Off the Shelf 0708-1
By David Lubar
Imagine making all the tough transitions facing high school freshman AND discovering your parents are expecting another addition to the family! Scott copes with that and more as he tries to impress the star football player’s girlfriend and keep his lunch money away from the senior bully. As the story moves quickly through Scott’s 9th grade, one appreciates both the humorous situations as well as learning experiences that ‘befriend’ the main character.
The author’s writing style is diverse as he goes from simple narrative to Scott’s journal entries of advice to his yet unborn sibling. Also interspersed are Scott’s observations of life in the form of lists, such as, his “Field Guide to School-Bus Drivers,” where he expertly characterizes the ‘Beginner’, the ‘Shouter’, the ‘Ex-hippie’, and the ‘Retired City-Bus Driver.’
Since English is Scott’s favorite subject, the references to reading, writing, and learning are especially entertaining. For example, he learns about “Tom Swifties” (p. 34) – the word game of creating sentences with clever meanings and he unwittingly finds alliteration and metaphors in writing the sports column for the school newspaper.