Reviewed by Mini Magoo
David Greenberg is a 12-year-old kid going into 6th grade. He absolutely loves Jon Stewart and hopes to be a comedian when he grows up, just like his idol. But for now, he films himself with his camera and posts his videos on YouTube. He doesn't expect them to get anywhere yet. But things get complicated when he starts dealing with everything happening around him-and in the meantime, he's learning how to survive middle school.
First, there's his best friend Elliot. Well, his ex-best friend Elliot. Without a reason that David can see, Elliot becomes best buds with Tommy Murphy, the schools biggest, meanest bully, and starts playing mean tricks on David like telling him that all the 6th graders are going against the dress code (when really that day David, who fell for the trick, was the only guy without a collared shirt on). They even get in a fight with each other. So, that's one thing on David's list of things to juggle while, of course, surviving middle school. The next thing? His new best friend who is (deep breath) a girl. A girl named Sophie (his new favorite name) who makes his mind go fuzzy whenever she touches him. But that is probably just a coincidence. Probably.
He is also still getting over the shock of his mom, who ran away to live with a farmer. He sends her letters and she writes back, but she never comes to visit. David keeps his hopes up, but so far they've communicated by writing only. Another heart-wrenching thing in his life is his loyal hamster, Hammy, who is determined to give him even more to deal with as he gets deeper and deeper into middle school.
Apart from all of that, his videos are becoming incredibly popular and famous, as is David himself. He has Sophie to thank-after seeing them and thinking they were hilarious, she sent it to everyone she knew, who sent it to all of their friends, and so on. He is getting written about in newspapers and he is getting thousands of hits and comments per video. He can't believe that he is actually a famous kid comedian, while in real life he still feels like what he was a month ago-a normal kid nervous for middle school.
I started How to Survive Middle School with low expectations, but I got a pleasant surprise waiting for me. It was an easy read and I liked the uniqueness of it. It was a very different subject, a kid starting middle school who wants to be a comedian. The book is written in first-person and David has a funny and occasionally sarcastic sense of humor, and throughout the book there are the Top 6 and 1/2 lists about anything and everything. I think it would be a book that you would pick up if you wanted to read something easy, light, and funny. 5th graders, and, of course, middle schoolers will love How to Survive Middle School. Although it can not be used as a guide, hence the title, it is nevertheless a fun book to read.
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