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Only the most connected juniors could get parking spaces at the oversubscribed Pennsbury High School student parking lot, so Mike Kosmin was forced to rent a space at the pizza place next to the school. Each day, when the final school bell rang at 2:08 p.m., Mike and his friends would walk across the school parking lot and to the Marcelli's Pizza lot, turn up Eminem, and watch Jeans sashay her way to her black Corvette, flipping her long blond hair over one shoulder before slipping into the car and driving off to places unknown and unknowable.
Excerpted from Wonderland by Michael Bamberger Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Posted February 20, 2012
Posted February 16, 2011
Wonderland is a very quick read and worth the time. The writer never judges what the students do, but he lets their actions speak for themselves. Each of the chapters are named after a month, September through May. I would have liked to have read more about finals and graduation instead of stopping after the prom in May and jumping to their later years. However, I did like the last bit wrapping up what happened the summer and fall after the school year and how author tied it into his own life during high school.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 7, 2006
I have no association with the high school that is the focus of this book, so I was not reading about familiar territory like many reviewers. I would just suggest reading a few pages before you buy it because I found it to be very poorly written. It was so hard to figure out why the author structures it the way he does--why does the reader care about the author's own prom date? Interesting subject, though.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 20, 2005
When I first found out that someone was writing a book about my former high school (graduate of 2001), the first thing that popped into my head was how they turned something so great into a publicity stunt. But, after reading this book, I was wrong. The book accurately turns loose anything that any past or present PHS student has gone or will go through. It showed readers about Sports Nite, the junior prom, ways to come up with money to hold such events, and the harsh realities of life that some people had to deal with. Although, I did find some information lacking and quite wrong (like for instance the girl in the low jeans and Corvette. I knew her and boy was she ever aware of her popularity), I still enjoyed this book. It hit close to home and now I know why I love Pennsbury so much.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 17, 2004
I noticed a few bits of wrong info. in the book but, overall, I loved it! Maybe I liked it more because it was about my high school. My cousin was at the pennsbury prom the following year and did get to see John Mayer at her Prom! So he did finally come if anyone is wondering. I think the book was a fairly accurate account of the life of high schoolers today.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 3, 2004
What surprised me the most about this piece was its incredible accuracy of experience. Being a Class of 2000 alum, I was pleasantly transported back to the halls of my high school, reminded of all my dreams, my goals, my inspirations... Regardless of your alma mater, I'm certain this book will do the same for you.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 1, 2004
As a PHS East student, I'm pretty proud of the positive recognition my school has been getting in the past few months and with a movie in the near future, will continue to get. 'Wonderland' is a pretty good book. It's not your typical 'let's go back to high school' account, is honest, and pretty fair. However, it's not perfect. I found that the ending could have been improved. Overall, I'm satisfied with the book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 17, 2004
I really enjoyed this book to the endth degree. I am transfering next year to pennsbury as a sophmore, but have grown up in Yardley for the majority of my life. I did have a special feeling with this book, because I get my haircut, shop, and hang out the same places as the kids in the books so its extra special for me. Even if I wasn't from this area, this book would still be very enjoyable, it is extremely well writen and shows the difficulities in high school and some of this minds that go through the school systems.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 22, 2004
Michael Bamberger was fortunate enough to be given permission to be the 'fly on the gym wall' at an American high school that puts on a prom like no other. In delving into the preparation and tradition of the end of year bash of Pennsbury (PA)High School, the author introduces us to a diverse group of young people. Remarkably, none of them come off as the stereotypes of Big Jock, Queen Bee, Techie Nerd or Overachieving Handicapped Kid, but rather, as real people with spirit, passions and dreams. As a long out of high school reader, I was drawn into the book by the well-crafted narrative and found it to be a page-turner because you're made to really care about the young people described. It made me feel more optimistic about American teenagers. Wonderland is a book to be thoroghly enjoyed by those nostalgic for high school as well as those who are grateful to have survived that awkard stage of life. The parents of teenagers will read this book and wish they had as revealing a view of their own children. Anyone who ever attended or helped to plan a prom will relate to all the energy and angst involved in getting ready for the party they spend their whole senior year anticipating. It's a great read!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 2, 2004
As a student at PHS, I must say that his book was severe disapointment. I do suppose the truth was told, but could we not have been portrayed in a less negative manner? We were expecting a heart-felt novel and instead what we recieved was a disgusting piece of trash stereotyping the students at our less-than-perfect school. It is obvious that Wonderland was written sheerly for profit, NOT, as the title suggests, to portray life as an average Pennsbury student. xoxo and LOTS of Falcon pride!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 16, 2004
Posted June 9, 2004
I am a Pennsbury grad ('96) and was born and raised in Levittown, PA, the settings in Michael Bamberger's book 'Wonderland.' Bamberger does a wonderful job of portraying my high school and hometown. The prom is the central focus of the story, but he effectively does several things at once throughout the book. From laying out the history of Pennsbury and the surrounding area, to developing many different characters that are interesting to follow, to crafting a story that takes actual accounts and weaves them into a page turning novel. Bamberger paints the subjects in the book vividly, and it's interesting to read about the teachers and the principal who were around during my time at Pennsbury. I was never one for having a lot of school spirit, but I was and still am proud to be from Levittown. He does a great job of describing it by including many of the numerous sections and streets, the local businesses and hangouts, and vivid depictions of the homes. He also discusses the inherent social and economic differences between Levittowners and Yardley residents. I always felt an undercurrent of this division in my high school and it's great that the author brought it out in the book. If you start reading it, you'll definitely finish it within a few days. It's a great read, even if you didn't go to Pennsbury.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.