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Don't Care High (1986)

Don't Care High (1986)
4.03 of 5 Votes: 2
0590431293 (ISBN13: 9780590431293)
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Don't Care High (1986)
Don't Care High (1986)

About book: 4.5. Another funny Korman book! Huzzah!Gordon Korman is another one of my favorite authors. Since I read laughed my way through I Want to Go Home! way back over a decade ago, he has instantly become one of my "must-buy" authors. Unfortunately, he's not very popular in the Philippines so his books are hard to come by. Thankfully, I got some Amazon credits so I was able to buy Don't Care High. Hurrah!"Don't Care High" is actually a wordplay on the name of the school, Don Carey High School. The students are bizarrely apathetic, and not participating has become quite the norm, even for some teachers. Then new student Paul Abrams arrives from Canada, where he immediately stands out because he's the only one who has any ambition, and even finishes his homework early. Sheldon Pryor, previously a transferee himself, takes him under his wing as a sort of 'guide' towards becoming an inherent apathetic student Don't Care High student. However, it is all under a guise as Sheldon exhibits that he, in fact, has the most drive to make the students in their school take part in all their activities.Sheldon hatches a plan, which Paul hesitatingly agrees to as a sort of a lark, which turns into a serious matter, and makes Don't Care High become one of the most infamous schools around the district. However, since they were exhibiting participation and eagerness for the first time ever, some teachers have become supportive of them.Don't Care High has some really weird characters. Sheldon and Paul are normal enough, although Sheldon has a knack for knowing where all the "will make your tummy ache for days" kind of food in Manhattan. He and Sheldon become instant friends and they get through one scrape after another. Their friendship is very reminiscent of Korman's MacDonald Hall series' Bruno and Boots, and even of I Want to Go Home!'s Rudy Miller and Mike Webster. Korman has a knack for creating troublesome duos but whose antics almost always mean well and cause no lasting harm. In this pattern, one is almost always the 'leading troublemaker' (Sheldon, Bruno, and Rudy) while the other is a hesitating accomplice who eventually gets so caught up in the lark of the leader. But instead of being irritated at the leader, you just can't help but laugh! Or at least I can't. I've read I Want to Go Home! and the MacDonald Hall series more than twice already and I can't help but still laugh.Other notable weird characters are Mike Pryor, who is one of the most apathetic students I've ever met. There are a lot of things in his school he doesn't understand, and he doesn't even care to ask why all these kids are coming up to him, declaring their support for him. He's not lovable (for me, at least), but his no reactions make me laugh.One thing you should remember when reading Don't Care High (or even Korman's other books), is that these are not meant to be realistic, but more of an exaggerated young adult humorous book. It takes you out of the mundane happenings in real life, and presents to you some funny antics that can make you forget your troubles for the few hours you're involved in the book's world. It doesn't try to be serious at all or reflect black-and-white reality.Another thing that I love about Korman is that he has this ability to suck you into that world, whether it be in a camp, a forest, a school, a boy's dormitory. This doesn't happen to me for all books, but whenever I'm reading one of his books, I instantly feel that I'm a spectator right there.Don't Care High is not your typical YA book that is currently de rigeur nowadays. It does not have that romance aspect, and it's actually funny. If you're looking for something different this Christmas, give this one a try. :)Ciao!

