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The School Story


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About the Author

Andrew Clements (1949-2019) was the author of the enormously popular Frindle. More than 10 million copies of his books have been sold, and he was nominated for a multitude of state awards, including a Christopher Award and an Edgar Award. His popular works include About Average, Troublemaker, Extra Credit, Lost and Found, No Talking, Room One, Lunch Money, and more. He was also the author of the Benjamin Pratt & the Keepers of the School series. Find out more at AndrewClements.com.

Brian Selznick is the author and illustrator of the bestselling The Invention of Hugo Cabret, which was awarded the Caldecott Medal and was a National Book Award finalist. He is also the illustrator of many books for children, including Frindle and Lunch Money by Andrew Clements, as well as the Doll People trilogy by Ann M. Martin and Laura Godwin, and The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins by Barbara Kerley, which was a Caldecott Honor Book. Mr. Selznick divides his time between Brooklyn, New York, and San Diego, California.


Gr 4-6 Actress Spencer Kayden does a wonderful job reading Andrew Clements' upbeat story (S&S, 2001) about Natalie, a sixth grader who has written an amazing short novel with a school setting, The Cheater. Natalie's dynamic and enterprising friend, Zoe, thinks that the novel should be published. Natalie's dad died unexpectedly, and what moves Zoe about the story are the passages about the love between a father and child. She convinces Natalie to pursue publication. Taking on the pseudonym of Cassandra Day, enlisting the help of her English teacher, and passing Zoe off as her bold agent, Natalie sends the manuscript to the publishing company where her mother works as an editor. Clements includes facts about the children's book industry as the amusing yet surprisingly poignant story unfolds. Kayden handles the touching scenes between Natalie and her mother quite well, but really shines as the exuberant Zoe. This pushy and excitable character almost steamrolls the novel with her comic antics, but Clements knows instinctively when to pull back and let Natalie's story prevail. Although things work out a bit too easily for Natalie, Clements' empathy for the characters makes The School Story work. Kayden's reading is energetic and fun, especially when she tackles the story's comedy and brings to life various New Yorker types. -Brian E. Wilson, Evanston Public Library, IL Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

In a starred review, PW called this book about a 12-year-old aspiring author a "standout. Indeed a `school story,' this is at heart a tale about the love between a father and a daughter." Ages 8-12. (Sept.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

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