Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Creature From The Seventh Grade

The Creature From the seventh Grade: Boy or Beast Twelve year old Charlie is a down on himself kid from Stevenson Middle School.  If he had to rate himself, he would be a zero.  Charlie is a part of the Mainframes (with friends Lucille and Sam) but aspires to be a part of the Banditoes clique. Charlie is however unpopular and Craig Dieterly, who has been terrorizing him since preschool, will never allow him to be a member.  One day during the middle of science class, Charlie finds himself turning into something from his favorite classic horror movies, a giant dinosaur.  With this new change, Charlie's life will never be the same.  The question is will things now be better or will he be stuck as a Mainframe for the rest of his life?

The story tries to tackle the message of bodily changes in middle school via a humorous transformation into a mutant dinosaur.  There is also the messages of excepting ourselves, fangs and teeth and all. Charlie to me seems overly preoccupied with cliques and scoring points in popularity to the determent of his friendship with Lucille and Sam.  The hardest parts of the book for me were that everyone treated Charlie normally after his transformation, well with the exception of his dog who apparently had the hardest time with it.  Also, somehow he was now cool and even drew interest of the popular group.  It seemed unrealistic that Charlie would tolerate Craig's continued bullying (he so would have been squashed like a bug) and I thought kids reading this book would see right through this. I however, can see how the cover, title and interior illustrations can be attractive draws to the book.  There are some nice references to movies like The Fly, Star Trek and even the Creature From the Black Lagoon, an OK 2/5 stars. Sink or Swim is the second book in the Creature from the Seventh Grade series with an expected release in 2013. 

Just for the record, copy of the book provided by Penguin publishing and won at Charlotteslibrary.blogspot. A big thank you to both 

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