Wednesday 11 January 2023

The Report Card - Andrew Clements

The Report Card 
Andrew Clements
ISBN 9780689845246
eISBN 9781442462205

Six years ago, I discovered the works of Andrew Clements. I was instantly hooked and have now read over 20 books by him. Many consider him the ‘master of school stories’, and I would agree. I have a dual form of dyslexia and did not learn to read until after grade 7. So I never read ‘school stories’ when I was young. That combined with having my own school aged children has instilled a great appreciation for the genre and specifically for the works of Andrew Clements. Clements passed away in 2019 his last novel was The Friendship War, which is an excellent volume. He writes amazing stories for children, but they are also stories that any of us can learn from. Back then I set the goal of reading all of his works, but as my own children have grown these books had slid by the way side. I have now returned to them yet again. This story has inspired me to recommit to that goal.

I had no idea what this book was about when I picked it up. I grabbed it based on the author alone. It was an interesting read and is now one my favourites of all his books I have read. It is an excellent read. The description of the book states:

“A fifth-grade genius turns the spotlight on grades - good and bad - in this novel from Andrew Clements, the author of Frindle.

Nora Rose Rowley is a genius, but don't tell anyone. She's managed to make it to the fifth grade without anyone figuring out that she's not just an ordinary kid, and she wants to keep it that way.

But then Nora gets fed up with the importance everyone attaches to test scores and grades, and she purposely brings home a terrible report card just to prove a point. Suddenly the attention she's successfully avoided all her life is focused on her, and her secret is out. And that's when things start to get really complicated...”

The chapters in this story are:

 One: Bad Grades
 Two: The Facts of Me
 Three: School and Stephen
 Four: The Reading of the Grades
 Five: Solitary Confinement
 Six: Stakeout
 Seven: The Element of Surprise
 Eight: Roadkill
 Nine: Cornered
 Ten: For Now
 Eleven: Mounted Under Glass
 Twelve: Intelligence
 Thirteen: An Observation
 Fourteen: Changes
 Fifteen: Partnership
 Sixteen: Phase one
 Seventeen: Hard Test
 Eighteen: Logic
 Nineteen: Too Much
 Twenty: A Short Vacation
 Twenty-One: Rebellion
 Twenty-Two: The Next Good Thing

This is a story about friendship. A friendship between Nora and Stephen. Nora observed how hard Stephen took his results of the standardized tests the year before. And how he had been teased and mocked about his low scores. It is also a book about education, teachers, librarians, and even school boards. They intellect and genius that Nora possesses tries to do something to help other kids, and when she realizes that a lot of teachers feel the same way. But ger grand plan soon goes sideways and then completely off the tracks. Can she have that brilliant idea to turn it around before it is too late? To find out you will need to read this book.

This is another great offering from the masterful pen of Andrew Clements. As someone who grew up with a dual form of dyslexia and whose report cards from kindergarten until late high school often said ‘marks do not reflect ability’, it was great to read this story and see that others ‘gets it’. This is a great Middle Grade read. A fantastic book for young readers, and for those of us who just love a great story!

Books by Andrew Clements:
Bird Adalbert
Noah and the Ark and the Animals
Santa's Secret Helper
Temple Cat
Mother Earth's Counting Book
Billy and the Bad Teacher
Who Owns the Cow
Bright Christmas: An Angel Remembers
(Adapter)Philipp's Birthday Book
Riff's BeBop Book
Real Monsters Go for the Mold
Things That Go EEK on Halloween
Real Monsters Stage Fright
Music Time, Any Time
Double Trouble in Walla Walla
Gromble's Haunted Halloween
Hey Dad, Could I Borrow Your Hammer
The Landry News
Look Who's in the Thanksgiving Play
The Mouse Family
The Janitor's Boy
Circus Family Dog
The Christmas Kitten
The School Story
Things Not Seen 
The Jacket 
A Week in the Woods
Slippers at Home
Naptime for Slippers
The Report Card
The Last Holiday Concert
Slippers at School
Slippers Loves to Run
A Million Is a Lot of Dots
Lunch Money
Things Hoped For
Room One: A Mystery or Two
No Talking
Things That Are
Lost and Found
Extra Credit
About Average
The Map Trap
The Friendship War
The Losers Club

Pets to the Rescue Series
Ringo Saves the Day!
Brave Norman
Tara and Tiree, Fearless Friends
Delores and the Big Fire

Jake Drake Series
Jake Drake Know-It-All
Jake Drake, Bully Buster
Jake Drake, Teacher's Pet
Jake Drake, Class Clown

Benjamin Pratt and the Keepers of the School Series
We the Children
Fear Itself
The Whites of Their Eyes
In Harm's Way
We Hold These Truths

Reading Program Books
Karen's Island
Three Wishes for Buster
Bill Picket: An American Original, Texas Style
Hurricane Andrew
Ham and Eggs for Jack
Life in the Desert
Desert Treasure
Inventors: Making Things Better, Steck-Vaughn
Milo's Great Invention

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