Rummanah Aasi


I had the pleasure in participating in the Teen Book Scene blog tour for David Yoo's middle grade debut novel. Much thanks again go to Teen Book Scene and Balzer + Bray for supplying me an advanced reader's copy of the book in order to provide you with an honest review.

Description: Peter Lee is about to enter the sixth grade. Much to his dismay, his popularity status from elementary school did not follow him to junior high. After several desperate attempts to regain his popularity back fire, Peter lands himself in detention, which he soon realizes isn't so horrible after all and may help him gain friends and alliances.

Review: Peter Lee isn't surprised to be accepted into the academically gifted program. He breezed through fifth grade without breaking a sweat. He and best friend Drew were popular because of their expert collecting skills. During dinner, Peter's perfect, older sister Sunny warns him that middle school's completely different, none of his elementary antics would work; she couldn't be more on the money. On the first day, Peter and Drew learn that no one followed through on their mica-collecting challenge from last year. There's no recess at school. Everyone seemed to have a growth spurt except for them. By the end of the day, Peter's pretty sure they're losers and begins to plan how he and Drew can regain their popularity.
 Peter and Drew think of all "outside of the box" ideas you could think of in order to get in the good graces of their classmates, but each attempt goes hiliariously wrong that makes us laugh and shake our heads. When Peter ends up in detention after disrupting class, inspiration strikes, though it jeopardizes his friendship with Drew. As if that's not enough, there is a thief plaguing the middle school.
 I liked Peter from the start. He is a cocky, know-it-all, lovable slacker. As Peter starts to berate and prey on his adorable best friend, I started to like him a lot less. Thankfully, we see Peter grow as his journey from totally self-centered loser to a team player is full with lots of bumps along the way(mostly of his own unwitting design). Interestingly, Yoo stays away from the academic scene and thus avoiding the model minority stereotype of his characters. Though Peter's sister, Sunny, seems like a model students she is not without flaws. I enjoyed getting to know Sunny, especially with her snarky attitude and wished she played a larger role in the book.
  I think older elementary students and tweens will see themselves and their peers in the halls of Peter's school. Though the book has a slow start and a meandering, predictable plot, I think many will find it enjoyable.

Rating: 3.5 stars

Words of Caution: None. Recommended for Grades 4 and up.

If you like this book try: No More Dead Dogs by Gordon Korman
1 Response
  1. Jenny Says:

    I don't read much MG so I think this one is going to be too young for me, but I love that Peter goes through some character changes, both good and bad, and you really get to see that progression. Lovely review!


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