Sunday, October 29, 2017

*Review* 7th Grade Revolution by Liana Gardner

Genre: Middle Grade/Action
Published: October 24, 2017
Pages: 299


Inspired by True Events

Dennis Alexander: Washington Academy Middle School promises to be another in the long line of boring schools he has been expelled from. 

Rhonda Snodgrass: Although trained from childhood in survival tactics, she tries to stay off the radar of the “cool” kids who think she’s weird. 

7th grade turns out to be anything but normal when teachers announce the students’ bloodless revolution succeeded and they are now in charge. After conducting a secret-ballot vote on policy, the 7th graders emerge to find the school evacuated and the FBI lurking outside with the task of unearthing a treasure of national importance. 

The students’ mission is clear—discover the treasure before the FBI locks down the building. Dennis and Rhonda lead the revolt and must work together to follow century-old clues left by a crazy Revolutionary War buff. 

To stay one step ahead of the FBI, they must delve into history and amass an arsenal to defend their school … because this is WAR!

I was hired to proofread this book. The only aspects of the story that I influenced were spelling and grammar. If you feel that my connection to the story makes my review unreliable, so be it, but this is my honest review. 

It has been a few years since I was in middle school (we're not going to talk about just how many) so I'm not the target audience for this book. Because of this, there were some elements of the story that just seemed a bit too ridiculous to me personally, but I'm pretty sure they were perfectly in line for a middle grade action adventure story (again, it's been a few years since I would have been reading those types of books in general). 

In spite of my issues with the believability of the book, there were several aspects of the story that I really liked. For one thing, I appreciated how it was told from two very different points of view, but both were outsiders in their own way. Dennis was a new kid at school, a position he was almost perpetually in because of his troublemaking ways. And Rhonda was just a little too smart to ever be "popular" (this I related to so hard). Add to that the fact that her dad is a prepper and has been raising her and her siblings to be prepared for any type of catastrophe you could possibly imagine, and she just doesn't quite fit in even though she's been part of the class their whole lives. In the end, it's these things that make them "different" that also helped them to be the most valuable members of the class when things got a little tough.

My favorite part of the story is that Rhonda really seemed to be the ultimate hero. Once things at the school got a little bit sticky, everyone turned to Rhonda for the answers because they recognized her strengths, even when they were things that had led to teasing previously.

In the end, I think this is a book that would appeal to both boys and girls, especially because of the dual POV. I think girls will enjoy seeing a girl who is capable of doing all the things that we typically think of boys doing, and doing them well. And there is enough action to keep the boys engaged in the story.

Overall I give 7th Grade Revolution 4.37 stars. - Katie 

Liana Gardner is a two-time teen choice award-winning author of the Misfit McCabe series. Daughter of a rocket scientist and an artist, Liana Gardner combines the traits of both into a quirky yet pragmatic writer and in everything sees the story lurking beneath the surface. Engaged in a battle against leukemia and lymphoma, Liana spends much of her time at home, but allows her imagination to take her wherever she wants to go.

She fostered her love of writing after reading Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women and discovering she had a great deal in common with the character Jo. The making up of stories, dramatic feelings, and a quick temper were enough for her to know she and Jo would have been kindred spirits.

Liana volunteers with high school students through the International Trade Education Programs (ITEP). ITEP unites business people and educators to prepare students for a meaningful place in the world of tomorrow. Working in partnership with industry and educators, ITEP helps young people “think globally and earn locally.”

Her debut Middle Grade novel, 7th Grade Revolution, launches 10/24/2017. Currently she is working on a chapter book series as LK Griffie, with creator Luke Matthews and co-authors Olivia Claire and Jared Cross, entitled Timmy and the Golden Lion Tamarin. In addition to the children’s book series, she is working on a Middle Grade series which will be released under the name Liana Gardner, with the first book titled, The Star Warriors and the Secret of the Red Key. Her most recent YA novel, Speak No Evil, will also be released under the name Liana Gardner.

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