Friday, January 18, 2013

The Chicken Doesn't Skate by Gordan Korman

This isn't the best of Gordon Korman's work, but it's still pretty funny. It's told from a variety of viewpoints and it's mostly a funny story about coincidences and different people working together. Mostly funny.

Adam is obsessed with hockey, but as a stereotypical jock he's not very bright and failed sixth grade science. Zachary is obsessed with his horror screenplays, and as a stereotypical nerd gets constant wedgies and is picked on by Adam and the other jocks. Milo is a typical science nerd; the teacher is thrilled with him because his dad is an important scientist, but Milo doesn't see what the big deal is and hates having to move from California to Minnesota when his parents divorced. Milo decides to focus on the life cycle of a chicken for his science project.

Then Kelly Marie goes nuts over "Henrietta", Milo's science project. Henrietta ends up as the hockey team's mascot, everyone goes crazy over the chicken, especially the science teacher even though, as the coach says, "the chicken doesn't skate."

Of course, this is a Gordon Korman story, so it's not going to have a completely typical ending. The hockey team does win its game, but not without the help of Henrietta, a last-minute surprise talent of Zach's, and some interference from Kelly Marie.

The three main characters were pretty heavily stereotyped and I found Zachary's screenplays annoying, but I don't think this will bother most readers. Reluctant readers especially will like the change of viewpoint in each chapter and the piling on of funny and wacky accidents and events.

Verdict: This was reprinted in 2011 with a shiny new cover. If you have any hockey fans, I'd say it's worth adding to your collection, otherwise not so much as there's a lot of discussion of hockey included, about equal with the funny chicken incidents.

ISBN: 0590853015; Published 1996 by Scholastic; Don't remember where I got this, Bookmooch I think?

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