Friday, January 06, 2017

The Homework Strike

30255009Pincus, Greg. The Homework Strike
January 3rd 2017 by Arthur A. Levine Books
E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline

In this sequel to The 14 Fibs of Gregory K., Gregory and his friends are back. Even with his homework group, Gregory struggles to get all of his work done, especially for his history teacher, Dr. Bankster. After spending time at the author camp, he would rather be spending his time writing what he wants instead of doing busy work that he doesn't feel helps him understand the material. It's especially hard that his parents won't let him attend the open mic night at a bookstore in the next town unless his grades are all C's or higher. Since his friend Kelly and her mother have moved away, he doesn't need to lose this as well. Eventually, he decides to go on a homework strike but still make sure that his grades are good on all of his other work. He gets his classmates interested in trying to get an old town law outlawing homework reinstated, and causes a huge news flurry.
Strengths: This is a textbook example of many things that I would love to see more frequently in middle grade literature-- lots of humor, intact, supportive family, good mix of friends, student with a particular interest, light romance, realistic school interactions. The best part of this, however, was how CIVIL everyone was! That was fantastic, especially given how contentious things have been in the world. Gregory has issues but addresses them constructively with the help of informed adults in his life. How wonderful!
Weaknesses: This could have been a tighter, more amusing story if the details of the strike had been less pedantic. I appreciated how Dr. Bankster was getting Gregory to learn more through a bit of deception, but the third quarter of this dragged a bit. 
What I really think: I didn't enjoy the first book as much as I liked this one, but now I have to make sure my library has both. 

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