Adam Canfield of the Slash

Adam Canfield of the Slash

4.7 14
by Michael Winerip, Patrick Lawlor

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"Between laughs, readers will be prompted to think — about what constitutes truth, how the media massages it, and the importance of ethics, fairness, and getting the facts right." — PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (starred review)

Adam Canfield has to be the most overprogrammed middle-school student in America. So when super-organized Jennifer coaxes


"Between laughs, readers will be prompted to think — about what constitutes truth, how the media massages it, and the importance of ethics, fairness, and getting the facts right." — PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (starred review)

Adam Canfield has to be the most overprogrammed middle-school student in America. So when super-organized Jennifer coaxes him to be coeditor of their school newspaper, THE SLASH, he wonders if he’s made a big mistake. But when a third-grader’s article leads to a big scoop, Adam and his fellow junior journalists rise to the challenge of receiving their principal’s wrath to uncover some scandalous secrets. From a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and NEW YORK TIMES columnist comes a funny, inspiring debut that sneaks in some lessons on personal integrity — and captures the rush that’s connected to the breaking of a really great story.

Editorial Reviews

Adam Canfield, ace reporter for Harris Elementary/Middle School's paper, The Slash, smells a cover-up. The school's control-freak principal warns him to write only stories that "propel the Good Ship Harris forward," but he and his newspaper buddies uncover a few suspicious "holes in the bow": a hush-hush bequest, a scared-into-silence janitor, and pricey new gold fixtures in the principal's bathroom. Written by a Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist, this thriller featuring gutsy, smart, ethical cub reporters offers razor-sharp wit, edge-of-your-seat excitement, and admirable role models for kids today. (ages 8 to 12)
Child magazine's Best Children's Book Awards 2005
Publishers Weekly
Just where is all the news that's fit to print? Well, it may be right at Harris Elementary/Middle School. Lawlor gives energetic voice to Adam Canfield, ace student reporter and new co-editor of the school newspaper, The Slash, as he and his colleagues uncover one of the biggest stories not only at the school, but the whole town. Questions of ethics (should they expose a potential scandal involving their principal?), the propriety of the education system, and the number of organized extracurricular activities one kid can handle, are solid undercurrents to this fresh and often-funny story. In Lawlor's capable hands, the tale takes off to entertaining heights-in addition to Adam, his characterization of third-grade cub reporter Phoebe is particularly good. Winerip, a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for the New York Times, knows a thing or two about newsrooms and reporting, giving this recording a depth that can be appreciated by listeners of many ages. Ages 8-12. (June) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Over-programmed middle schooler, Adam Canfield, runs constantly and still runs late for all his activities. But he could not refuse his friend and love interest when she talked him into co-editorship of the school newspaper with her. With the help of a smart, assertive third-grader, they stumble upon the story of the century that involves everyone from the friendly janitor to the devious principal. They also break open a community story and Winerip reveals that even zoning issues can be hysterical and exciting when handled with his talent and wit. The snappy pace and great humor result in an appealing read for all ages. The characters are beautifully crafted, making them instantly likable or villainous or comic. The author captures a realistic middle school perspective on friendships with adults and peers. The searing eyes of the middle schooler will not respect adults who don't deserve it, but their enduring fairness will loyally support those who teach and treat them with dignity. This first novel for young people from a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist is an absolute laugh-riot, with plenty of serious things to say about people and American society. Even at over 300 pages, the story flies past, a definite must read. 2005, Candlewick Press, Ages 9 to 12.
—Kathryn Erskine
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-Middle schoolers will get a mini course in journalism in Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist Michael Winerip's first novel (Candlewick, 2005). Adam Canfield has trouble keeping up with his many activities, so he's apprehensive when his best friend, Jennifer, talks him into co-editing Harris Elementary/Middle School's award winning newspaper, The Slash. He likes being an investigative reporter, but isn't sure how he will handle assigning stories, editing them, and all reining in third-grade cub reporter, Phoebe. Phoebe's story about the school janitor uncovers potentially damaging information about the school's principal, Miss Marris. In an unobtrusive manner, the reporters learn about journalistic ethics and rules of conduct, such as fact checking, using multiple sources, and always seeking the truth. The co-editors eventually face expulsion as they get closer to the truth about Miss Marris. Winerip uses clever dialogue, sarcasm, challenging vocabulary, and engaging characters to shine a light on bureaucratic incompetence, racism, political correctness, the misuse of power, and the current fixation on standardized tests. Although some of Winerip's adults are flawed and hypocritical, others are portrayed as honest, helpful, and well-meaning. Actor Patric Girard Lawlor provides a lively reading, reflecting adolescent enthusiasm. He hits the right notes in creating unique voices for all of the characters. Those who like Carl Hiaasen's Hoot (Knopf, 2002), Tangerine by Edward Bloor (Harcourt, 1997), and John Ritter's The Boy Who Saved Baseball (Philomel) will like this story about two smart, inventive and ethical friends.-Jo Ann Carhart, East Islip Public Library, NY Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Intrepid elementary/middle-school newspaper reporters uncover scandals in this quick-moving, suspenseful and well-written comedy by an intrepid Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist. Overachiever Adam Canfield regrets agreeing to be co-editor of the school paper, but he has a crush on Jennifer, his fellow editor and he's committed to hard-hitting, courageous journalism. When a third-grade girl reporter shows as much spunk as him, he resents her, but follows up a story she's uncovered. He and Jennifer learn that their evil school principal is misusing school funds. Along the way, the kids deal with journalistic ethics and rely on solid reporting methods that may inspire some young readers toward journalism. Winerip's humor relies on campy, stereotyped villains and seems long at over 300 pages, but that's fine. The comedy scores and the writing zips along with real suspense, making this a fun, fast read. It's an excellent effort for Winerip's debut that should delight middle-school readers. (Fiction. 8-12)

