Tuesday, January 20, 2015

A Semester in the Life of a Garbage Bag by Gordon Korman

A Semester in the Life of a Garbage Bag Sean Delancey, high school basketball star, is just an ordinary, popular guy...until he meets eccentric Raymond Jardine, a boy with absolutely no luck. The two are partnered for a poetry project, later joined by beautiful new student, Ashley. Although reluctant at first, Sean is drawn into Raymond's wacky scheme to secure a spot on the school-sponsored trip to Theamelpos, the fabulous Greek island that grants good luck to everyone who visits it. Soon the boys are contending with planning a school Halloween party, creating a fake hockey team, and resurrecting a long dead poet, and managing T.V. appearances. Through his friendship with Raymond, Sean learns to value individuality and independent thinking. And in the book's hilarious climax, it is Sean himself who engineers the showdown between the student body and SACGEN, the Principal's pet project, which is a virtually useless Solar/Air Current Generating Machine that supposedly powers the high school!

I was surprised just how much I enjoyed this book!  A laugh out loud romp through one misadventure after another. The excellent pacing and dialogue are near perfect. Korman gifts readers with likable characters from the heroes Sean and Raymond, to the surprising gem that is Gramps a.k.a. Gunhold and on to the supporting cast of students and friends.   This entertaining read is the best I have read from Korman and I can' believe it has taken me this long to discover it.  Enjoyable from page 1, the fully rounded and often quirky characters will grab the reader and have them cheering for Jardine and the reluctant Sean.  Favorite moments include Jardine's conversations with the ever present "them" while referring to himself in the third person. the schemes that Sean and Jardine come up with,often on the fly,  and Howard's legendary poker games and hatred of the SACGEN project. Written in 1985, it was given an updated cover that is sure to bring in the next generation of readers.

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