Friday, August 22, 2014

I want to go home by Gordan Korman

This is my absolute favorite Gordon Korman title; I was sure I'd reviewed it before, but apparently not. It's wish-fulfillment for every kid who ever wanted to fight back against organized activities and be utterly cool whilst doing so. Mike Webster isn't thrilled to be at camp. Four weeks of being forced to play sports and meet a bunch of strange kids isn't exactly the reward he was hoping for when he got top grades. But then he meets Rudy Miller. Rudy isn't happy to be at camp either but he's not going to take this travesty lying down - he's fighting back! At first, Mike thinks he's a total kook, but he can't help getting drawn into Rudy's wacky plans and the two slowly become friends. In the end, they might not make it home, but they're going to have one crazy summer of trying!

Mike and Rudy are like Bruno and Boots from Korman's MacDonald Hall series but times ten. You can't help but sympathize with the adults, landed with a modern-day Bartleby who simply won't participate, especially when they discover that he excels at everything. On the other hand, if you haven't completely left your childhood behind, you can sympathize with Rudy too, being forced to play sports (which he hates) just because he's really good at it. Of course, the main draw of this book is the constant hilarity. From the first prank Rudy pulls on their annoying roommate Harold to the final epic disaster, there's not a dull moment. The hapless counselors, gung ho director, and outraged campers are as nothing before Rudy's determination and smarts, not to mention a little natural intervention.

Verdict: A perfect summer reading, most likely to appeal to middle grade readers. Alas, it is out of print in the US and the Canadian edition is unavailable. I purchasing a used edition for myself and you may wish to do the same. Until then, I can only hope the publisher reissues it so that every kid can snicker through the pages and come up with their own smart aleck pranks and remarks to drive adults wild. Why else be a kid?

ISBN: 0439969158; This edition published 2004 by Scholastic Canada; Purchased for my personal library

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