This novella has Paulsen's trademark humor and quirky kids; it's also followed by a one-act play, in case you want to recreate the scenes yourself. One of the things I also found interesting was that all the names of the kids are gender-neutral and the playscript calls for either boys or girls. Which leads to an interesting discussion - is the behavior of the kids typical of only middle school boys or does it ring true across the spectrum of genders? Even in a short novella the book also gets into the underlying reasons for the various kids' behaviors. The "if we just talked together we'd be friends" theme seems a little naive, but reluctant readers will enjoy the humor and also the short length and teachers will find interesting talking points in this as well.
Verdict: If you have Gary Paulsen fans, this is a good addition, or if you need plays for kids. Otherwise it's probably an additional purchase, but it's a light and fun read and you can't ever really have too many of those for middle schoolers.
ISBN: 9781481452236; Published 2016 by Simon and Schuster; Purchased for the library