The librarians who select the books for the Sunshine State Young Readers Award Program do a fantastic job of picking books that will appeal to middle schoolers. But what impresses me most is the number of great books they choose with male protagonists.
I had never heard of author Gordon Korman, but a quick check at his website tells me that he has published more than 55 books with over seven million copies sold. Mr. Korman has written several series as well as lots of stand alone titles.
I loved reading SCHOOLED and found myself chuckling during most of it. Our protagonist Capricorn (Cap) Anderson grew up on a commune. His hippie grandmother, Rain, homeschools him and he has little contact with the outside world. When Rain falls and breaks her hip, Cap is forced to live with a middle school guidance counselor and attend middle school.
Because of Cap's weirdness, (he's never handled money, watched TV, doesn't own a cell phone, and dresses straight out of the 1960's), he is elected class president as a prank. What follows is both hilarious and heartwarming.
Tip for writers: The book is told from the viewpoints of several different characters. Each chapter starts out like this Name: Capricorn Anderson, Name: Mrs. Donnelly, Name: Hugh Winkleman. It's an effective way to get the inside scoop on all the major characters in this story.