Of all the author's books, this may be the funniest. And that is not to slang I Want to Go Home! or the Bruno & Boots books, which are also funny enough to make you inhale a mouthful of raisins. It is a story of New York City and a how a boy from a small town in Canada gets used to all the stimulation and variety. Some of my favorite parts are the neighbors in the high-rise opposite his apartment and the eccentric things he can see them doing (nothing raunchier than a guy who every day puts on a rabbit suit and eats carrots for dinner and nothing scarier than a circus-type fire-swallower practicing his craft). His high school of course is a main character - there is some kind of curse of apathy on it that no one can say how it happened to begin with. The only person in it who cares at all about anything to do with the school is the poor well-meaning guidance counselor, one of the funniest and most sympathetic characters. I can't list all the hilarious individuals who inhabit this school as it would take ten pages, but each is a little miracle of kookoo. The protagonist, along with a friend, manages with some legerdemain to hoodwink the student population into turning around and once they care, there is NO STOPPING THEM. Probably about the most sheer fun I've ever found in one book. And in case parents wonder, these books are extremely clean. The grooviest space cadet in school is addicted to licorice sticks and when you owe the school "gangster" a favor, he wants food in return. Pie, or maybe a melon.
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Phil Jensen
I have questions, but no answers. I wish I could have a conversation with Gordon Korman to sort some things out. I would ask him what's up with the principal in this book? Is that some kind of post-modern commentary on God? Is it a Greek chorus? Is it one of the other characters in disguise? Is it Otis? And what's up with Otis? Is he really an undercover government agent? Is he really an adult in disguise? Is he imaginary? Are Paul and Sherman the only people who can see him? Does he represent some kind of abstraction, such as apathy that must be exorcised, or privacy that is inevitably transgressed? And what about this Sherman guy? How much is he lying to others, and how much is he lying to himself? Does he know when he's lying? Is this book really about the way that your beliefs can cloud your perceptions; that when you tell a big enough lie it prevents you from perceiving the truth? Is this book meant to praise activism, or condemn the excesses of democracy? Is it suggesting that your identity only exists to the extent that it is perceived by others? Perhaps I'm over thinking it. That's what a day off work and too much coffee will do to a guy.
Jonathan Beck ENG204Did you feel that the book fulfilled your expectations? Were you disappointed?‘Don’t care high’ fulfilled my expectations of having a good plot. I really enjoyed the fact that this book made me read on and on. Like when Paul (the main character) tried to sneak into Mike’s(his weird friend) house to see what it looked like, I was very interested because what if Paul was caught.Did you enjoy the book? Why ? Why not.?I did very much enjoy this book mostly because of the different themes and how clear they were to see. For example the theme of regret when Paul and his family had all chosen to move to New York. Paul really missed Saskatchewan and wished he was back living there.What about the plot? Did it pull you in; or did you feel you had to force yourself to read the book?It did pull me in right about the time when Paul had to move to New York and go to a new school. Because I Knew there would be many events since he was starting at a new school. One main thing is that he had to make new friends, he eventually did he found Sheldon his new best friend the first day at school.How would the book have been different if it had taken place in a different time or place?If the book had taken place when Paul was older he would not have to go to this crazy school. So the events like Paul falling down the stairs with rollerblades on would not happen.Did the book end the way you expected?Yes it did because Mike seemed to be the one everyone loved because of him being school president. So it seemed that at the end he was going to leave(which happens in so many movies and books). So he just left and no one knew were he went.Would you recommend this book to other readers? To your close friends?Yes I would, because this was a very good book, I liked all the small mysteries and the action scene in the book like when there was a food fight in the gym, this would appeal to many of my friends.What was your favourite part/scene of the book?My favourite scene was when Mike stood in the hallway listening to the announcement saying that he was school president. This was my favourite scene because I think it was a turning in the book since Mike thought he had no chance at being president .Since at the time he did not have many friends.What was your least favourite scene/part of the book?It was probably when Paul’s school got disqualified from the science fair. I felt really bad for them since they put so much work into it.Everyone on a scale from 1-10 what would you give this book- what would have made this book better?I would give this book a 8 because it had many good themes such as regret and bravery and the book had a good plot. But I would have like the story to be longer since it ended suddenly.
Fake Name
In a school where students are so unmotivated that their school is called "Don't Care High" comes Paul... a new student who's arrived with something almost unheard of: ambition. Struggling in the world of locker barons, principals who only care about announcements, and students and teachers who just don't care, Paul and his friend Sheldon set out on what is initially a prank but might do the seemingly impossible and bring school spirit back into Don't Care High. If you're bothered by unrealistic settings, don't read this- it is possibly the most exaggerated high school ever. This is, however, what made me love it. It was just a masterpiece of a high school experience. Yes, it's overdone, but that's what makes it funny. And in that respect, it succeeded wonderfully- I was laughing throughout. There were also suspenseful and sad parts.I was a little disappointed by the ending- I was hoping for more of an explanation of Mike Otis's background- but it fit his character. I just wish I understood him, as that felt lacking in the book. True, no one understands him, but he was just such an odd character that I really wanted to and that was a disappointment. There were a few other unresolved mysteries, such as the principal (who never once gets to appear in person), but other than some minor quibbles with the ending it was really a very good book throughout. It's aimed at younger audiences (or so I felt), so those of you who are used to my reviewing YA fiction be aware that although this is a very enjoyable book, and I don't think elementary school kids will be able to fully appreciate it, it's written at a younger level than I normally review. For those of you who enjoy this book, check out the rest of Gordan Korman's works.
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