Wednesday, November 4, 2015

"Class Dismissed"

Allan Woodrow is the author of The Rotten Adventures of Zachary Ruthless and The Pet War. Also, under the name Fowler DeWitt, Woodrow has written The Contagious Colors of Mumpley Middle School and its sequel, The Amazing Wilmer Dooley.

Woodrow applied the Page 69 Test to his latest book, Class Dismissed, and reported the following:
From page 69:
On Wednesday, breakfast waits for me on our dining room table, like it’s supposed to. As I take my usual chair, I’m excited about school today. I can’t remember being this excited about anything.

At least, I can’t remember being this excited about anything that doesn’t include shoes.

On the table, my utensils glisten. I smooth a bump from my hair, using the reflection from my spoon for guidance. I put a cloth napkin on my lap.

Everything is perfect.

Wait. It’s not.

Because when I look down at the plate in front of me, my stomach ties itself into a big knot. The yolk dribbles into the egg whites, and the egg whites run into the whole-wheat toast. The crusts on my toast have been sliced off, mostly. But on one edge, parts of the terrible-tasting, too-hard brown bread exterior remain.
Page 69 is actually the first page of Chapter 11, which is written from Samantha’s perspective. The book’s chapters are told from five different character’s perspectives, each of whom are in the same fifth grade class: Adam, Maggie, Samantha, Kyle and Eric. Depending on the chapter you plunk yourself into, your connection to the story and the characters may change dramatically.

Most of the story is told in the classroom, but we do see glimpses of each character’s home lives. For the most part, each character begins as a cliché. But as the story progresses, each character grows and discovers new parts of themselves. This chapter shows Samantha as a bit of a one-note character: a spoiled rich girl, used to getting her way even at breakfast. But by seeing her in this environment, we are able to appreciate her growth throughout the book, as she becomes more accepting of the other students and appreciative of the things she has (such as an appreciation for her Aunt Karen’s breakfast attempts, even when they aren’t up to the usual standards).
Visit Allan Woodrow's website.

Writers Read: Allan Woodrow.

--Marshal Zeringue