Author: Gordon Korman
Reading level: ages 9-12
Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Scholastic (2007)
Homeschooled on an isolated "alternate farm commune" that has dwindled since the 1960s to 2 members, 13-year-old Cap has always lived with his grandmother, Rain. When she is hospitalized, Cap is taken in by a social worker and sent -— like a lamb to slaughter -— to middle school. Smart and capable, innocent and inexperienced (he learned to drive on the farm, but he has never watched television), long-haired Cap soon becomes the butt of pranks. He reacts in unexpected ways and, in the end, elevates those around him to higher ground.
Gordon Korman has a knack for odd characters that buck the system of teen "normalcy." This is no exception. Cap, or Capricorn Anderson, has been living on a commune with his grandmother Rain. At this point, there are just two of them left, so when Rain gets hurt and breaks her hip, Cap must leave his sheltered life and go to middle school. He sticks out like a huge bullseye of weirdness, but Cap has a lot to teach the students of C average middle school. High interest, low readability, appealing voice.
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