Book Review of Schooled


Pascal St. Aubin

Schooled, by Gordon Korman.

An idea came up after a heated discussion in Mrs. Kracker’s class. In class, we did an assignment where we had to give our opinion on the ending of the 7th grade independent reading book, Schooled by Gordan Korman. We both had very different opinions of the ending and the book as a whole. Now, through the power of journalism, we decided to express our opinions for the satisfaction of you, the reader.

★✩✩✩✩ Review: by Gary Ryznar
Oh, boy. This is by far one of the worst books I have ever been assigned to read, and definitely the worst I’ve read at my age level. Schooled isn’t entertaining due to its overused cartooniness, but let’s start off with the writing.
I can’t not point out the character names. Capricorn? Winkleman? Rain? I already did not take this book seriously if that was even the point. The idea of the perspective from character to character changing every chapter is interesting, but it just feels like one guy possessed 10 characters. They all sound exactly the same. The writing itself is Simile-Con 2007. Cap’s “hippie” character feels insultingly cliche. Why is Naomi even there? Most characters are single-use plastic bags that are only used to carry Cap through the book. The story starts off slightly promising, but it completely butchers the end of the rising action, the climax, and the resolution- THE MOST IMPORTANT PARTS OF THE STORY! This is where my main grudge is, so bear with me.
Hugh ends up being manipulated by Zach, so Hugh dresses Cap as a player from the other team. How did Cap dress himself and not notice he was wearing the wrong colors, I will never know. When Cap finally realizes he is dressed as the rival school, the football team’s main instinct is to tackle him. Were they preparing to tackle anyone who wore a different school’s uniform? “Who cares?” said Gordan Korman. So now Darryl, Zach’s old friend on the football team, wants to punch Zach. Then Cap takes the hit for Zach, sending him to the hospital with a broken nose. After a few days, one girl says, “Hey, what if Cap’s dead?” Now the whole school thinks Cap is dead, except for two people (good judgment from Zach and Hugh- a punch to the face wouldn’t kill Cap). If Cap was really dead, wouldn’t Darryl be thrown into juvenile hall for murder? Anyway, skip a funeral, Cap is fine, blah blah blah. Wish I wasn’t acting that way about the climax, but it was just so predictable and boring.
This is my massive grudge against the story. The resolution. Cap is arrested for underage driving for the third or fourth time, and when Rain comes to pick him up, She’s wearing fancy designer clothes and a fancy hat as she parks her fancy car. As it turns out, she sold Garland Farm. Why? She wanted to make Cap happy. Now they have 16 million dollars and Rain bought a fancy condo that probably has power outlets. Now only does this go against the family’s wishes and culture, but it also goes against the lesson Cap learned earlier in the story from the checks fiasco that money doesn’t appear out of nowhere. Now they’re rich. “We’re rich” is literally a piece of dialogue from this chapter, and I wish it wasn’t.

★★★★Pascal St. Aubin
In my opinion, the book Schooled was a great read, and for anybody who has not read the book yet, (it is assigned reading in 7th grade English), I recommend reading it. It is a good read because it is nostalgic, lighthearted, and well-structured. It is true that it is unrealistic and that some characters such as Rain and Capricorn could have never lived the lifestyle they supposedly chose, but the story and comedy were there.
One of the best and most features of this book is nostalgia. The main character and his grandmother live a lifestyle isolated from the world, still living as if it were the 1960s. Many people associate this time period with different things, such as the Beatles, Peace and Love, Hippies, and other things. The collision with the present-day world is a great addition to the story because it compares and contrasts how much people and culture have changed. The characters are genius, and they fit together perfectly, like pieces in a jigsaw puzzle. Capricorn, (I do agree that it is an odd name), is accurately represented as someone who is raised in the 1960s and is thrust into the present (2007) without any warning and little prior knowledge.
Gordon Korman assembled the story amazingly, combining sheer wit with comedy. It can be observed how the view of Capricorn Anderson grew
through respect and evolving admiration instead of looks, wealth, or athletic ability. In the end, the reader experienced a pitfall when Cap was “sucked back into the world of Garland.” For once, I do have to agree with my rambling fellow author, Gary; the end is unrealistic. However, it is a happy ending that ties up loose ends.