Saturday, April 9, 2011

Kid Konnection: This Can't Be Happening at Macdonald Hall! by Gordon Korman

This Can't Be Happening at Macdonald Hall! by Gordon Korman
(Rated: C)
Scholastic Inc.
ISBN: 978-0545289245
Publication: May 2011
Paperback, 144 pages, Ages 9 -12

When I was a kid, I read all of Gordon Korman's books. I simply loved his wacky sense of humour. So I was thrilled when Scholastic decided to reissue this 1978 classic and sent me a review copy. I couldn't wait to share it with my daughter. I told her it was funny, although she looked at me a little skeptically when I showed her the book cover. (I wasn't crazy about it either.) By page 16, we were howling with laughter.

Bruno and Boots are best friends who share a room at Macdonald Hall, a prestigious school for boys. They are troublemakers who finally get caught and are separated by their Headmaster, a.k.a. The Fish. Bruno must now room with Elmer Drimsdale, a boy who keeps ants, goldfish, and plants, and performs scientific experiments in his room. Boots, on the other hand, is now stuck with rich and preppy George Wexford-Smith III, who is a hypochondriac. Of course, Bruno and Boots are determined to do anything to get their old room back. And so the pranks begin.

What my daughter and I really liked about this story is that Bruno and Boots are not spiteful or mean, just endowed with a great sense of humour and a knack for thinking up crazy ideas. Sure, there is slapstick humour, but to see my daughter burst into gales of laughter was priceless. The Headmaster and Miss Scrimmage (the Headmistress of the all-girl's boarding school across the street) are memorable characters too.

I rediscovered a favourite author by re-reading this book, which is the first novel by Gordon Korman published when he was just fourteen! I now plan to read all the books in the Macdonald Hall series with my daughter. If you are looking for a funny, laugh-out-loud book to share with your middle-grader, this one is a fun story, especially for reluctant readers. My childhood memories of giggling late into the night came back as I snuggled with my daughter and giggled at the same antics of Bruno and Boots, only this time, thirty years later...

I will count this book toward the following challenges: Middle Grade Book Challenge

Disclosure: Thanks to Nikole Kritikos from Schoalstic Canada for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.

Every Saturday, Booking Mama hosts a feature called Kid Konnection—a regular weekend feature about anything related to children's books. If you'd like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children's books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, visit Booking Mama.

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  1. I don't remember ever read a Gordon Korman book, but you enthusiasm makes me want to try some of his books.

  2. I've never heard of Gordon Korman and suspect I was too old for them when his books were published. There is nothing better than a book that makes you and your child laugh together.

  3. I just love Scholastic - they come up with the best stuff. This sounds perfect for my niece who is nine; thanks!

  4. Scholastic books are great! I wasn't familiar with this author and appreciate the review.


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