Saturday 12 November 2022

This Can't Be Happening at MacDonald Hall - Gordon Korman - MacDonald Hall Book 1

This Can't Be Happening at MacDonald Hall
MacDonald Hall Book 1
Gordon Korman
ISBN 9781338629149
eISBN 9781338629156

This book was the first published by Gordon Korman, he wrote it when in grade 7 and published it in Grade 9. Earlier this year, in the summer of 2022, he published his 100th book. Yes you read that correctly, his hundredth book. My introduction to Korman’s works was the 39 Clues back in 2009. Since then I have read 17 of his books. Hardly a drop in the buck, but with each one I read I am entertained and often challenged. My son often reads these books to me or with me. I picked up this to read on my own to see where it all began. 

My son and I started reading Gordon Korman books together a few years ago, when he was given one as an end of year gift by his teacher. She gave the whole class the same Scholastic edition and wrote an note to each student in the book. Prior to that I had a read a few of his contributions to the 39 Clues series and had enjoyed them. My Son and I have mostly been reading his more recent titles. I have always been hesitant to pick this one up because it is part of a series. I was not sure I was that committed. Not I am hooked and know I will be reading the other 6 volumes in this series in short order. The series consists of:

This Can't Be Happening at Macdonald Hall 
Go Jump in the Pool 
Beware the Fish! 
The Wizzle War
         (formerly The War With Mr. Wizzle )
The Zucchini Warriors 
Light’s Camera, Disaster 
          (aka Macdonald Hall Goes Hollywood)
The Jokes on Us
          (formerly Something Fishy at Macdonald Hall)

Book 6 was renamed in 2003 the stories were originally published between 1978 and 1995, though some have been rewritten to be more up to date. Three of the original 7 have been renamed at some point over the years. It should also be noted that the series was originally called Bruno & Books and later rebranded MacDonald Hall. But back to the volume at hand. The current description of this volume is:

“In Gordon Korman's beloved first book, Bruno and Boots team up...and school is never the same!

Bruno and Boots are always in trouble. So the Headmaster, aka "The Fish" decides it would be best to separate them. Bruno must now room with ghoulish Elmer Dimsdale, plus his plants, goldfish, and ants. And Boots is stuck with nerdy, preppy, paranoid George Wexford-Smyth III.

Of course, this means war. Because Bruno and Boots are determined to get their old room back, no matter what it takes.

And the skunk is only the beginning....”

The chapters in this volume are:

“It’s Always Us!”
The Fish’s Decree
The Cannon at Midnight
Assignment: Obnoxious!
You Keep Ants?
Round Two
Desperate Measures
Breakfast at Scrimmage’s
“Congratulations, Boys”
Scrimmage’s to the Rescue
No End to Miracles!
About the Author
Q&A with Gordon Korman

If I had not known this was Korman’s first novel I would have been very surprised when I found that out. Now yes the story has been updated some over the years but the whole story is just masterfully written. Korman truly a master of the Middle Grade and even Young Adult genres, his books are amazing for kids, tweens and teens. And even some of us older readers. C.S. Lewis in On Stories: And Other Essays on Literature stated: “It is very rarely that a middle-aged man finds an author who gives him, what he knew so often in his teens and twenties, the sense of having opened a new door.” I said in a previous review that Korman accomplishes that in this and all of his other books I have read. This was another amazing read! And really the beginning of it all. This one is not as deep or deal with such important issues as some of his more recent offerings, but it is a great fun read. 

Bruno and Boots have a knack for creating trouble, and for not getting caught. But once they are separated as roommate’s they up their game in every way possible to try and get roomed together again.

The characters are wonderfully written. It is a very fun story guaranteed to entertain the young and the young at heart! 
It is an excellent read from Korman’s masterful pen! And the story that started it all. 

Books by Gordon Korman:
MacDonald Hall Series:
The Wizzle War (1982)
         (formerly The War With Mr. Wizzle)
The Zucchini Warriors (1988)
Light’s Camera, Disaster (1991)
          (aka Macdonald Hall Goes Hollywood)
The Jokes on Us (1995)
          (formerly Something Fishy at Macdonald Hall)

Bugs Potter Series:

Jeremy Bloom Series:
The D−Poems of Jeremy Bloom (1992)
The Last-Place Sports Poems of Jeremy Bloom (1996)

Monday Night Football Series:
The Quarterback Exchange (1997)
Running Back Conversion (1997)
Super Bowl Switch (1997)
Heavy Artillery (1997)
Ultimate Scoring Machine (1998)
NFL Rules! Bloopers, Pranks, Upsets, and Touchdowns (1998)

Masterminds Series:

Slapshots Series:
The Stars From Mars (1999)
All-Mars All-Stars/The Dream Team (1999)
The Face-off Phony (2000)
Cup Crazy (2000)
Ouch I got slapped (2023)
4-in-1 Slapshots: The Complete Collection (2008)

Nose Pickers Series:
Nose Pickers from Outer Space! (1999)
Planet of the Nose Pickers (2000)
Your Mummy Is a Nose Picker (2000)
Invasion of the Nose Pickers (2001)
4-in-1 The Ultimate Nose-Picker Collection (2006)

Island Series:
Shipwreck (2001)
Survival (2001)
Escape (2001)
3-in-1 Island Trilogy Collection (2006)

Son of the Mob Series:
Son of the Mob 2: Hollywood Hustle (2004)

Everest Series:
The Contest (2002)
The Climb (2002)
The Summit (2002)
Everest Trilogy Box Set (2002)

Dive Series:
The Discovery (2003)
The Deep (2003)
The Danger (2003)

On the Run Series:
Now You See Them, Now You Don't (2005)
The Stowaway Solution (2005)
Public Enemies (2005)
Hunting the Hunter (2006)

Kidnapped Series:
The Search (2006)
The Rescue (2006)

Swindle Series:
Swindle (2008)
Zoobreak (2009)
Framed (2010)
Showoff (2012)
Hideout (2013)
Jackpot (2014)
Unleashed (2015)
Jingle (2016)

Titanic Series:
Unsinkable (2011)
Collision Course (2011)
S.O.S (2011)

The 39 Clues Series:
Vespers Rising (2011)
The Medusa Plot (2011)
Flashpoint (2014)

Hypnotists Series:
The Hypnotists (2013)
Memory Maze (2014)
The Dragonfly Effect (2015)

Ungifted Series:
Ungifted (2012)

Slacker Series:
Slacker (2016)
Level 13 (2019)

Non Series Books:
Losing Joe's Place (1990)
The Twinkie Squad (1992)
The Toilet Paper Tigers (1993)
Why Did the Underwear Cross the Road (1994)
The Chicken Doesn't Skate (1996)
No More Dead Dogs (2000)
Maxx Comedy: The Funniest Kid in America (2003)
Jake, Reinvented (2003)
Born To Rock (2006)
Schooled (2007)
Pop (2009)
Restart (2017)
Notorious (2019)
War Stories (2020)
Game On (contains The Chicken Doesn’t Skate and The Toilet Paper Tigers (2021)
Unplugged (2021)
Linked (2021)
The Fort (2022)

No comments: