It’s the start of seventh grade, and Trevor Jones is determined to make a fresh start.
No doodling. No lucky baseball card. No more neurotic freakouts or embarrassing mashed-potato incidents.
Now, if only he can survive his first day of school.
Trevor’s journey from zero to soda-slinging hero is the subject of “The
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Classroom: The Epic Documentary of a Not- Yet-Epic Kid,” the latest young adult novel from Los Osos author Robin Mellom. (It hits store shelves on Tuesday.) Her book “Ditched: A Love Story,” about a high school prom night gone wrong, came out earlier this year.
While “Ditched” was told in flashbacks from the perspective of 17-year-old Justina, “The Classroom” follows the experiences of Trevor and his fellow Westside Middle School students as filtered through the lens of a documentary film crew.
Trevor’s travails begin when he’s abandoned by his always-dependable best friend Libby at the bus stop.
“Everything’s changed. This is middle school,” she tells Trevor, and that it’s time for him to find other friends.
She hands him an ultimatum: He must ask a girl to the fall dance before the final bell rings.
Trevor’s quest to win over rebellious Molly, whose blue-streaked hair matches her ripped rainbow tights, leads to run-ins with bullies, teachers and a janitor with an unnatural attachment to Lefty, his favorite tool. Trevor must also decipher the middle-school pecking order, and help Libby discover the truth about Corey, her too-cool crush.
“The Classroom” pairs Mellom’s fresh, fast-paced narrative with Stephen Gilpin’s playful illustrations, ranging from illustrated portraits to doodles sketched on desks and messages scrawled on torn sheets of notebook paper. (His work can also be seen in the young adult series “The Gecko & Sticky,” by Pismo Beach resident Wendelin Van Draanen.)
Aimed at ages 9 to 12, “The Classroom” is an engaging summertime read for any kid starting a new grade or a new school.
Plus, it’s the first in the four-book series, so there’s plenty of fun yet to come.