Product Details

Brilliance Audio
Publication date:
Adam Canfield Series , #1
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.32(w) x 7.44(h) x 0.59(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Adam Canfield of the Slash

By Michael Winerip


Copyright © 2005

Michael Winerip

All right reserved.

ISBN: 0763623407

"Adam Canfield," said Mr. Brooks. "I need a word with you."

The teacher had his grade book open. He placed a sheet of paper under the row of boxes beside Adam's name. "Notice anything?" asked Mr. Brooks.

Over half of Adam's boxes had dots.

"Do you know what those dots are?" asked Mr. Brooks.

Adam was pretty sure he did, but was hoping against hope there was just the teeniest little chance they might be good dots.

"Class participation?" asked Adam.

"Tardiness," said Mr. Brooks. "We're three weeks into the school year,
Adam, and you've been late to my class ten times." It was true. Adam's row of boxes looked like it had caught the chicken pox.

He glanced out the door. Jennifer was waving frantically.

"I don't like to make too much of these things," said Mr. Brooks, especially with a good student, but--is there a problem, Adam?"

Was there a problem? Of course there was a problem. Adam was the most overprogrammed middle school student in America. He was on the verge of being enriched to death. The whole world plus Adam's parents were yelling at him to hurry up or he'd be late for his next activity. Late for baritone horn lesson, late for jazz band, late for marching band, late for the Math Olympiad club, late for the Quiz Bowl Gladiator meet, late for Geography Challenge, late for soccer, late for swimming, late for snowflake baseball, late forrunning club, and, yes, late for weekly rehearsals of the Say No to Drugs Community Players. No matter how hard Adam tried to concentrate on where he was supposed to be next, in the end he always seemed to be the late, late Adam Canfield.

And now, because he was getting yelled at by Mr. Brooks--his favorite teacher--for being late to World History, he was going to be late for the principal. Late for his meeting with Mrs. Marris! It was amazing how a few little problems could multiply and destroy a person.

ADAM CANFIELD OF THE SLASH by Michael Winerip. Copyright (c) 2005 by Michael Winerip. Published by Candlewick Press, Inc., Cambridge, MA.


Excerpted from Adam Canfield of the Slash
by Michael Winerip
Copyright © 2005 by Michael Winerip.
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Michael Winerip says that many of the stories in ADAM CANFIELD OF THE SLASH are based on his own experiences working as a newspaper reporter for thirty years. "I wanted to write a book about kids with super powers," he says. "So I gave Adam lots of notebooks and pens and a newspaper that would print his stories. Next, I threw in a few suspicious characters, then stood back and waited for some magic stuff to happen." Michael Winerip is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for the NEW YORK TIMES and is also the author of an award-winning nonfiction book for adults, 9 HIGHLAND ROAD. He lives with his wife and four children, who provide fresh material for his writing daily. ADAM CANFIELD OF THE SLASH is his first book for young readers.

