Book Reviews

Book Review: Report to the Principal’s Office by Jerry Spinelli

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While Sunny is determined to hate everyone at Plumstead Middle School, Eddie hopes simply to survive, Salem tries her hand at writing, and Pickles acts like . . . well, like Pickles. Original.

My Thoughts

I needed a quick read to fill in the time while my husband was away on a trip for work. He’s currently reading the boys Artemis Fowl. So, I picked Report to the Principal’s Office by Jerry Spinelli because it a) looked short and b) looked funny.

It was both.

Spinelli is the award-winning author of Maniac Magee. I figured I couldn’t go wrong with another one of his stories. I was impressed again by an author who wrote a middle grade novel from five different points of view, including two adults:

  1. Sunny – Determined to misbehave so she gets kicked out of her new school so she can attend the same school as her best friend. Her antics were the funniest.
  2. Eddie – Misses grade five and his old school, has to deal with bullying and making new friends. Your heart goes out to him.
  3. Salem – Wants to be a writer, so picks Eddie as a character study. She talks way too much! Which is how the reader is supposed to feel about her.
  4. Mr. Brimlow – the principal of a brand new school, determined to build positive relationships with the students.
  5. Mr. Humsledorf – a music teacher that won’t be beat.

The story often had my boys laughing out loud. And maybe gave them some ideas!

However, we all had some issues with the ending. (Possible spoilers ahead.) The students all showed character growth, however, where as Salem’s was well thought out and explained, Sunny’s growth was left to the reader to connect the dots. I did, however, my nine-year-old did not make the connections. When I said, “the end.” He tipped his head to the side with a big “HUH?!” And I agree. Although the story ended in the right place, closure was not clear for each of the character’s situations. It felt abrupt.

Also, the story started from Sunny’s point of view, but ended in Eddie’s view. That missed a mark for me.

Do I recommend the story? Sure, as a light, funny, quick read. It met that requirement. It was fun to read out loud. My boys really enjoyed it.

______________
This is an unsolicited review, I have no idea how I got a copy of this book.

  • Mass Market Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks (Oct. 1 1992)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0590462778

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