he's playing a video game mind you, there's lots of "yeah" "uh huh's" and then we know the rest, but the whole thing is just so amusing to read. Each chapter alternates between the various characters and shows the motivations for their joining the group. For example, Daphne wants to save Elvis, a beaver who was displaced when his home was destroyed, Mr. Fanshaw want's to use the group members to sell raffle tickets and Freeland Mcbean a.k.a String hopes the extra credit will increase his grades enough to get back on the team. There are chapters from fellow video gamers Chuck and Pavel and even Cameron's younger sister. It maybe about video gaming initially, but Slacker also delves into the idea of not just having virtual friends, but that there are more things out there waiting to be explored. Overall, I highly recommend this amusing read packed with kid appeal.
Favorite lines: "I have initiative," Cam defended himself. "It takes a lot of work to do as little as I've done for the past thirteen years."