Charlie Drinkwater is a twerpy little kid who rates, by his own admission, a zero for being cool, on a scale from one to ten. He does have two good friends, the tall Lucille and the goth-wannabe Sam. They are extremely helpful when, in the middle of the school day, he turns into a giant mutant dinosaur! The principal, not knowing what else to do, calls Charlie's mom to take him home. She explains that his grandmother was a giant mutant dinosaur, and she had a perfectly nice life, so Charlie just needs to embrace his differences and get used to it. Being a dinosaur has its ups and downs-- the principal is not happy with him, especially when he has a few incidents, usually involving bully Craig, but Mr. Arkady, his teacher, is helpful and the younger kids in the middle school think he is beyond cool. Charlie does his best to make the best of the situation, especially since Alice, the most popular (and cutest) girl in his grade starts to talk to him. Craig, however, continues to be a problem, and Charlie has to find a way to take care of him.
I liked how Charlie's transformation occurred at school, and how the principal reacted. Most middle schoolers feel like they are as awkward as Charlie was, so I can see some kid appeal here, especially with the illustrations. I had an ARC, so am not sure if there will be more illustrations, so this could be more like a notebook novel. I doubt it a bit.