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4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was assigned as my 7th grade summer reading. I loved it and would read it anytime just for fun also. It is easy to ready, age appropriate and age relevant. No inappropriate content, just good pre-teen adventures. Relatable characters and bits of humor mixed in. Recommended for other 6-8th graders!!!
Gricell More than 1 year ago
My nine years old son just finished reading it; he could barely put it down. He really enjoyed the book from the very beginning. He will be goint to 4th grade in the fall and hopes to inquire about starting a school newspaper. Great book he told me about it along the way; should become a series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I wonder if I am the only 6th grader similar to Adam?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book. Made sense.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
IT was an awesome book! It is hard to put down. It is the best book I've ever read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a very interesting book. It held my attention and lots of kids would enjoy reading this. It has and interesting twist at the end. A must read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
In the book Adam Canfield of the Slash Adam just became co-editor of his schools award winning paper, The Slash. He and the other co-editor, Jennifer, get a story from the evil and mean principle, Mrs. Marris, that a woman died and made a donation to the school. The co-editors also get a story that is about the janitor, but when Marris makes Adam take out a section about remodeling her bathroom, Adam and Jennifer get the feeling Marris is using the money not on the kids like it was supposed to be, but on her bathroom. The paper also gets a story on a zoning law that means no hoops in the front yards of people¿s houses. People go crazy and start petitions and a zoning lawyer even takes it court. In the Marris situation Adam and Jennifer talk to teachers and get all kinds of evidence that supports them in their theory. After having this in the paper Marris leaves the school without a trace. Also, the public wins the hoop battle and the hoops are saved. Adam and Jennifer became heroes. This book was very exciting and was a real page-turner. Although the main conflict could have been a little more realistic or interesting, this book was an overall good book. Adam Canfield of the Slash was really exciting and kept my attention. The Mrs. Marris mix up was a little unreasonable to me, but I guess anything could happen. The story was realistic fiction and maybe the basketball hoops in people front yards could possibly be a zoning problem. Maybe parts of this story could come true. This book was not paragraph after paragraph of description and it still let you picture the story in your head. It¿s a little vague, but I could still picture it in my head. The characters in the story were just like I would be. The great and fun educational game World Domination was taken away by Marris. Everyone was angry and wanted to do something. Real people would act like that. The Author has different writing style than other authors. Michael Winerip definitely has characters talk like the normal people would, the narrator even does! The characters even think like a normal person would. The story also has limited description. I can barley picture the story in my head. There are some words I don¿t know though. The Vocabulary is just right. I know most of the words, but not all of them. Also, I was able to find new vocabulary words for my reading journals.I would recommend Adam Canfield of the Slash to anyone. I would rate it a 9 out of 10. It was really exciting and not too much description, although maybe there wasn¿t enough. Also, it was realistic, but some parts were an edge. Overall, everything was great, but had just a slight problem.Finally this was a fantastic book that should last the ages. It was a total page-turner, but there were some slight errors. I hope you read this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Adam Canfield of the Slash is a story of two co-editors, Adam and Jennifer, who save their school by taking charge and telling people the real truth. Adam and Jennifer get a lead story and the truth ends up tearing their school apart. Adam and Jennifer go out on their own and try and understand what happened. They do their own research to learn about the donated money that Miss Minnie Bloch gave their school. As a team, they try and find out how the donated money was being spent for their school. They are tying to fin out answers for that story, while they also have to deal with the zoning board, due to the red-ticketing of basketball hoops. As they struggle with both stories, their school slowly unravels to the hard, cold truth. The characters in the story come alive. All of the characters seem realistic and create a vivid image in the readers mind. Phoebe¿s character seems like a typical whiney third grader, but actually she is much more than that. Adam gets annoyed easily with her squeaky, childish voice. She works hard as a new coming reporter. All of her articles deeply impressed Adam, considering she is only a third grader. When I was reading about her I can picture her sitting right beside me, chatting away. She is probably smarter than your average third grader, for example, all the other third grade crew members don¿t even finish writing their headline. Even though she was a minor character, she was my favorite character. I thought this book was humorous, but still a little suspenseful. I enjoyed reading this book! I gave this book an outstanding rating because I thought it was funny, mysterious, realistic , put together in one book! Adam Canfield of the Slash is a fun story with unexpected twists. It will make you laugh no matter what age you are.