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The 6th Grade Nickname Game

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Gr 4-6-Wiley and Jeff have been best friends for all of their 11 years. Notorious for the nicknames they have awarded the people in their school, they are quick to dub their new teacher, Mr. Hughes, the former high-school football coach with a booming voice and can-do attitude, Mr. Huge. However, their game soon begins to backfire. A bet with a classmate-that nicknames don't stick unless they fit-has unpredicted results. Cassandra, an interesting and attractive new student with a passion for wildlife conservation, seems to defy all labels. Wiley and Jeff's clever moniker for their class, the Dim Bulbs (as opposed to the Bright Lights for class 6A), has everyone believing that they are incapable of doing well on a state reading test, which puts Mr. Huge's job in jeopardy. As the two boys vie for Cassandra's attention, their nicknaming turns to name-calling and they find the stability of their friendship threatened. Throughout the twists and turns of the plot, Korman manages to keep the tone light and the dialogue amusing. Wiley and Jeff go to great lengths to one-up one another and although Mr. Huge's whistle-tooting classroom behavior may be a bit overblown, it's all in good fun. Best of all, this fast-paced novel with lots of laughs will have readers wondering, along with the main characters, exactly what is in a name.-Joy Fleishhacker, School Library Journal

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