Confessions of a Class Clown

Featured
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
446 0
Confessions of a Class Clown
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Age Range
8+
Release Date
March 01, 2021
ISBN
978-0593118702
Buy This Book
      
Meet Jack Reynolds. Making people laugh is his life's work. Jack's wacky MyTube channel is really starting to take off. The only problem is, for the truly epic posts, he needs a collaborator. And, well, he doesn't exactly have any friends. So Jack has to swallow his pride and join the new afterschool club, Speed Friendshipping. But who would make the best partner in comedy?

• Brielle, Miss Perfect candidate for student body president?
• Mario, whose mom won't even let him have a smart phone?
• Or Tasha, the quiet, mysterious girl with a shaved head and a crocheted hat for every day of the week?

One of these kids could help catapult Jack to internet fame . . . or even become a true friend. But what will it cost him to go viral?

With an unfailing knack for the middle-grade voice, Arianne Costner, author of My Life as a Potato, explores themes of friendship, belonging, and the ways social media can put pressure on today's kids.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Life lessons... and gerbil grooming.
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0
Jack Reynolds is the sort of kid that teachers put in the back of the classroom-- surrounded by all of the good kids, as a buffer. He's always trying to make people laugh with him so that they don't laugh at him. He's even posted videos on MyTube, including one of him "T. Rex-ing" at the JoAnn Fabric store. (A location chosen because he didn't care if he got banned from the store. Which he did.) Lately, he's been palling around with Zane, a football player who is pretty popular. They've had some fun, but recently Zane hasn't seemed amused by Jack's antics. When he realizes that Zane is not going to participate in an epic talent show prank, he needs to find someone else to help him. Enter the Speed Friendshipping Club, run after school by the well meaning guidance counselor, Mr. Busby. Jack knows it is lame, but there ARE powdered sugar jelly doughnuts. He's a little surprised at some of the people who are there, including Mario, who is a whiz at hacky sack, Tasha, who has a shaved head and always wears funky crocheted hats, and Brielle, who is pretty and popular, and has a make up tutorial on MyTube that gets a lot of likes. Jack connects with each of them for different reasons, although making videos for MyTube always features largely. Mario's mother is very strict about his internet usage, so when he and Jack post a food fight style video that gets a lot of likes, not only does Jack have to take the video down, but his parents ground him from his smart phone until he can get his grade up in math. Tasha is good at math, and the two get along well as she helps him study for his next test, which he needs to ace in order to get a C for a final grade. Jack finds out that Tasha's older brother died of cancer, that her parents are divorcing, and that her mother is renovating their house because she wants to flip it. They get along, but Jack accidentally spills a red Slurpee all over a dress she wants to enter into a competition. Brielle isn't as confident as Jack orginally thinks, and he approaches her to help with videos when his phone is taken away, since she makes them as well. The two have a lot of fun at the mall, but when he tries to get back into Zane's good graces, he makes fun of her in a really mean way. Will Jack be able to enter the talent show with a decent act that doesn't involve squirting ketchup on anyone, and will he finally understand a bit more about what it means to be a good friend?
Good Points
Like this author's My Life as a Potato, Confessions of a Class Clown has an strong cast of appealing, nuanced characters. In between chapters, which are from Jack's perspective, we get glimpses into the feelings of Mario, Tasha, and Brielle. This slowed down the story a little, but the characters were so interesting that I sort of wanted a whole book about each of them. The most fascinating part of the characters was that each had a public persona, but a private one that often didn't match at all. I think that is very common in middle school students, but is not something I have seen portrayed often in books.

The middle school experience centers on two things: self-identity and friendships. Like Peirce's Big Nate, Jack is a lot more important in his own head. He's a slacker, doesn't do well in school, and isn't all that nice to people. He's not mean; he's just trying to figure out who he is, just like most middle school students. He's kindhearted, and means well, and when he stops his marshmallow throwing and video posting obsession long enough to listen to his classmates, he makes some friends and end up enjoying himself in the process.

It's easy to write tragedy. Humor is harder. Humor, when it also encompasses essential middle grade concerns and delivers important life lessons while throwing in lines about having to groom gerbils, is a very difficult feat. Costner accomplishes this with finesse, and clearly understands the way that tween minds work. From having the right socks to convincing a teacher he's serious about her class, Jack's painful middle school journey will get a lot of likes from readers who enjoy Richardson's Stu Truly, Greenwald's Charlie Joe Jackson, and Uhrig's Double the Danger and Zero Zucchini.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

The Last Fallen Star (Gifted Clans, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Riley Oh can't wait to see her sister get initiated...
Take Me Home: Forests of the World
 
