The Classroom: Student Council Smackdown!

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Libby Gardner and Cindy Applegate are smile-without-teeth friends, but they are fierce rivals when it comes to politics. Cindy owned the student council elections in fourth and sixth grades, while Libby came out on top in fifth. Now, they both hunger for the prestigious title of seventh grade class president.

But middle school elections have their own rules...and pressures. When Trevor Jones is forced to join the presidential race, he devises a plan to make sure his best friend...

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Libby Gardner and Cindy Applegate are smile-without-teeth friends, but they are fierce rivals when it comes to politics. Cindy owned the student council elections in fourth and sixth grades, while Libby came out on top in fifth. Now, they both hunger for the prestigious title of seventh grade class president.

But middle school elections have their own rules...and pressures. When Trevor Jones is forced to join the presidential race, he devises a plan to make sure his best friend Libby wins. That all changes when he discovers that Libby has oh-so-sneakily gone behind his back by hiring Molly Decker to be her campaign manager. Now, he's in it to win it. And things are going to get ugly.

Join Trevor, Libby, Cindy, and the whole Westside contingency (along with the documentary film crew) as they explore the ugly underbelly of middle school politics.

Praise for The Classroom: The Epic Documentary of a Not-Yet-Epic Kid

There's so much to love about this laugh-out-loud-funny story of what happens to Trevor Jones, who is just starting the seventh grade at Westside Middle School. All in one day, Trevor starts school, loses his best friend and has to deal with a film crew documenting the life of a "typical middle school student." The story is told a bit in the style of a movie; the chapters are short, and there are cute drawings and doodles on the pages. Total fun for the end of the summer and the start of school.
The Washington Post (Kids Post)

"This documentary set out to show the real story of Trevor, along with his normal, everyday, average classmates.... Westside is their middle school. And these are their stories." With an introduction like that (and the subtitle), readers may expect more of a documentary-style novel than what Mellom (Ditched: A Love Story) actually delivers in her first middle-grade novel. Most of her story unfolds through good old third-person omniscient narration, interspersed with occasional "interviews" with seventh-grader Trevor Jones and his classmates. Fortunately, Mellom has a gift for school-days humor, and her novel is very entertaining. Trevor, a consummate worrier, and Libby, a consummate planner, have been best friends for years, but as they begin the school year, Libby, tired of covering for Trevor's (many) gaffes, believes it is time for them to make new friends. Gilpin's spot art (not all seen by PW) is a mix of notes, cartoons, and other "found materials" that add to the book's sense of fun as romantic entanglements and misunderstandings proliferate in the days leading up to the school dance. Ages 9 12.
Publishers Weekly

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Claudia Mills
Libby Gardner is in the midst of a heated campaign against rival Cindy Applegate for seventh-grade class president. She learns from her super-cool tenth-grade cousin that middle-school elections require a whole new level of coolness from what succeeded in elementary school. Her only hope for victory seems to lie in finding a new, cooler campaign manager; in the process, Libby will have to ditch the services of her lifelong best friend, Trevor Jones. Meanwhile, Trevor is busy riding his own coolness/uncoolness rolleroaster, as the popularity he gained by drenching bully Corey Long with orange soda at the fall dance is jeopardized by Corey's schemes for revenge. Although this is billed as a "documentary" that is "directed" by author Robin Mellom and "filmed" by illustrator Stephen Gilpin, the vast majority of the narration reads like a standard middle-grade novel (except for jarring point-of-view shifts from paragraph to paragraph), punctuated by occasional interior monologues of the main characters' self-reflections. The storyline is deliberately preposterous. For example, a hazmat crew in full protective gear is called in to try to locate the source of an unbearable odor in the school hallways, and there are plenty of other over-the-top slapstick shenanigans. Nonetheless, Mellom succeeds in putting adolescent angst over shifting social standing into perspective, imparting the wise lesson that true coolness involves doing what you want, whether it's cool or not. Part of "The Classroom" series. Reviewer: Claudia Mills, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
Gr 5–7—Seventh-grader Trevor Jones is back, a few days after dousing his nemesis, Corey, with soda at a school dance in The Classroom (Hyperion, 2012). The stunt instantly makes Trevor popular. After a series of mishaps, his status plummets, which makes him think he's the perfect candidate to run for class president, confident he'll lose so that his friend Libby will win. The extremely slow pace will discourage reluctant readers: the first half of the book spans one day, with lots of conversation and internal musings among the characters but not much action. Trevor is such an Everyman that he lacks distinguishing qualities that would make him a protagonist engaging enough to lead a book series. He finally gains some depth when he stands up to Corey in a realistic confrontation that also demonstrates a practical way to handle a bully. The rest of the students are characters readers have seen before and the school staff, with the exception of the janitor, are stereotypical dolts. Gilpin's detailed illustrations add interest, varying from full-page scenes to amusing sketches from characters' notebooks. Readers who enjoy silly middle school fiction will find some laughs; otherwise purchase only where the first book is popular.—Marybeth Kozikowski, Sachem Public Library, Holbrook, NY
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781423150640
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
  • Publication date: 6/25/2013
  • Series: Classroom Novel Series
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 234,529
  • Product dimensions: 5.86 (w) x 8.34 (h) x 0.93 (d)

Meet the Author

Robin Mellom
Robin Mellom ( has taught grades five through eight and has a master's degree in education. She is the author of The Classroom: The Epic Documentary of a Not-Yet Epic Kid, as well as the young adult novel Ditched: A Love Story. She lives with her husband and son on the Central Coast of California. Follow her on Twitter (@robinmellom).

Stephen Gilpin ( is the illustrator of more than 30 children's books, including the Who Shrunk Daniel Funk? and Super Chicken Nugget Boy series. He lives in Hiawatha, Kansas with his genius wife, Angie, and a whole bunch of kids. Follw him on Twitter (@Sparkgilpin).

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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2013

    Pz read

    Bes book ever i would lovr oitvfh if you woyluudw

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