Author: Gordon Korman
First published September 1, 2007
208 pages, Hardcover
ISBN: 9780786856923 (ISBN10: 0786856920)
Capricorn Anderson has spent his entire life being homeschooled by his unconventional grandmother. He’s never experienced the typical teenage things like watching TV or eating pizza.
But when his grandmother falls ill, Cap is forced to leave his sheltered life and enroll in a public middle school. As Cap tries to navigate the cutthroat world of public school, he discovers that his peaceful upbringing may not have prepared him for the harsh realities of the real world.
Will Cap be able to find his place in this new environment, or will he be forced to conform to the pressures of his peers?
About the Author
At the young age of 12, Korman penned his first book, “This Can’t be Happening at Macdonald Hall,” as a favor for a coach who was abruptly tasked with teaching 7th grade English. Inspired by the experience, he later wrote “The Sixth Grade Nickname Game,” featuring a character based on that same teacher, Mr. Huge.
Korman ventured to New York City to study film and film writing, where he also met the love of his life. They now reside in Long Island, raising their three children.
With over 50 books published, Korman has left an indelible mark on the literary world.
In his novel, Schooled, Gordon Korman paints a poignant and relatable picture of adolescence and growing up. As an accomplished young adult author, Korman skillfully centers his novel around the themes of social inclusion, personal growth, and the value of friendship.
The novel was first published on September 1, 2007, and is aimed at readers between the ages of 9 and 14.
The novel tells the story of Capricorn Anderson, a young boy who has been homeschooled by his hippie grandmother all his life.
When Grandma has an accident, Capricorn reluctantly transfers to a public school, where he is forced to navigate the complex social hierarchies and conventions that he has never encountered before. Despite his unconventional upbringing, Capricorn’s kindness and good humor soon win him friends – as well as some enemies – among his classmates.
Korman writes with great sensitivity and humor, creating a vivid and endearing cast of characters who come to life on the page. Capricorn, in particular, is an unforgettable protagonist whose innocence and idealism shine through even in the most challenging circumstances.
Korman also explores important social and cultural issues, such as bullying, diversity, and social exclusion, in a manner that’s accessible for younger readers.
One of the strengths of Schooled is Korman’s ability to craft an engaging plot that’s easy to follow yet never feels predictable or formulaic.
The story flows seamlessly, balancing moments of drama and tension with humor and warmth. The pacing is excellent, and the novel never drags or overstays its welcome.
However, one of the weaknesses of the novel is that some of the secondary characters feel underdeveloped, with thinly sketched motivations and personalities. While this may be intended to allow Capricorn to shine as the novel’s focus, the lack of nuance in some of the other characters can occasionally feel unsatisfying.
Overall, Schooled is a wonderful novel that offers valuable lessons in empathy, resilience, and self-discovery. Korman’s writing is sensitive and engaging, and the novel is a perfect fit for young readers who are starting to learn about the complexities of growing up.
I recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a well-written, thoughtful, and heartwarming story.