The King of Average

The King of Average

by Gary Schwartz, Nicole Armitage

NOOK Book(eBook)

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Overview

James isn’t the world’s greatest kid, but he’s not the worst, either: he’s average! When he decides to become the most average kid who ever lived, James is transported to another world where he meets Mayor Culpa, a well-dressed talking Scapegoat who recruits him to become the new King of Average.

He’s joined on his quest by a professional Optimist and his grouchy companion, an equally professional Pessimist. Together, they set out on a journey of self-discovery that leads them all the way from the Sea of Doubt to Mount Impossible, the highest peak in the Unattainable Mountains. When James stumbles into a Shangri-la called Epiphany, he uncovers the secret of who he really is.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780997586008
Publisher: Bunny Moon Enterprises
Publication date: 05/23/2016
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 230
File size: 3 MB
Age Range: 13 - 15 Years

About the Author

Gary Schwartz began his professional career as a mime at age 13, performing up and down the Hudson River with Pete Seeger and the great folk entertainers of the 1960s. In the 1980s he appeared in numerous film and television projects including the Oscar-winning feature film Quest for Fire. Schwartz has lent his voice to hundreds of film and TV projects and is the voice of several well-known video game characters, including Heavy Weapons Guy and Demoman in Team Fortress 2. Schwartz has written for two children's television series in which he co-starred: Zoobilee Zoo, where he played Bravo Fox; and the Disney Channel's You and Me, Kid. Schwartz studied with and became the protégé of Viola Spolin, the creator of Theater Games, the basis for improvisational theater in America. He is a passionate, dynamic improv coach and facilitator devoted to carrying on Spolin's techniques. The King of Average is his first novel. To learn more visit gary-schwartz.com.

