Author: Gordon Korman
Publisher: Hyperion Books for Children
Number of Pages: 208
Advertised Age Level: Ages 9-12
Age and Grade of Main Character(s): 13 yrs./8th grade
Language: no profanity
Drug/Alcohol Use: none
Violence: main character is tackled by the football team, resulting in injury
Social Issues: accepting those who are different
Suggested Movie Grade: G
Premise: Capricorn “Cap” Anderson is a genuine hippie. Raised by his grandmother, Rain, on an abandoned farm commune, he’s never watched television, never tasted pizza, and he’s never gone to school with other children. When Rain is injured and requires a stay in the hospital, Cap moves in with a guidance counselor and attends Claverage Middle School.
Confused by the social politics of adolescence, Cap doesn’t realize he’s been targeted as the class weirdo. Attempts to ridicule him fall flat because Cap simply doesn’t know he’s being teased. And his positive outlook and innocent manner begin to gain him real friends. Even so, popular jock Zach Powers is determined to put Cap in his place, even if that means using dirty tricks to make it happen.
Comments: This book contains nothing offensive. It examines the reasons people may or may not be popular, what it means to accept those who are different, and how real friends treat each other.
Age Appropriateness: 9 and older