Schooled in our library sale section. This is my first Gordon Korman novel and I enjoyed every page.
Written from the perspectives of multiple characters, Schooled tells what happens when Capricorn, a hippie raised by his grandmother in a commune of two, is suddenly thrust into a modern middle school. All of the expected bullying and adjustment misunderstandings occur, but they never feel trite or condescending. This is all due to the excellent characterization of Capricorn. He is the heart of the novel and quickly becomes the heart of the school. I love that his innocence and kindness never wavers, even when people are being cruel to him.
"Assume Goodwill" was a buzz phrase among the staff at my former school. I am now realizing that we should have made more effort to say it to students as well. What could be a more important lesson for middle schoolers who are learning how to communicate maturely? Schooled would be a great book for the entire community to read and discuss. I would love to talk in small groups about how Cap persevered, what students think of the somewhat strange ending, and how this applies to their lives. On a less formal level, I will be recommending it to any student who loved Stargirl. I am so happy to have this book in my little library.