The Homework Strike

272p. ebook available. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine Bks. Jan. 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780439913010.
Gr 4–6—Gregory Korenstein-Jasperton flies under the radar at Morris Champlin School, and that is all right with him. He has his small group of friends and his poetry, but the obscene amount of homework—about three hours a night—is really beginning to cramp his style. History teacher Dr. Bankster is the true source of the homework problem and has been the bane of the middle school for years. Gregory decides to go on a homework strike, devoting his effort to maintaining good grades via his work during class time. Unfortunately, his decision not to do homework is putting him in danger of not passing, and he finds this deeply unfair. Why is it that work done at home, sometimes not even meaningful work, counts more than classwork? This starts Gregory on his great homework strike, and he makes some surprising allies, and enemies, along the way. Gregory’s homework strike, and the battle he wages in order to be understood at home and in school, is a classic middle grade conflict. His fight to stand out among his brilliant siblings and at school is relatable, especially to this novel’s target readership. Little new ground is covered, but Gregory is a solid narrator, and his voice has pathos and humor.
VERDICT This title is not a must-buy, but it would be a good addition to medium and large middle grade collections.

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