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Month in review

Reviews
Beast & Crown by Joel Ross
Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk
Boundless by Jillian Tamaki
Carrying Albert Home by Homer Hickam
CatStronauts: Space Station Situation by Drew Brockington
Demon, Volume 4 by Jason Shiga
Feathertop by Robert D. San Souci
14 Hollow Road by Jenn Bishop
From Ant to Eagle by Alex Lyttle
The Great Shelby Holmes Meets Her Match by Elizabeth Eulberg
Hear the Wolves by Victoria Scott
Lights, Camera, Middle School! by Jennifer L. Holm
The Looney Experiment by Luke Reynolds
The Losers Club by Andrew Clements
The Lost Kingdom of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine Lucky Broken Girl by Ruth Behar
Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess by Shari Green
Murder on the Half Shelf by Lorna Barrett
One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance by Nikki Grimes
One Mixed-Up Night by Catherine Newman
Ordinary Mishaps and Inevitable Catastrophes by Booki Vivat
Orphan Island by Laurel Snyder
Paper Girls Volume 3 by Brian K. Vaughan
Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson
Red Leech by Andrew Lane
Refugee by Alan Gratz
Ripped From the Pages by Kate Carlisle
The Scarebird by Sid Fleischman and Peter Sís
See You in the Cosmos by Jack Cheng
Walking with Miss Millie by Tamara Bundy
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Portfolio 25 by Rosamund Kidman Cox

Miscellaneous
2017 books read and reviewed
Back Half round-up: Favorite books read and reviewed from July-December 2017 Canadian Books reviewed in 2017
Diverse Books Reviewed in 2017
First Book of the Year Graphic Novels Reviewed in 2017
It's Monday, What Are You Reading (December 04)
It's Monday, What Are You Reading (December 11)
It's Monday, What Are You Reading (December 18)
It's Monday, What Are You Reading (December 25)
Mysteries reviewed in 2017
Road Narrative Summary
November 2017 sources
November 2017 summary

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Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish


The Looney Experiment: 12/31/17

The Looney Experiment by Luke Reynolds

The Looney Experiment by Luke Reynolds is about a boy struggling through life: his father has run off, he's bullied at school, the girl of his dreams doesn't know he exists, and he has a name he hates. Then a substitute English teacher with an unconventional teaching methodology comes in and saves the day at great personal expense.

The book, though, is so by-the-numbers, that there's nothing new here.

The boy's name is Atticus, to hone in on the continued popularity of To Kill a Mockingbird. The bully uses his name against him, calling him "Fatticus" at every possible opportunity (and often in front of uncaring teachers). And, surprise, surprise, our hero doesn't know why he has this name, so that it has to be explained to him later in the book.

Then there's Mr. Looney (yes that's his real name). He replaces a female teacher, as is typical of these stories. He's better at controlling the class and he's more understanding to the poor, ignored, untaught boys. Because of course female teachers can't or don't want to teach boys.

There's the whole un-schooling bit of the book. Schools these days with their Common Core are too hard on kids. There's too much testing and not enough character building. Or something. So Mr. Looney doesn't give any tests until he's forced to.

And finally there's the BULLY who will ruin it for everyone because he's a BULLY. It's what he does. Of course he does it by crying crocodile tears about how badly Mr. Looney is treating the class. Mind you, Mr. Looney doesn't seem to be actually teaching the class anything, but that's not what the bully is complaining about. Of course the bully's word is taken more seriously than any other students. Because he's a BULLY and they always win in these types of books.

One star

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