Homeroom Diaries

( 19 )

Overview

In James Patterson's first highly illustrated "diary fiction" story for teens, the mega-bestselling author's most endearing and original teen heroine ever proves that everyone can use a helping hand once in a while.

Margaret "Cuckoo" Clarke recently had a brief stay in a mental institution following an emotional breakdown, but she's turning over a new leaf with her "Operation Happiness". She's determined to beat down the bad vibes of the Haters, the Terror Teachers, and all of ...

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Homeroom Diaries

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Overview

In James Patterson's first highly illustrated "diary fiction" story for teens, the mega-bestselling author's most endearing and original teen heroine ever proves that everyone can use a helping hand once in a while.

Margaret "Cuckoo" Clarke recently had a brief stay in a mental institution following an emotional breakdown, but she's turning over a new leaf with her "Operation Happiness". She's determined to beat down the bad vibes of the Haters, the Terror Teachers, and all of the trials and tribulations of high school by writing and drawing in her diary. And when life gets really tough, she works through her own moments of uncertainty through imaginary conversations with her favorite literary characters.

Cuckoo's also got a nearly impossible mission: she, along with her misfit band of self-deprecating friends (who call themselves "the Freakshow") decide to bridge the gap between warring cliques and "bring the Nations together". Not everyone is so willing to join hands and get along, but Cuckoo never stops smiling... until one of her closest friends, pushed to desperation by a Hater prank, decides that enough is enough.

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  • Homeroom Diaries
    Homeroom Diaries  

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

With more than a little help from her diary and her like-minded "Freakshow" friends, Margaret "Cuckoo" Clarke is recovering well from her emotional breakdown. So well in fact that she and her self-deprecating buddies have decided to somehow bring peace to the warring cliques of North Plains High. Of course, the Haters won't lay down their insults without a fight. This new illustrated "diary fiction" by mega-bestselling author James Patterson and his frequent co-author Lisa Papademetriou (Save the Cupcake; How to Be a Girly Girl) will please their growing armies of loyal readers.

Publishers Weekly
05/12/2014
Patterson brings the misfit theme of Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life and its sequels into edgier territory in this illustrated novel about a group of high-school outcasts who call themselves “the Freakshow.” The story unfolds through the diary of self-nicknamed Cuckoo, who was recently hospitalized after a breakdown, and teeters between emotional instability and self-assuredness. Cuckoo’s mother disappeared months earlier, her supportive foster mother dies suddenly, and her best friend attempts suicide. Buoyed by the Freakshow, her child-prodigy biology teacher, and her foster sister, Cuckoo uses intelligence, creativity, and humor to rebound, while also attempting to bring together the school’s feuding cliques. Filled with drily funny dialogue balloons and captions, Keino’s cartoons have a Bratz-doll-meets-notebook-doodle aesthetic (Cuckoo herself is sort of Goth-lite, with a shaggy haircut, dark wardrobe, and heavily made-up eyes), with imagined cameos from the likes of Holden Caulfield, Nicki Minaj, and Katniss and Peeta. An ardent advocate of happy endings, Cuckoo signs off with a strong hint she’ll return. Ages 12–up. Author’s agent: Robert Barnett, Williams & Connolly. Illustrator’s agent: Advocate Art. (July)
CommonSenseMedia.org
"The complex, clever plot keeps the pages turning as it wends its way to a surprising resolution and several cliffhangers."
The Bulletin
"Readers will be drawn inexorably into Tandy's world of paranoia and manipulation as they try to put the pieces together."
Children's Literature - Suzie Davis
Cuckoo Clarke (aka Margaret) is on a mission to “get happy.” After spending time at the local psychiatric hospital due to an emotional breakdown when her mother deserted her, she is now in an excellent foster situation with her kindly neighbor Mrs. Morris and she wants to get on with her life. Along with her friends, Eggy, Brainzilla, Tebow, Flatso, and Zitsy (affectionately known as the Freakshow), they want to attempt Operation Happiness at their high school. This is a major undertaking as they are dealing with their own problems of parental abandonment, death of a caregiver, attempted suicide, serious bullying and cyberbullying, and sexual assault. But, despite the odds, they are able to overcome their obstacles and find acceptance, forgiveness, unlikely friendships, and execute an amazing event. Written in diary format from Cuckoo’s perspective (writing a journal was recommended as part of her therapy process) this delightful novel runs the gamut of emotions from hilarity to despair but always keeps the reader coming back for more. The quirky and insightful illustrations enhance the story to make the characters even more endearing. Patterson leaves the ending open, suggesting there may be more Homeroom Diaries in the future. Reviewer: Suzie Davis; Ages 12 up.
From the Publisher
"Cuckoo is a well-developed and accessible protagonist.... Fans of the popular "diary fiction" genre (as well as those simply looking for an approachable and quick read) will find much to enjoy here."—School Library Journal

"Patterson brings the misfit theme of Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life and its sequels into edgier territory in this illustrated novel ... filled with drily funny dialogue balloons and captions."—Publishers Weekly

School Library Journal
06/01/2014
Gr 7–10—After a brief stay at a mental institution, Cuckoo Clarke is back in school and living with Mrs. Morris, her foster parent. Her best friends are a band of lovable misfits and they come up with a plan to unite the various factions of the student body (the jocks, stoners, mathletes, activists, Tolkien freaks, etc.) Even after some setbacks, they bring people together for a "Scream Out," an event that allows everyone an opportunity to open up, release tension, and ultimately discover that they have more in common than they thought. Overall this is a successful novel. Cuckoo is a well-developed and accessible protagonist. She is introspective and she copes with life's difficulties by spending a lot of time in her head and writing alternative endings to movies in her journal. Despite the fact that serious issues (a negligent mother, an attempted sexual assault, and an incident of cyberbullying) are at play, the lighthearted tone adds levity to the work. The novel is fully illustrated with humorous artwork that contributes to the story in a meaningful way. Fans of the popular "diary fiction" genre (as well as those simply looking for an approachable and quick read) will find much to enjoy here.—Julie Hanson, Chicago Public Library
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316207621
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 7/21/2014
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 71,951
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

