Gabe Johnson Takes Over

 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
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Gabe Johnson Takes Over
Author(s)
Age Range
12+
Release Date
April 07, 2015
ISBN
978-1492608653
Buy This Book
      
From Geoff Herbach, the award-winning author of the hit young adult novels Stupid Fast and Nothing Special, comes the ultimate underdog story, which will resonate with anyone who has suffered from teasing and bullying at the hands of the high school social hierarchy—and decided to do something about it. (Previously titled Fat Boy vs The Cheerleaders.) Gabe is having a tough week. Normally the funny kid at the lunch table, he's on edge from trying to kick his soda addiction. So when news breaks that his beloved marching band camp has been cancelled due to lack of funding, he's furious. What makes him even madder? The school's vending machine money-which had previously been collected by the band-is now sponsoring the new cheer squad. The war is ON. And Gabe is leading the charge. No one will be safe from the Geekers' odd brand of wrath: not the principal, the band teacher, the local newspaper, and certainly not the cheerleaders and their jock boyfriends. Get ready: Life at Minnekota Lake Area High School is about to change. Gabe Johnson is taking over.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Don't Mess with Band Geeks
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Gabe (aka "Chunk") is an overweight band geek who tries to deal with several factors in his life by ingesting vast quantities of Mountain Dew Code Red, which he purchases from the school vending machine at exorbitant prices. He doesn't mind as much, though, because the proceeds of the pop machine go to his school band, which he loves. When he finds out that not only have prices gone up, but that the money is benefiting a new cheer leading/dance team, he realizes that he must not only do something about the band funding issue, but about his own life. He enlists the aid of his former body builder grandfather, and starts exercising and cutting back on junk food, which is hard, since he works at a doughnut shop. This irritates his friend Justin, who stood by Chunk when his mother ran off with a Japanese architect, but endears him to coworkers Gore (so named because of her Goth appearance) and RCIII (a football player). When the band director, mourning the loss of the program funding, is arrested for drunken driving, Chunk realizes that he must do something to save band. He gathers a group and plans a protest/fundraiser, enlisting the help of a now famous alumnus to raise awareness. When this is not enough, he robs the pop machine of an insignificant amount of money, which is enough to get him arrested. The book is told from the point of view of the transcript of his post-arrest interview with the school principal.

As with his author's Stupid Fast, the angst of a teen boy is shown in all its glory. Gabe has problems to deal with, and finally realizes there are better ways to do this than overeating and being difficult. His friends come and go. There's romance, the best literary grandpa EVER, and a social agenda that many of us can get solidly behind. This is pitch perfect for the single mindedness that characterizes teens.. for thirty seconds, before they move on to the next thing. Or not. I adore everything that Herbach has written.

I do VERY much appreciate that the language is cleaned up-- no f-bombs. I also thought the supportive language arts teacher (who has excellent advice) was possibly a nice tribute to Mr. Herbach's mother. Definitely a great gift for the misunderstood band geek in your life!
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