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wonder how many young listeners have heard a teacher speaking to them in a stern voice, saying 'I'd like a word with you.' Whether they have or not they'll surely relate to Adam Canfield who seems to spend a lot of his time in hot water. Voice performer Patrick G. Lawlor gives energetic voice to Adam as our hero muddles his way through school, and learns a few things on the way. Being the coeditor of a school paper, in this case, the Slash, is never easy. Somehow, his sidekick, Jennifer, knows much more about people pleasing, and a persistent third grade reporter turns out to have an advanced-for-her-age nose for news. The trio face a dilemma when their run-ins with Principal Harris appear to becoming out and out warfare. Question is whether or not the kids can face down this powerful who has broken more than a few rules. Highly recommended for upper elementary and middle schoolers. - Gail Cooke
Guest More than 1 year ago
Book Summary Title: Adam Canfield of The Slash Author: Michael Winerip # Of pages in the book: 326 Copyright Date: 2005 Setting: The setting of Adam Canfield of The Slash is in the suburban town of Tremble. The time period of the book is probably in the 21st century. This time period helps kids relate to the characters of the book. The action of the book takes place mostly in Harris Elementary/Middle School, Adam¿s house, and Jennifer¿s house. The main ways of communication are phone, e-mail, instant messages, and letters. Main Characters: The main characters of the book are Adam, Jennifer, Phoebe, and Mrs. Marris. Other important characters are Eddie the janitor, Mr. Brooks, and Danny, who all help in the plot. Adam is jumpy and is easily put over the edge. Adam is this way because he has a lot of things to do in a short period of time. Also, this ¿over programming¿ sometimes gets Adam into to trouble because he is usually late for class. Even though Adam is really over programmed he still has the time to be a good reporter for the Slash. Most readers would say that Adam like Jennifer in the book. Jennifer is outgoing and a natural leader. That is why she is the co-editor of the Slash along with Adam. Jennifer would do just about anything for the Slash. Most characters in the book accept that Jennifer is the leader of whatever they are doing. Adam and Jennifer are both the Protagonists in the book. Phoebe is outspoken and a little annoying. Adam especially thinks that she is annoying. However, she is one of the best reporters the Slash has and she is only in third grade. Lastly, Mrs. Marris is the antagonist of the story. On the outside Mrs. Marris seems like a very nice principal. Be that as it may when know one is looking she is mean person that curses and yells at children. Both Adam and Jennifer both think that Mrs. Marris is evil. Plot Summary: Rising Action: At the beginning of the story life is relatively normal for Adam. He has Math Olympiad club, the quiz bowl gladiator meet, baritone lessons, jazz band rehearsals, the geography challenge, and now he is the coeditor of the newspaper the Slash. Adam use to be the star reporter for Slash, but Jennifer convinced him to be co-editor. At first Adam was reluctant to take this job because he thought it would be boring. He also didn¿t know that it would involve a pesky third grader named Phoebe. Phoebe is obsessed with being a star reporter and writing a story on Eddy the Janitor. After repeatedly asking Adam for the story Adam finally tells her she can. Adam and Jennifer both have to meet with Mrs. Marris to talk about the Slash. Mrs. Marris tells them that they have to put in a story about how Miss, Minnie Bloch donated 75,000 dollars to the school. About a week later when Phoebe turns in her paper on Eddy, Adam almost cries according to Jennifer. This action immortalized Phoebe as a star reporter. Once again the editors 'Adam and Jennifer' have to meet with Mrs. Marris to turn in their rough draft. She finds that the rough draft doesn¿t have the Miss, Minnie Bloch story in it and is furious. Also, she takes out two important lines in the Eddy the Janitor story. They were, ¿His newest project is building Mrs. Marris a set of cabinets for electronic system she¿s having installed in the principal¿s office. He is also remodeling her bathroom.¿ They didn¿t know why she did it, but they do know that she is hiding something. Climax: The climax begins when Mrs. Marris begins to yell at Adam and Jennifer because they didn¿t put the Minnie Bloch story in. The editors thankfully get out of there. When Jennifer gets home she e-mails Adam about what she thinks Mrs. Marris is up to. Her theory is that Mrs. Marris is using the money to have an expansive bathroom right next to her office. They know this because for one she took out the two lines in the Eddy the Janitor story. Also, they told Eddy the Janitor their theory and he said that is fit. Their last tip off wa