cover image Slacker


Gordon Korman. Scholastic Press, $16.99 (240p) ISBN 978-0-545-82315-9

In this highly entertaining tale from Korman (Masterminds), eighth grader Cam Boxer lives for playing video games with his two best friends. When he ignores his mother's dinner instructions while playing, resulting in the fire department breaking down the door and a house that smells like burnt ziti, Cam's parents' threats of pulling the plug on his gaming push him to create a fictitious school club. Cam's goal with the Positive Action Group is to mollify his parents without actually doing anything, so he's horrified when students and faculty latch on to the concept and club. Cam's irritation with the club's popularity provides lots of laughs (" %E2%80%98Well, I'm the president,' I grumbled, %E2%80%98and I still say that the Positive Action Group doesn't exist' ") as the story unfolds via the perspectives of multiple amusing characters, including classmate Daphne, who wants to save a homeless beaver; Mr. Fanshaw, a guidance counselor who feels that his hour has finally come; and Jennifer, an ultra-achieving high school student who feels threatened by Cam's club's success. Upbeat, inspiring, and full of Korman's signature sense of humor. Ages 8%E2%80%9312. (Apr.)