Class Dismissed by Allan Woodrow

Class Dismissed is an engaging elementary/middle school read about a class of students who find themselves without a teacher – and then try to hide that situation from school, other classmates, and parents so they can have a long school holiday. But along the way, they learn some valuable lessons about the usefulness of a teacher – and that school really isn’t as bad as they always thought it had been.

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Story: A 5th grade class of mostly misfits manages to finally annoy their teacher enough to make her suddenly quit. Unfortunately for the school, no one has figured that out yet – and the kids band together to continue that ‘wonderful’ situation.  But they soon find out that school is actually harder without a teacher – and maybe goofing off and the hard work needed to fool parents and principal isn’t worth the trouble. Perhaps teachers aren’t the enemy after all.

This is a very entertaining read that intrigues enough to keep pages rapidly turning. The kids sound like kids and did the things they normally do like throwing erasers and spitwads. Class characters include: The smart girl in the class, Maggie, who goes along with the ruse and manages to keep it going – she never really needed a teacher anyway. An invisible kid, Eric, is actually amazing and talented with social skills and making up stories/excuses – he finally gets to shine. Loudmouth Kyle is at first just a goof (burping and throwing objects), but in time he realizes that isn’t what he really wants – he wants to learn and get better.

What makes the story entertaining is the lengths they go in order to keep up the charade. Each of the students contributes to the problem in different ways; parents must be fooled, fellow schoolmates’ curiosity kept at bay, and administrators kept in the dark. It’s not as easy as it seems but the class will get very inventive!

The kids all learn a lot about each other – discovering hidden talents and how they really aren’t all that different as they think. There were many good lessons contained within the story but none overstated or heavy. It’s the type of book where you enjoy the plot and then realize afterwards that there were many good points made as well.

The above summary is from my 11 year old – a 5th grader. She couldn’t wait to get into the book (Dork Diaries is one of her favorite series) and didn’t put the Kindle down once she started. When describing it to me for the review, she was animated and excited and really happy she had a chance to read Class Dismissed.

Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.

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