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The King of Average 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
CherryPie0420 11 months ago
For my next read I was wanting a book that both me and my eleven year old son could read together. The King of Average was the perfect book for both of us. From the beginning my son said that he could relate to James which I completely agreed with. Our hearts especially went out to the young man when we read about his relationship with his mother. My son even thanked me for never being like that with him and told me how much he loves me. Such a precious moment! As the story continued we fell in love with each character and realized that even though James whole goal is to be the king of Average he really isn't average at all. He is a wonderful boy with an amazing heart despite living with the pain of his father leaving him at a young age and his mother constantly reminding him that he is not wanted. It seemed to me the more he wanted to be average the more he realized he wasn't. My son is still reading the book but I cannot wait until he finishes to find out what he thinks about the ending. For the most part I loved the ending though I wish there would've been more with James being back in the real world and seeing the relationship between him and his mother now that he has grown as a person due to this amazing adventure that he had just went on. Other than that it was a wonderful read with fantasy characters and places that parallel true to life people and circumstances that we all face at one time or another in our lives. All of us have been at that place where we struggle to believe in ourselves but as The King of Average shows, with faith, perseverance, and support you can accomplish anything you set your mind to.
BookwormforKids More than 1 year ago
Quirky and clever—this adventure is packed full of smart humor, tons of unexpected twists and things to think about along the way. James is average, as average as average can be. When he runs into a speaking goat, his averageness seems to be endangered until he's swept away to Average itself and is recruited to become the next king. Still, he needs to prove himself truly average-worthy, and this takes him on a journey unlike any he could have ever imagined. This book offers an amazing mixture of fantasy, adventure and word play with tons of meanings poking underneath. It's got depth, tons of it, and packages all the philosophy in an entertaining line of whimsical characters and imaginative situations. Every step of James' journey brings him not only through the strange realm but past a stepping stone in his own development and self-recognition. The first pages introduce James as a super average boy. It's not shown but directly, without shame, stated. Interestingly enough, the statements that he's average don't really match with his daily life, which is, in many ways, not average. He's at school but so 'average' he's invisible. He's so 'average' he has no friends. And his life is so 'average' that his mother is—simply said—a massive jerk and doesn't love him much at all. The first pages came across as forcing a mold into readers' heads which may very well be a subtle set-up and thinking point. Because this book packs a ton of those. Either way, too little time is spent on James' 'average' life before the Mayor (speaking goat) and the quirky adventure begins, and that is too bad. The rest of the book is a treat. Lots of wonderful situations arise, and it's simply fun to see what comes next. That each new character and each situation is actually a play on words isn't really a secret. Some of it is great for kids and will have them thinking; other moments will probably go over their heads. The vocabulary is not 'average', and instead, pushes readers to broaden their knowledge even if they won't understand every single term. And there is one character who speaks phrases of French, which is lovely and especially interesting for kids. However, more translations might have been helpful at times. The odd adventure is exactly what readers will love and opens the door to all sorts of possibilities. It's not only fun but offers tons of topics to think about—even for adults. I received a complimentary copy and enjoyed this quirky world mixed with thought enough to want to leave my honest opinion.
BooksforKatie More than 1 year ago
James. What an average name that is. James is 11 years old. He is working through his abandonment issues, as his dad left when he was born. He is dealing with a mother that has told him that her life would have been better if he didn't exist. Heavy things to be dealing with in a children's book (late elementary into middle grades). I think that for children that have not dealt with this situation, might find it a bit scary or be very off put. James is average in school, and according to himself, in everything. So when he wishes to become the most average kid in the world, his life gets a little weird. He ends up in another world, to become the King of Average. He has to go on a quest to find the previous king and find out why he left, then James can become the King. While I understand that their are children that are going through this, I feel that the book is written very light and comedic for the themes being discussed. This book might be very scary for children, even if they are dealing with some of the same issues. Thank you Bunny Moon Enterprises, LLC and NetGalley for the digital ARC of this book, which made this honest review possible.
GRgenius More than 1 year ago
I was rather fond of this story from start to finish. The word play is out of control, the characters memorable, and the tale being spun, fantastic enough to draw you in while heartfelt enough to surprise even the most everyday of readers. It was SO ROUGH having to see James treated the way he was, but I was so happy to see him hang on with BOTH hands to the family he's found, motley crew though it may be. Despite being all about average-ness, the quest was on the extraordinary side as they traversed lands never seen, faced dangers unknown, and a finally dealt with how to get past our biggest enemy, ourselves. Overall, a great read. You'll be kept on your toes by this average (or not so) bunch while silently thanking the stars that you're on the outside looking in. One bit of caution though, there are quite a few dangerous situations with tough consequences, but with a little guidance, I think the intended audience will make its acquaintance rather easily and the lessons learned, last a lifetime. ***copy received for review; full post can be seen on my site***
MomsChoiceAwards More than 1 year ago
A recipient of the Mom's Choice Awards! The Mom's Choice Awards® (MCA) evaluates products and services created for parents and educators and is globally recognized for establishing the benchmark of excellence in family-friendly media, products and services. Using a rigorous evaluation process, entries are scored on a number of elements including production quality, design, educational value, entertainment value, originality, appeal and cost. Around the world, parents, educators, retailers and members of the media trust the MCA Honoring Excellence seal when selecting quality products and services for families and children.
WhisperingStories More than 1 year ago
I wasn’t sure I was qualified to review a story predominantly aimed at children, so I found three people who fitted the criteria and we read the book together; so thank you to Noah, Alistair and Ralph for their input. The story is funny, engaging and imaginative and the characters intriguing. Scapegoat’s appearance was a real talking point for the boys and we all loved the concept of Roget the optimist and Kiljoy the pessimist. I particularly liked the wonderful play on words running throughout the book and commend the author for their inclusion as these touches made the book entertaining for adult readers. I was impressed that Schwartz had weaved such an entertaining plot into his fantasy novel as a backdrop for his characters. The eclectic band of friends travelled through an imaginary land, collecting others on their way and having a variety of fascinating adventures. The boys latched onto the idea of one character ‘smelling of old gym socks’ and thought this hilarious. The story culminated with a well-constructed conclusion, which satisfied James, his friends and indeed the readers. The writing style was fluent and evenly-paced and the descriptive passages conjured up vivid pictures for the boys and at times they were particularly concerned for the well being of Mayor Culpa who continually tries to take the blame for everything. Evoking that reaction was, I imagine, exactly what the author intended. Whilst the book is extremely amusing at all levels, there are also the underlying themes of self-discovery and self-worth which I think will resonate with adults and older children. I fell in love with ‘The King of Average’ immediately, as did the boys. The wonderful disclaimer at the beginning of the book which states that anyone who objects to typos shouldn’t bother reading it, made me laugh out loud. This is a great story and I strongly recommend it as an ideal bonding-read for parents with children of seven and over. I congratulate Gary Schwartz on his début novel. He is a consummate professional with a great future as an author and I have no hesitation in awarding a very richly-deserved five stars. Reviewed by Julie at Whispering Stories Book Blog
sciencexcharm More than 1 year ago
I was provided with a copy of The King of Average in exchange for an honest review. I can honestly say that this is a fantastic story! This story begins with a boy named James who believes that he is—you got it…he believes he is average. His mother shows him nothing, but disappointment and hatred when he brings hope his report card reflecting C’s. Upon finding a goat in the middle of the road one day, James becomes curious to how it got there. As he inches closer, trying not to scare the goat—boom! The goat can talk and another wonder…the next thing that James knows, he is in another world entirely. He is then told that the King of Average has disappeared. The goat tells him that he was sent to fetch James because they need a new King. Can James become the next King of Average and leave everything behind? My favorite characters are James and Mayor Culpa, the scapegoat. James is confused, after all he is just a child. No one should ever have to go through life feeling like they are a burden to their parents, so I originally felt sympathy for James. I knew that his path would be that much more difficult, but the adventure that lay ahead is very exciting! Mayor Culpa is the best kind of character EVER! Even though this story is somewhat for a younger age group, there is a vast amount of psychology in it which I find very interesting! My least favorite character would be the mother, of course. It is saying a lot when I love almost every character, especially the professional Pessimist. The characters that travel on this adventure with James all symbolize something that he is personally feeling and that is by far one of the most creative and original ideas that I have ever read. In my opinion, I would rate this book with five stars because I loved it and thought that it fit my superb category. The author goes above and beyond with character development and descriptiveness. Each character has a very important part to play in this adventure. I would highly recommend this read to anyone who enjoys psychological and coming of age genres. The pace is steady, but very entertaining. I did not find myself having difficulty reading through this at all! I look forward to reading more by this incredible author!