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Young readers book reviews for ages 8 to 12 years old

*Adam Canfield of The Slash* by Michael Winerip- young readers book review
Also by Michael Winerip:

Adam Canfield, Watch Your Back!
Adam Canfield of The Slash
by Michael Winerip
Ages 9-12 336 pages Candlewick April 2007 Paperback    

Adam Canfield is a middle-schooler. In other words, according to Michael Winerip (who was an education reporter and is now a columnist on parenting for The New York Times), Adam is an over-programmed kid with a multitude of classroom and non-classroom activities. Apart from being a good student, Adam is a co-editor of The Slash, his school newspaper, a member of the Geography Challenge team, and an intrepid basketball player. His life is rushing from one place to the next and oftentimes having to come up with excuses for tardiness.

The Slash is no ordinary newspaper. It seeks to feature hard-hitting investigative stories. When a precocious third grader follows a seemingly innocuous story with bullheaded determination, Adam and his journalist friends finds themselves on the trail of a major story which may involve his school principal. It involves a donation made to fund school projects that appears to have been misused. How they get in very deep, face threats to themselves, and unravel a major plot forms a satisfying and thrilling read.

The grown-ups in general do not come across in a favorable light. Principal Marris directs and controls the school and its activities from a bunker office. The local cable tycoon uses his funds for self-serving purposes. Even the geography teacher buckles down under pressure from higher-ups. Without strong-willed adults to support them, Adam and Jennifer (his co-editor) have to make a number of responsible decisions themselves. Winerip weaves his critique of the education system adroitly into the narrative and maintains the suspense till the denouement.

The setting and the characters add to the realistic portrayal of middle-school life that the reader can relate to. While the detours on the shortcomings of the educational system may be off-putting to some readers, the action-packed pages lead to a plausible climax. In Adam Canfield, young readers can find a hero to emulate.

Young readers book reviews for ages 8 to 12 years old

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