The Boy Who Owned the School

The Boy Who Owned the School

4.2 5
by Gary Paulsen
     
 

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Jacob Freisten's goal in life is to go about unnoticed. He's perfect at gliding past the jocks' lockers and sneaking into his English class. That was, until now. If Jacob wants to pass English, he must work for extra credit on the stage crew of the school production of The Wizard of Oz.

Jacob, who is usually in a fog anyway, has the the job of running the fog

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Overview

Jacob Freisten's goal in life is to go about unnoticed. He's perfect at gliding past the jocks' lockers and sneaking into his English class. That was, until now. If Jacob wants to pass English, he must work for extra credit on the stage crew of the school production of The Wizard of Oz.

Jacob, who is usually in a fog anyway, has the the job of running the fog machine. The problem is that Maria Tresser, the girl of his dreams, is cast as the Wicked Witch. Jacob's already made a fool of himself in front of Maria. How can he face her again?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Most of the action of this farcical novel takes place at the high school where Jacob Freisten's primary goal is to remain unnoticed. All too often this classic loser finds himself cornered by some bully. When he is not being stuffed inside a locker or a trash can, Jacob suffers other forms of humiliation that are relayed in a string of colorful anecdotes. While running laps around the gym, he accidentally tramples Maria Tresser, the most beautiful girl in the school. Cupid's arrow strikes, and Jacob's seemingly hopeless infatuation leads to one disaster after another; but he finally wins a date with the girl of his dreams. Although Paulsen's pace may leave some readers breathless, most will relish the sharp wit and incredible energy of this ironic glimpse of high school life and young romance. Ages 11-14. (Mar.)
School Library Journal
Gr 6-8-- Jacob Freisten, thin and freckled, the ``ugliest boy in history except for one,'' according to his own assessment, and a total clod to boot, has perfected the art of near invisibility, of being ``there but not there.'' He leads the kind of exaggeratedly painful life that requires careful timing and planning so he can avoid attracting attention; if people notice him, there's always a comic disaster. He even goofs up in his daydreams. His parents drink too much, his mother is devoted to his sister's blossoming career as a beauty contest winner, and he's close to failing English. His English teacher ropes him into working on the school production of The Wizard of Oz for extra credit, appropriately enough as the understage controller of the fog machine. This gives him an opportunity to work with Maria Tressor, the most perfect girl in the school, on whom he has a rapidly intensifying crush. But it's a mixed blessing. When it's time to fog, Jacob, the consummate timing expert, flubs it badly, and in the confusion he blurts his feelings out to Maria. She says an astonishing yes to his feeble invitation for a date, and romance blooms because, she tells him, he's a winner. This brief, humorous look at adolescent life, complete with distorted self-concept, is a departure from the intensity of much of Paulsen's work, but is no less of a survival story in its own way. The novel is told mostly through a third-person narrative with little conversation until the end, which has the effect of distancing readers; it becomes a gently ironic fable of transformation and first love, in which many readers will find themselves. --Leda Schubert, Vermont Department of Education, Montpelier

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780440405245
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
10/28/1991
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
85
Product dimensions:
5.32(w) x 7.59(h) x 0.32(d)
Lexile:
1070L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Three-time Newbery-winning author Gary Paulsen, hailed as "one of the best-loved writers alive" by the New York Times, divides his time between his ranch in New Mexico, a sailboat on the Pacific Ocean, and his dog-kennel in Alaska. He's written over 200 books for young people, stories that have been embraced by readers of all ages.

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Boy Who Owned the School 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
fireman2 More than 1 year ago
This book is more of a fun and relatable, book for some people. It really sends a message to the reader that it doesn’t matter what position you are in, that there will always be a better part of the story. Overall this was a good book to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Boy Who Owned The School What would you do if you couldn¿t talk to anyone ,or at least feel like it? In Gary Paulsen book the boy owned the school, Jacob (main character) is some what easy to relate to. A 7th grader having trouble in some classes, and nervous to talk to the girl he likes. His father and mother drink a bit and his mom only cares about his sister¿s blooming modeling career. School doesn¿t help either It¿s a great story about the revolution of an outcast. The boy who owned the school is very understandable though getting a little sketchy in some areas. Through the book Jacob talks about a place called death row in no relation to jail. He dosent explain directly what it was until he went in ¿here it goes walking down death row ,the jock lockers¿ The book is spoken in fast paced action,trying to be in school without being in school. Hidden from students and teachers alike. The book is in chronological order with a few minor flash backs. Jacob ,runs jumps, sneaks, and sits in the back of the English class but gets caught by the teacher. You should check out Gary Paulsen¿s book the boy who owned school. The story of the revolution of an outcast.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This Book was Fun to read....I liked it. I encourage everyone to read it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is an Out standing award.The Author of this book is great.Read the Book the Hatchet and find out for your self what an exciting book the Author wrote.