Review Detail

 
Kids Fiction
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A

Legal Issues in Action

Sam is tired of homework. It's not that he wants to do nothing but play video games when he gets home from school-- he wants to be outside, build things with his dad, play piano, and do things OTHER than homework for hours and hours. His friend Alistair would use his time to cook, and Catalina wants to memorize Pi to a thousand digits past the decimal. When Sam finally gets fed up with one project too many threatening to ruin his weekend, he gets suspended for causing a disruption in class. When his older sister, Sadie, points out that he can't be suspended without due process, a thought takes hold. Could he really protest homework and take it all the way to the Supreme Court? With the help of his neighbor, Mr. Kalman (who is a retired lawyer who had worked on school cases before), the group (including friend Jaesang) make plans. They raise funds (by selling California Mission projects as well as science fair projects!) to finance their court cases, and lay their plans very carefully. Mr. Kalman's knowledge of the legal system is very helpful, but the case is thrown out by the two lower courts before the group heads to Washington. By this time, there is a huge show of support by children throughout the US who have as their rallying cry the fact that studies have not shown that homework is helpful, and that students need to have free time to process information and to be curious individuals. Can Mr. Kalman and Sadie manage to not only research the case well but argue it effectively?

Good Points
Frank does an excellent job of making Sam's case seem like it might actually be something that the courts would take on, and Kalman's approach is great. There is even an overview of the "justices" and their different backgrounds that is quite fascinating, and gives a lot of insight into how an actual case might be considered. The fact that Sam and his friends want their free time for productive purposes helps. Parents are supportive, even though Sam's case costs his mother her job as a realtor! The plot moves along quickly, and is just a lot of fun. Frank's experience in an actual middle school classroom is evident.

This is definitely Avi's Nothing But the Truth for the new millenium. With the popularity of Mock Trial teams and the number of children who are interested in being lawyers when they grow up, I'm surprised there aren't more books that incorporate the legal system. Coy's Box Out and Klass' Wrestling with Honorare the only other two books that touch on legal matters even tangentially.

I taught middle school Latin, and cannot imagine any 6-8th grader learning that subject without any homework. Just... doesn't work. Considering that I found the basic premise of the book didn't hold, I enjoyed this more than I thought I would. This is a testament to Frank's writing, and the target demographic will be delighted with the idea of doing away with homework in a way that I definitely was NOT!
Was this review helpful to you? 

Comments

 
 
Ordering 
 
Already have an account? or Create an account
 
 
 
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Resist: 35 Profiles of Ordinary People Who Rose Up Against Tyranny and Injustice
A perfect tool for young readers as they grow into...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle
From the critically acclaimed author of Waiting for Normal and...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Side by Side A Novel of Bonnie and Clyde
Texas: 1931. It’s the height of the Great Depression, and...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Voyage of the Dogs
SOS. Ship damaged. Human crew missing. We are...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Shorty & Clem Blast Off!
The energetic and zany duo Shorty and Clem are back,...
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Bear's Spooky Book of Hidden Things: Halloween Seek-and-Find
If you want to keep kids happily busy for hours...
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
Strange New World
Dahlia 16's life is a lie. The city of...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Like Never And Always
Liv Burnham thinks nobody knows Morgan Frost like she...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Outcasts- The Blood Dagger: Volume 1
Mystical relics. Powerful vampires. Strange allies. It's hell being...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Ascent (A Peak Marcello Adventure #3)
After conquering the mountains in Afghanistan, Peak Marcello goes...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Here to Stay
For most of high school, Bijan Majidi has flown under...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Hiding Lies
At Holden Prep, dirty little secrets always have a way...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
We, The Lucky Few
"Each time I think this night reaches its lowest...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Burning Maze (The Trials of Apollo, #3)
The formerly glorious god Apollo, cast down to earth...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Meg has it made. She has money to spare, attends...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Red Ribbon
Shining a light on a little-known aspect of the Holocaust,...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle
 
5.0
"Mason Buttle can't read all that well. And he sweats a lot. And writing isn't something he can do either...."
Voyage of the Dogs
 
5.0
"The Laika is on mission Stepping Stone, traveling outside the solar system to set up a new planet. In addition..."
Shorty & Clem Blast Off!
 
4.5
"'Shorty & Clem Blast Off!' by Michael Slack is a cute addition to Shorty and Clem's adventures. The first book..."
Bear's Spooky Book of Hidden Things: Halloween Seek-and-Find
 
3.5
"'Bear's Spooky Book of Hidden Things' by Gergely Dudas is for anyone who loves books like 'Where's Waldo?' Even adults..."
Funny Kid #2: Stand Up
 
4.5
"After his attempts to run for class president in Funny Kid for President, Max has decided that his identity is..."
Yellow Submarine
 
4.0
"Twice upon a time, once in 1968 and once today, there was an unearthly paradise called Pepperland. In an elaboration..."
Louie (The Puppy Place #51)
 
4.0
"The Petersons are working together to clean up a camp ground near Loon Lake, where they will be spending time..."
Spirit (The Puppy Place #50)
 
4.0
"Lizzie is very used to being around dogs, since her family fosters many of them, and has Buddy, their own..."
Mr. Wolf's Class
 
5.0
"Mr. Wolf is starting his first year of teaching fourth grade. He sets up his classroom and waits for his..."
Tom's Midnight Garden Graphic Novel
 
5.0
"This graphic retelling remains true to the story of the classic 1958 British time slip story. Tom is sent to..."
Welcome to Wonderland #3: Sandapalooza Shake-Up
 
4.0
"P.T. and Gloria have saved the Wonderland Motel, and now because of the celebrity tie-in with the Surf Monkey movie,..."
Al Capone Throws Me a Curve (Tales from Alcatraz)
 
4.0
"There are a lot of things going on for Moose now that summer is approaching. He desperately wants to be..."
So Done
 
4.0
"Bean and Tai are neighbors in a low-income housing project and have been friends for a very long time, but..."
Scout: National Hero (Scout #1)
 
4.0
"Matt and his family have moved to Nevada, where his mother runs an Army base and heads up their K-9..."
Two Dogs in a Trench Coat Go to School
 
5.0
"Waldo and Sassy are hard working dogs who scour the floor for meatballs and keep their humans' house safe from..."
The Lost Continent (Wings of Fire, Book 11)
 
4.0
"Blue and his sister Luna are very close to going through metamorphosis, after which they will be given jobs and..."
Game Changer
 
5.0
"At the end of summer football camp for the Walthorne Wildcats, Ted Youngblood collapses as he comes off the field..."
Double Cross (Twintuition #4)
 
4.0
"Cassie and Caitlyn Waters are still struggling to understand the power they share, The Sight. It is somehow tied to..."
Just Under the Clouds
 
4.0
"Cora's mother has struggled to keep a roof over Cora and her sister Adare's head ever since the death of..."
Revenge of the Teacher's Pets (Brewster Triplets #4)
 
4.0
"Darby, Dawn, and Delaney are determined that seventh grade is going to be AWESOME. However, when they get their schedules,..."