James Patterson
James Patterson has had more New York Times bestsellers than any other writer, ever, according to Guinness World Records. Since his first novel won the Edgar Award in 1977 James Patterson's books have sold more than 300 million copies. He is the author of the Alex Cross novels, the most popular detective series of the past twenty-five years, including Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider. He writes full-time and lives in Florida with his family.
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    1. Hometown:
      Palm Beach, Florida
    1. Date of Birth:
      March 22, 1947
    2. Place of Birth:
      Newburgh, New York
    1. Education:
      B.A., Manhattan College, 1969; M.A., Vanderbilt University, 1971
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 19 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(10)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(3)

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Sort by: Showing all of 19 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2014

    After waiting so long for this book to be released I'm exited to

    After waiting so long for this book to be released I'm exited to say I was NOT disappointed. I pretty much loved Cuckoo right away, she's cool, she's funny and totally loyal to her friends and humanity despite having gone through some really bad stuff.
    As always James Patterson has delivered :) What I was amazed at was the brilliant artwork - I've never seen anything quite like this in a book before and it really worked for me, Keino's artwork is amazing. I can't wait for  the next book in the series.

    13 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2014

    Wow

    I litterally could not put this book down it took me onan emotional rollercoaster with the characters in this book. James patterson made thecharacters very relatable and they seem like regular people and I can't wait until the second one comes out

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2014

    Cool

    Can relate to my life in a few ways

    2 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2014

    Awesome

    Awesome

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2014

    Excellent plot with some great characters and amazing illustrati

    Excellent plot with some great characters and amazing illustrations.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2014

    I only red sampel but....

    Not as good as some of his other books:(

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2015

    Throwibpng . ? Throwing up in mouth

    So bad
    Had to give it a star tho

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2015

    Im going to read it

    Hope its good

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2015

    Book

    This book is terrible for kids13 and under. It has cuss words, suicide, depression, and a sexual attack on a girl. Do not read if your parents disapprove. There is also very inappropriate and disturbing pictures on every page.
    From a disapproving parent

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2015

    Great book

    This is the first book i have read from james patterson and im gonna read more. It is very hard for me to find a good author. I just found the perfect author

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2015

    Awesome book!

    I only got the free preveiw but going to get the full the full version! Had a great plot and good story!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2015

    Good Book

    Such a great book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2015

    I Also Recommend:

    This just might be one of James Patterson's most creative idea y

    This just might be one of James Patterson's most creative idea yet. Having an illustrated novel for teens
    was definitely a stroke of genius! The story is good too. Cuckoo has a voice that draws you in and keeps you hooked throughout
    the entire book. It was heartbreaking, it was hilarious, I think this book was very well written.
    James Patterson has done it again!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 14, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Kristine Hall for Readers' Favorite In Homeroom Dia

    Reviewed by Kristine Hall for Readers' Favorite

    In Homeroom Diaries, authors James Patterson and Lisa Papademetriou cover some heavy material in the very believable voice of main character, Maggie Clarke. It's junior year of high school, and Maggie "Cuckoo" Clarke has chosen optimism as her modus operandi. It doesn't matter that she had a mental breakdown after her mother abandoned her (hence the nickname Cuckoo), that the school counselor anxiously and almost enthusiastically awaits a relapse, that she and her "Freak Show" friends are bullied by the school's haters, or that even those who seem to have it together are teetering on the edge. Oh, and she may have a crush on her teacher and the feeling might be mutual. Despite the odds, Cuckoo and her Freak Show friends will choose happiness for not only themselves, but for the entire school -- come hell or high water.

    "Even trees go through sad times, but then they burst back to life. That will be me. THAT will be me." Cuckoo Clarke, as she prefers to be called, is an amazing narrator. (And on that note, Lauren Fortgang does an excellent job of reading, though as is often the case, her male voices sound a lot like Rudolph with his fake nose on his face.) Through Cuckoo's diary entries, readers are taken straight into the battlefields of high school, where even the teachers and school staff can be the enemy. Cuckoo navigates it all and strives to accept herself, faults and all, embracing what makes her unique, in part because she has the support of an incredible foster mother, Mrs. Morris. Patterson and Papademetriou quickly establish the deep love and respect between Cuckoo and Mrs. Morris, setting the stage for even more heartache. There are a few parts that are unrealistic -- two quick examples are a seventeen-year-old protégé being hired as a high school teacher and a student who attempted suicide being right back in school just days later -- but the writing is vivid and the messages are powerful. Cuckoo Clarke reminds readers that the bad doesn't have to define who you are, and that happiness -- even if you have to rewrite endings to find it -- is a life choice.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 6, 2014

    not so good. very boring

    not so good. very boring

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2014

    HNunhub. Hhnun xj nudn h ujhuunu h yy

    Uh unh nhb i nhh nnhnunuhj u hu u. Ju yhnunhhh unuubuhn aun m j nuunyu u hn uhnh ynu ininnbjjjjbuhnnhqxu. Nuujjbnn nnnbuhjuhnnhhnu. hhuh buun. U u.uhhhnbhj nujnun mui j. hu un jy j. Ubynhuhny

    0 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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