Eighth-Grade Superzero

Eighth-Grade Superzero

4.5 2
by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich
     
 

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In this terrific debut, a Brooklyn middle-schooler finds the superhero within himself thanks to old friends, new dreams, and a pair of magical "Dora the Explorer" sneakers. Ever since a deeply unfortunate incident earlier this year, Reggie's been known as "Pukey" McKnight at his high-intensity Brooklyn middle school. He wants to turn his image around, but he has other

Overview

In this terrific debut, a Brooklyn middle-schooler finds the superhero within himself thanks to old friends, new dreams, and a pair of magical "Dora the Explorer" sneakers. Ever since a deeply unfortunate incident earlier this year, Reggie's been known as "Pukey" McKnight at his high-intensity Brooklyn middle school. He wants to turn his image around, but he has other things on his mind as well: his father, who's out of a job; his best friends, Ruthie and Joe C.; his former best friend Donovan, who's now become a jerk; and of course, the beautiful Mialonie. The elections for school president are coming up, but with his notorious nickname and "nothing" social status, Reggie wouldn't stand a chance, if he even had the courage to run. (CONT.)

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Rhuday-Perkovich delivers a masterful debut, telling a layered middle-school tale filled with characters who are delightfully flawed and, more importantly, striving to overcome those flaws. Reggie McKnight has been saddled with the nickname “Pukey” thanks to a disastrous incident on the first day of school. Attempting to get through the rest of the year unnoticed, he spends his time with his best friends, political activist Ruthie (who shares Reggie’s Jamaican background) and aspiring rapper Joe C. While working on a project at a homeless shelter with his church’s youth group, he becomes increasingly interested and involved in the community, leading to his participation in his school’s presidential race, first as an adviser to a classmate, eventually as a candidate. Rhuday-Perkovich doesn’t take shortcuts, forcing Reggie to deal with a world in which he doesn’t always get the answers or successes he wants, and the book shines as a result. Messages of social justice—whether through church projects, parental discussions, or recognition of racial biases among his friends—complement the story and characters, rather than upstage them. Ages 10–14. (Jan.)
Kirkus Reviews
Though he imagines himself a superhero, Reginald McKnight threw up on the first day of school and acquired the less-than-cool nickname "Pukey"-now, he just wants survive the year "under the radar and on the sidelines." Readers might legitimately fear this will be just another middle-school tale of plastic vomit, "puke-worthy" cafeteria food and snorting milk out of nostrils, but when Reggie gets involved with a service project at the Olive Branch Shelter to document the lives of the homeless, he realizes that "[e]ighth grade isn't all there is to life." When Reggie runs for class president, his platform becomes getting students involved in the community, with the shelter as a good place to start-as tutors, painters, babysitters, walking partners and after-school helpers. A good-hearted, nuanced story of a young man who dares to be more than his place in a middle-school social hierarchy, a tale rooted in religious faith and social conscience, related with lively good humor. (Fiction. 10-14)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780545348447
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
06/01/2011
Sold by:
Scholastic, Inc.
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
970,030
Lexile:
640L (what's this?)
File size:
3 MB
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

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8th Grade Superzero 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Reggie would like nothing more than to spend all of his time with his best friend, Joe C., working on Night Man, their super-hero comic. The story ideas are all Reggie's and the artwork is Joe's. They are sure it's going to be spectacular. Something always seems to interfere with Reggie's plans. He somehow gets roped into acting as campaign manager for one of the most annoying girls at school. Vicky has him passing out flyers and putting up posters wherever there's a smidgen of empty wall space. Reggie has also started attending his church's youth group meetings. He's not really sure about the whole "God" thing, but he is finding the community service work surprisingly rewarding. The group is visiting a local homeless shelter and interviewing people about their experiences. Reggie is shocked to see a kid from his school using the shelter, and he finds himself connecting with him both there and at school whenever he gets a chance. His interview with an older homeless man inspires him to present the idea of more community service involvement at school. However, when he mentions his idea as a possible direction for Vicky's campaign, she is less than thrilled. Maybe Reggie should just run his own campaign. He thinks this stuff is important, but would it be possible to convince others of its importance? 8TH GRADE SUPERZERO offers a refreshing look into the world of middle school. There are the typical self-centered students, the bullies, and the jocks, but Reggie is an example of a misfit who just might have found a way to shine.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago