Lately I’ve been getting lots of requests for book recommendations for reluctant readers and pre-teen boys. So, when I received a preview box of books from Library Bound Inc (thanks Helen!) I immediately picked up an ARC of ‘The Detention Club’ by David Yoo.
The story follows sixth-grader Peter Lee, and his best friend Drew as they attempt to regain their popularity they once had in elementary school. Within a couple of days at Fenwick Middle, the boys quickly realize that being great collectors of stuff (especially mica) doesn’t make them popular anymore and that the popularity game has changed. Peter and Drew become so obsessed with fitting in that their school grades begin to slide. As a result, Peter is given detention, but learns that serving detention may actually help him to network with the right people to re-establish their presence in the social ladder.
I really enjoyed this book for several reasons:
-Relatable. Popularity in middle/high school is a huge part of life. Most students can relate to the longing Peter and Drew have to be in considered the ‘in crowd’. Yoo is also able to incorporate other issues within the novel, including family drama and sibling rivalry with Peter’s over-achieving, eighth-grade sister, Sunny.
-Hilarious. When Peter’s plan of taking digital photos of the blackboard (instead of taking notes) backfires, he blames his dad for buying a terrible camera that takes grainy photos. Also, the creative ideas the boys come up with to increase their popularity had me laughing out loud.
-Surprising. There is a school thief that is determined to steal everyone’s most prized possessions. The kids in detention think the thief is Peter (after all, he does fit all the criteria). When the true identity of the thief is revealed, prepare to be surprised!
-Loved the characters. I wish I had a best friend like Drew. He is funny without trying to be. He reminds readers to embrace the inner loser in all of us.
Although most kids would do anything to get out of detention, I would love to join Fenwick Middle’s detention club! Well… maybe if it’s just for one day to get a sweet drawing of a unicorn.
<<—I just wish the cover was different.