Three-time Newbery Honor-winner Gary Paulsen delivers a fast-paced and hilarious story of a boy's awarkward adventures behind the scenes of the school play. "A comic, accessible novel".--Kirkus Reviews, pointered review.Three-time Newbery Honor-winner Gary Paulsen delivers a fast-paced and hilarious story of a boy's awarkward adventures behind the scenes of the school play. "A comic, accessible novel".--Kirkus Reviews, pointered review.Read Less
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Publishers Weekly, 2012-08-27 Jacob Freisten just wants to live life inconspicuously. But when his English teacher, Mrs. Hilsak, tells Jacob he's on the verge of flunking the class, she gives him an alternative: he can save his grade with extra credit by working on the fog machine for the school's production of The Wizard of Oz. Unfortunately, Maria Tresser, Jacob's dream girl, is playing the Wicked Witch. Jacob already made an idiot of himself in front of her, and now he worries about the ramification of a second failure. Nick Podehl turns in a standout performance in this audio edition. The narrator convincingly embodies Jacob's middle-aged teacher, as well as his ethereal young crush. But Podehl really shines in his rendering of Jacob. Podehl captures both the boy's quivering anxiety ("Disappear me, now, from the eyes of all people in this room") and the sardonic way he often deals with his all-too-common humiliations. At two hours, one only wishes the audiobook were a little longer. Ages 9-up. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly, 1990-02-09 Most of the action of this farcical novel takes place at the high school where Jacob Freisten's primary goal is to remain unnoticed. All too often this classic loser finds himself cornered by some bully. When he is not being stuffed inside a locker or a trash can, Jacob suffers other forms of humiliation that are relayed in a string of colorful anecdotes. While running laps around the gym, he accidentally tramples Maria Tresser, the most beautiful girl in the school. Cupid's arrow strikes, and Jacob's seemingly hopeless infatuation leads to one disaster after another; but he finally wins a date with the girl of his dreams. Although Paulsen's pace may leave some readers breathless, most will relish the sharp wit and incredible energy of this ironic glimpse of high school life and young romance. Ages 11-14. (Mar.)
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