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Gr 7 Up
Ian and Oswald like to orchestrate flash mobs-impromptu gatherings of strangers arranged on Facebook or by text messages. Whether organizing public pillow fights or staging standing ovations on street corners, the friends live for the five minutes of managing crafted chaos. Friend and student-body president Julia, however, finds their hobby a waste of time. When a new, militant principal assumes control of their school, the boys view his stringent discipline as helping to clean up a poorly run institution, whereas Julia, who dislikes the man because he lacks respect for the student council, feels his rules are domineering. After Principal Roberts cancels a dance, Julia coordinates a boycott of school for a day. Fearing suspension or losing Julia's friendship, Ian capitalizes on his own flash-mob tactics and mobilizes the pupils in the ultimate peaceful protest. Snappy, realistic dialogue; multidimensional characters; and an unpredictable plot (not to mention a hip, contemporary phenomenon) will have both reluctant and struggling readers madly flipping the pages. This fast-paced read is a good companion to Avi's Nothing but the Truth (Scholastic, 1991) as an example of an alternative type of student demonstration.-H. H. Henderson, Heritage Middle School, Deltona, FL
On the edges of the battle other people watched. THere were grown-ups holding their kids by the hand or loaded down with shopping bags, looking stunned or amused or confused. Some laughed and pointed, and others hurried away like they were scared. There had to be almost as many people watching as there were participating.
One of the pillows burst, and a million white feathers shot into the air like a billowing cloud! The crowd—watching and fighting—erupted into gasps and screams and laughter.