5.0
 
5.0 (1)
Bite-sized facts about forests from around the globe, pointing out...
Hurricane Summer
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
In this sweeping debut, Asha Bromfield takes readers to the...
All Kinds of Other
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
In this tender, nuanced coming-of-age love story, two boys—one who...
Reign of Secrets
 
3.8
 
0.0 (0)
At the Midnight Ball, leave your inhibitions at the...
The Forest of Stolen Girls
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
1426, Joseon (Korea). Hwani's family has never been the...
Go the Distance
 
4.5 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
What if Meg had to become a god? After...
In Deeper Waters
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
A young prince must rely on a mysterious stranger...
These Feathered Flames (These Feathered Flames, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
When twin heirs are born in Tourin, their fates...
Take Me Home: Waters of the World
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Bite-sized facts about bodies of water from around the globe,...
This Is My America
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Hate U Give meets Just Mercy in this unflinching...
Colors in Nature
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Magnificent, hand-painted illustrations by a rising star of Czech watercolor...
Welcome to Arizona
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Welcome to Arizona! We're glad you're here! Introducing a new...
I Don't Want to Go to School
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
It's Mouse's first day of school. It's Dinosaur's first day...
Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
I'm Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter meets Emergency Contact...
Counting Down with You
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
In this sparkling and romantic YA debut, a reserved Bangladeshi...

Latest Member Reviews

The Last Fallen Star (Gifted Clans, #1)
 
5.0
"THE LAST FALLEN STAR is a thrilling epic fantasy. Riley Oh is a saram, a person without magic, adopted by..."
I Don't Want to Go to School
 
3.5
"I DON'T WANT TO GO TO SCHOOL features Dinosaur and Mouse, who are both scared of their first day of..."
The Mother of Monsters
 
4.5
"‘The Mother of Monsters’ by Fran Parnell, illustrated by Sophie Fatus, tells the story of Ntombi, the chief's daughter. She..."
Grim, Grunt and Grizzle-Tail: A Story from Chile
 
4.5
"‘Grim, Grunt and Grizzle-Tail’ by Fran Parnell, illustrated by Sophie Fatus, is great for younger elementary readers and anyone who..."
Baseball Baby
 
5.0
"BASEBALL BABY is a delightful board book about baseball. The book begins with heading to the park to play baseball..."
I Am Not a Penguin
 
4.0
"I AM NOT A PENGUIN is a silly picture book that manages to teach young readers about pangolins. A pangolin..."
Sam Can't Sleep
 
4.5
"SAM CAN'T SLEEP is a fun picture book read that introduces the concept of nocturnal animals. It's nighttime, and all..."
Welcome to California
 
4.0
"WELCOME TO CALIFORNIA is a fun picture book of facts about the state. It covers topics from the state capitol..."
Zoom: Dinosaur Adventure
 
4.5
"ZOOM: DINOSAUR ADVENTURE takes the reader on a journey to the time of the dinosaurs. Jamie and Jasmine are going..."
Let's Pretend Fire Station
 
5.0
"LET'S PRETEND FIRE STATION is a delightful peek-through board book about firefighters. The book features pictures of children, firetrucks, and..."
Rosa Loves Dinosaurs / A Rosa Le Encantan Los Dinosaurios
 
3.5
"ROSA LOVES DINOSAURS/ A ROSA LE ENCANTAN LOS DINOSAURIOS is a fun bilingual board book about a love of dinosaurs...."
Eva Evergreen, Semi-Magical Witch
 
5.0
"Eva Evergreen is a young witch about to embark on her Novice Quest. As the daughter of one of the..."
Homer on the Case
 
4.5
"HOMER ON THE CASE is a delightful middle grade mystery, featuring unlikely detectives. Homer, a homing pigeon, and Lulu, a..."
The Thingity-Jig
 
5.0
"THE THINGITY-JIG is a fun picture book read about invention and friendship. Although all his friends are asleep, Bear feels..."
Bridge of Souls (City of Ghosts #3)
 
4.0
"What worked: This is a satisfying conclusion to City of Ghosts series. Engaging characters, fast-paced plot, and spooky magic woven..."
This is Your World
 
5.0
"THIS IS YOUR WORLD is a lovely picture book that introduces the world and the importance of taking care of..."
Mermaid Life: The Joy of Making Waves
 
5.0
"MERMAID LIFE is a fun collection of artwork themed around mermaids. With a few fun facts, silly moments, and inspirational..."
Yawn
 
4.5
"YAWN is a cute book about the contagious nature of yawns. A little boy begins a yawn that carries through..."
The Bear in the Boat
 
4.5
"THE BEAR IN THE BOAT is a sweet story of kindness and helping your neighbors. A storm is arriving, and..."
It's Bath Time! (Indestructibles)
 
4.5
"IT'S BATH TIME! is an adorable installment in the Indestructibles series. The book features baby animals and baby who have..."