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5.0 1
by Gordon Korman

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Cameron Boxer is very happy to spend his life avoiding homework, hanging out with his friends, and gaming for hours in his basement. It's not too hard for him to get away with it . . . until he gets so caught up in one game that he almost lets his house burn down around him.


It's time for some serious damage control--so Cameron and his friends invent a


Cameron Boxer is very happy to spend his life avoiding homework, hanging out with his friends, and gaming for hours in his basement. It's not too hard for him to get away with it . . . until he gets so caught up in one game that he almost lets his house burn down around him.


It's time for some serious damage control--so Cameron and his friends invent a fake school club that will make it seem like they're doing good deeds instead of slacking off. The problem? Some kids think the club is real--and Cameron is stuck being president.

Soon Cameron is part of a mission to save a beaver named Elvis from certain extinction. Along the way, he makes some new friends--and some powerful new enemies. The guy who never cared about anything is now at the center of everything . . . and it's going to take all his slacker skills to win this round.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this highly entertaining tale from Korman (Masterminds), eighth grader Cam Boxer lives for playing video games with his two best friends. When he ignores his mother's dinner instructions while playing, resulting in the fire department breaking down the door and a house that smells like burnt ziti, Cam's parents' threats of pulling the plug on his gaming push him to create a fictitious school club. Cam's goal with the Positive Action Group is to mollify his parents without actually doing anything, so he's horrified when students and faculty latch on to the concept and club. Cam's irritation with the club's popularity provides lots of laughs (" ‘Well, I'm the president,' I grumbled, ‘and I still say that the Positive Action Group doesn't exist' ") as the story unfolds via the perspectives of multiple amusing characters, including classmate Daphne, who wants to save a homeless beaver; Mr. Fanshaw, a guidance counselor who feels that his hour has finally come; and Jennifer, an ultra-achieving high school student who feels threatened by Cam's club's success. Upbeat, inspiring, and full of Korman's signature sense of humor. Ages 8–12. (Apr.)
From the Publisher

Praise for Swindle:

"Scary, funny, and hysterical adventures!" -- Chicago Tribune

"Pure fun from top to bottom." -- School Library Journal

Praise for The Hypnotists:

"Fast-paced... an entertaining mix of intense action and goofy fun." -- Publishers Weekly

Praise for Ungifted:

"A gem for readers looking for a book where the underdog comes out on top." -- Voice of Youth Advocates

"Funny and insightful." -- Publishers Weekly

Praise for Schooled:

* "This rewarding novel features an engaging main character and some memorable moments of comedy, tenderness, and reflection." -- Booklist, starred review

School Library Journal
Gr 4–7—Korman's many fans will not be disappointed with this latest novel. Cameron is a gamer; he doesn't like to do anything else. Spending every moment he can playing video games, he sometimes gets carried away. This is how the kitchen burns down and he loses his gaming privileges. His parents decide he needs to get involved in a group and interact with other kids his own age. So he and his friends create the Positive Action Group as a front so they can simply continue gaming. Things get hairy when people become interested in actually joining the group and it gets a faculty advisor. Suddenly the fake group has become very real. Korman has a talent for writing engaging characters in wacky, laugh-out-loud plotlines. This story is told through multiple perspectives, though it is Cameron who stands out. He talks and acts like a real gamer, lending the high jinks an undercurrent of authenticity. As the Positive Action Group becomes real, things begin to change for Cameron as he learns the value in helping others. VERDICT Short chapters and chuckle-inducing moments give this book a charm that is hard to resist. An excellent pick for reluctant readers.—Patrick Tierney, Dr. Martin Luther King Elementary School, Providence, RI
Kirkus Reviews
What could get the "Leonardo da Vinci of slackers" off his gaming couch? Thirteen-year-old Cameron Boxer's worked hard on his "lifestyle": minimal effort at school and maximum time perfecting his gaming skills. His goal? Winning the Rule the World tournament with one of his two best friends, technical genius Pavel or loyal Chuck…but they have to avoid Evil McKillPeople, a Canadian gamer who for some reason has it in for Cam. Then the Great Ziti Inferno (Cam was too busy playing to take the ziti out of the oven as instructed) causes Cam's parents to insist he unplug and do something with his life. The friends cook up a fake club, the Positive Action Group. They make Cam president and put a page on the school's website, attracting the attention of do-gooder Daphne, who wants to save a beaver, class-president candidate Jordan, who needs a leg up in the election, along with reprobates and jocks who need to do community service. Suddenly the fake club is real, doing actual good, and sucking up valuable game time; that was never the plan! Prolific Korman turns in another group caper that would fit easily in his Swindle series. Cam's borderline unlikable, and a few in the supporting cast don't act like real people; but the tale, narrated by Cam and several others, is a pleasant diversion, though it's not notable for its diversity. Korman's fans will be right at home with this stand-alone novel. (Fiction. 9-12)
Children's Literature - Justina McBride
Thirteen-year-old Cameron Boxer is a professional slacker and video game guru. Those who know him best know he is allergic to words like initiative and participation. One afternoon, however, changes all. After almost burning down his family home because of a game, Cam’s parents force him to get involved outside of the basement gaming room. Determined not to allow this to ruin his lifestyle, Cam comes up with a brilliant solution: he will start his own charitable club at Sycamore Middle School. With the help of his genius hacker, gamer friend Pavel, Cam creates the Positive Action Group [P.A.G.], a charitable club that will not exist beyond its impressive website and whose sole purpose is pleasing his parents. Unfortunately, the club that was supposed to go unnoticed by the rest of the world, falls under the radar of Daphne, a fellow classmate with a passion for saving an old Beaver, and Mr. Fanshaw, the guidance counselor. Now P.A.G. is attracting attention all over the school and its president finds himself at the center of it all, a place he has managed to avoid his whole life. Will Cam’s charitable group that was never meant to do anything grow into a strong force that just may do some real good for the town of Sycamore? This middle grade reader is full of eccentric characters who will appeal to a wide audience. The story is told from the alternating first-person perspective of several key characters and each chapter clearly identifies the speaker. The writing is fast-paced and full of sarcastic humor that middle schoolers will enjoy. Under the book’s lighthearted tone is a deeper message that doing good deeds in real life reaps a much great reward than winning on the screen. Reviewer: Justina McBride; Ages 8 to 12.

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.00(d)
710L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Gordon Korman is the #1 bestselling author of three books in The 39 Clues series as well as seven books in his Swindle series: Swindle, Zoobreak, Framed, Showoff, Hideout, Jackpot, and Unleashed. His other books include This Can't Be Happening at Macdonald Hall! (published when he was fourteen); The Toilet Paper Tigers; Radio Fifth Grade; the trilogies Island, Everest, Dive, Kidnapped, and Titanic; and the series The Hypnotists and On the Run. He lives in New York with his family and can be found on the web at www.gordonkorman.com.

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Slacker 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Buy it!