Surviving the Applewhites 2003 Honor Book ****

Jake Semple's parents are both in jail, he burned down a middle school and now as a last resort has to live with the Applewhites, a free-thinking family who run the Creative Academy. The Creative Academy is unlike any other school Jake has ever seen. No homework, no teachers, and you write your own curriculum. E.D. is supposed to share her curriculum with Jake. E.D. is nothing like the other Applewhites, she likes order, routine and predictability, certainly hard to come by living at Wit's End, the Applewhite's farm. Pretty soon chaos moves to catastrophe when the father decides to direct "The Sound of Music" and tries to break out of the norm by casting every race and color as the von Trapp family. Soon both Jake and E.D. discover even they have talents that can be appreciated in an extremely unconventional family.

What a unique and fun book. Definitely a great classroom read for 4th grade and up. The chapters alternate between E.D's and Jake's point of view. The author did a great job with dialog, I could hear the different voices and fluctuations automatically. I found it difficult to put down and finished in a just few days. A great story for any teenage boy or girl to read that is headed down the path of "goth".

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