Trevor Jones is staring middle school and he’s been preparing for it for weeks. He’s determined to get a good start to the year by following the instructions his best friend Libby emailed him about middle school. He’s going to try not to doodle all over everything with his favorite pen. He’s going to not hang out with the janitor. Those things are all in the plan, but Trevor’s not prepared for Libby to show up for the first day in a skirt or for her to tell him they can’t be best friends anymore. Libby’s bailed Trevor out from embarrassing situations on the first day of school for years. Before Trevor can figure out how he’ll handle rescuing himself, Libby issues him an ultimatum that he’s even less prepared to handle–Trevor has to find a date to the fall dance before the end of the first day of school.
Missteps abound in Trevor’s first weeks of middle school. He knows he’s supposed to steer clear of the eighth graders, but it’s impossible. When he isn’t being the target of an overly cool boy’s bullying, Trevor is asking an eighth grader at his bus stop for advice. When he tries to ask the new girl Molly to the dance by dropping a note into the trash, he ends up sneezing on the note instead. He’s still determined to ask Molly even if she is as different from Trevor as can be–she wears clothes with tears, doesn’t mind being late and likes getting detentions. Trevor also has to find a way to convince Libby that she’s got the very worst date to the dance, but Libby thinks Trevor is making up lies.
Each chapter of the Classroom starts with an interview excerpts with students from Westside Middle School. Anxious Trevor, Libby, Molly, the bully and others take their turns spinning the events leading from the first day of school up through the fall dance. This is a funny read with depth that deals with friendship changes, bullying, teenage relationships, anxiety issues and more. Sketches and artifacts from the school add another dimension to this documentary-style book.
I reviewed an ARC of this book courtesy of Netgalley.