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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Review: The Classroom by Robin Mellom

Check out my interview with Robin Mellom and enter to win a copy of The Classroom here. You can find the full March MG Madness schedule, and big box of books giveaway, here.

The Classroom
by Robin Mellom
Format: hardcover
Source: from author
In 2012, a documentary crew descended upon Westside Middle School to detail the life of an average seventh grader and his classmates.What they uncovered, though, was far from average. Mostly, it was upper average along with moments of extreme average, highlighted by several minutes of total epicness. This is the story...
Trevor Jones--perfect attendance award recipient, former neurotic (he hopes)--has been preparing for the start of seventh grade his entire summer.But he is NOT ready for the news his best friend, Libby (proud neurotic, in a color-coding sort of way), drops on him: he must ask a girl to the fall dance. By the end of the day.Trevor decides he would rather squirt hot sauce in his eyes than attend the dance. Everything changes when he meets mysterious new student Molly (excessive doodler, champion of unnatural hair colors). Trevor starts to think that going to the dance maybe wouldn't be the worst thing ever. But what if she says no to his invitation? More important, what if she says yes?!

Watch The Classroom Trailer

The Classroom by Robin Mellom is a laugh-out-loud, relatable, and entertaining story about one awkward middle-schooler who has to rise to the occasion, break out of his average shell, and be epic. With a fun, unique documentary style format, and quirky, endearing characters, The Classroom is a captivating and amusing middle-grade read.

Trevor Jones is an average kid starting middle-school (well as average as a neurotic, constantly worrying 7th grader can be), but nothing prepared him for the bomb his BFF, Libby, drops on him the first day of school. Trevor has to ask a girl to the fall dance (and he must do it by the end of the first day), and he and Libby can't be friend friends anymore (whatever that means!). Without Libby there to get him out of sticky situations, Trevor finds himself in one pickle after the other on his first day of middle-school. But he does manage to get a date to the dance in the form of the new, mysterious girl, Molly. When the dance arrives (the dance Libby has been put in charge of) and things look like they may end in disaster, Trevor has to step up and be epic for the first time ever.

The Classroom is told through the format of a documentary, with chapters broken up by character interviews/confessions. I really enjoyed this fun, refreshing format and how it resembles a crazy reality show. This structure gives the story a hip, cool vibe, but also allows for very over the top entertainment.

Robin Mellom has wonderfully captured the anxiety and nervous excitement of, not just starting middle-school, but of growing up as well. Losing and making new friends, dating, harder schoolwork, more responsibility...Mellom explores all of these issues with believability, humor, and heart. Trevor's story, with its moments of utter humiliation, surprising epicness, and everything in-between, is a very relatble one. Readers of all ages will have a blast rooting for Trevor in his bright moments and cringing in his embarrassing ones.

Trevor has such an endearing awkwardness to him that makes him feel so genuine and lovable. He's not the star athlete or best student or most talented or most popular guy, but even in his average-ness, he finds ways to be extraordinary and epic. This is a character that young readers will enjoy seeing themselves in and will feel like they're experiencing everything Trevor is. Mellom has surrounded Trevor with an eclectic and fun bunch of characters that prove to be just as lovable as Trevor.

The silly, playful illustrations throughout the book are the perfect companion to Mellom's story.

MY FINAL THOUGHTS: Robin Mellom is a witty and fun middle-grade storyteller who has created a hit with this series. The Classroom is the perfect read for anyone who has ever felt awkward, consulted a Magic 8 Ball, or dreamed of epicness.


Purchase: Amazon / B&N / Book Depository

Robin Mellom
Robin Mellom grew up outside of Atlanta, Georgia. She has taught grades five through eight and has a master's degree in education. She now writes full time for kids and teens and lives with her husband and son on the central coast of California.

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