Synopses & Reviews
From masterfully funny and poignant Jordan Sonnenblick, a story that will have everyone searching for their inner Zen.
When eighth-grader San Lee moves to a new town and a new school for the umpteenth time, he doesn't try to make new friends or be a loner or play cool. Instead he sits back and devises a plan to be totally different. When he accidentally answers too many questions in World History on Zen (only because he just had Ancient Religions two schools ago) all heads turn and San has his answer: he's a Zen Master. And just when he thinks everyone (including the cute girl he can't stop thinking about) is on to him, everyone believes him . . . in a major Zen way.
"After San Lee's adoptive father is imprisoned for fraud, the eighth-grader moves with his mother from Texas to Pennsylvania. He has moved often, each time creating new identities; this time he pretends to be a Zen master. He sits zazen on a cold rock near school each morning and says things like, 'Thank you for teaching me the lesson of impermanence' (this piece of wisdom comes after a foe ruins his schoolwork). As he hopes, his 'uniqueness' impresses Woody, a folk-singing girl with her own family heartache. Together, they embark on a school project about Zen, volunteer at a soup kitchen, and even devise supposedly Zen strategies to help the second-string basketball team take on the starters (this includes a practice game on roller skates). Naturally, they fall for each other, although San thinks she has a crush on a mysterious stranger. Readers will know that it is only a matter of time before San is exposed as a 'fake, adopted, research-based Buddhist,' but Sonnenblick (Notes from the Midnight Driver, see Paperback Reprints) gives them plenty to laugh at (in one scene, Woody calls on insect-phobic San to remove a centipede from class because of his well-known 'reverence for all living things'). Mixed in with more serious scenes (San finally writes his father a letter expressing his anger), these lighter moments take a basic message about the importance of honesty and forgiveness and treat it with panache. Ages 12-up." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
When eighth-grader San Lee moves to yet another new school, he plans to be totally different. Then he accidentally answers too many questions in World History on Zen and all heads turn as San has his answer: Hes a Zen Master. And just when he thinks everyone is on to him, everyone believes him--in a major Zen way.
Meet San Lee, a (sort of) innocent teenager, who moves against his will to a new town. Things get interesting when he (sort of) invents a new past for himself, which makes him incredibly popular. In fact, his whole school starts to (sort of) worship him, just because he (sort of) accidentally gave the impression that he's a reincarnated mystic.
When things start to unravel, San needs to find some real wisdom in a hurry. Can he patch things up with his family, save himself from bodily harm, stop being an outcast, and maybe even get the girl?
About the Author
Jordan Sonnenblick is the author of the acclaimed DRUMS, GIRLS, & DANGEROUS PIE, NOTES FROM THE MIDNIGHT DRIVER, ZEN AND THE ART OF FAKING IT, and the sequel to DRUMS called AFTER EVER AFTER. He lives in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, with his wife and two children.