Saturday, May 7, 2016

Kid Konnection: Slacker

Every Saturday, I host a feature called Kid Konnection -- a regular weekend feature about anything related to children's books. This week I'm going to share with you a very funny middle grade novel that also has some great messages.

Summary: Cameron Boxer is very happy to spend his life avoiding homework, hanging out with his friends, and gaming for hours in his basement. It's not too hard for him to get away with it, until he gets so caught up in one game that he almost lets his house burn down around him. Oops.

It's time for some serious damage control, so Cameron and his friends invent a fake school club that will make it seem like they're doing good deeds instead of slacking off. The problem? Some kids think the club is real, and Cameron is stuck being president.

Soon Cameron is part of a mission to save a beaver named Elvis from certain extinction. Along the way, he makes some new friends, and some powerful new enemies. The guy who never cared about anything is now at the center of everything, and it's going to take all his slacker skills to win this round. -- Scholastic

As much as I hate to say this, my son is a reluctant reader. While he does read every night (because I make him!), he doesn't really like many books. I can get him to read sports books and the occasional non-fiction title, but he hates fantasy and science fiction. Needless to say, I'm always on the lookout for books that he'd enjoy, and I am excited to share one with you -- SLACKER by Gordon Korman.

As soon as I saw this adorable cover, I had a feeling that Booking Son might enjoy it. Of course, it didn't hurt that the title and game control indicated that the book was about a kid who loves video games... and Booking Son does love his video games. I read the description to him and he thought it sounded "okay." He ended up enjoying this book quite a bit, and he even decided to do his next book report on it!

SLACKER tells the story of Cameron Boxer, a middle schooler who lives for his games. He is a bit of a slacker in that he doesn't do his homework or really even leave his basement for that matter. It's all about the video games for Cameron. One evening, his mother asked him to take something out of the oven; and Cameron, being the gamer he is, didn't really listen to her request. The house ended up catching on fire, and Cameron knew that he was going to be in some big-time trouble!

And that's when Cameron came up with a plan. Cameron, with the help of his friends, invents a fake school club that's kind of like a service organization. As long as the club is listed on the official school website, he figures no one will really question it... and Cameron can continue to focus on his games. He will have the best of both worlds, right?

Unfortunately for Cameron, some kids at school want to be part of the club, and Cameron is forced into acting as the president of this club he created. The club ends up catching on like wildfire, and pretty soon the majority of the school wants to be part of it. The club actually does some good deeds including a mission to save a beaver from extinction and stopping a new highway from being built.

In the end, Cameron (aka the Slacker) learns quite a few things. He makes some new friends and realizes the power in uniting for a good cause.

I adored SLACKER! This book is perfect for middle grade readers. It is truly hilarious and kids will definitely relate to Cameron and his fellow classmates. As a mom, I loved that the book had some important messages about friendship, sacrifice, and giving back to the community. Overall, it's just a terrific read!

One thing I found interesting when I discussed SLACKER with my son is how much he appreciated the twists in the story. He was kind of surprised when I predicted them before finishing the book. For some reason, I thought it was sweet that he just enjoyed the book without trying to figure everything out. I think there's a message in there for me!

I highly recommend SLACKER to middle grade readers. The story is so darn funny and I bet even the most reluctant of readers will love Cameron and his antics!

Note: Later today, Booking Son and I will be working on his book report for SLACKER. Believe it or not, he has to create a tee-shirt which represents the book. Guess that means drawing a beaver and a video game remote with Sharpies. Not the easiest assignment for an eleven year old boy who doesn't really enjoy arts and crafts!

Thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy of this book.

If you'd like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children's books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, please leave a comment as well as a link below with your name/blog name and the title of the book! Feel free to grab the little button too!


bermudaonion said...

Oh my gosh, I love the premise of that story! Good luck with the book report!

Stacie said...

Sounds like just the kind of story reluctant readers would like! Good luck with the project. Those are the kinds of ideas that give me an eye roll....really teacher??? LOL Thanks for the link up!