Synopses & Reviews
In this acclaimed novel by the author of the award-winning, bestselling The Thing About Jellyfish, being the new kid at school isn't easy, especially when you have to follow in the footsteps of a legendary classroom prankster.
When Caitlyn Breen begins her disorienting new life at Mitchell School — where the students take care of real live goats and study long-dead philosophers, and where there are only ten other students in the entire seventh grade — it seems like nobody can stop talking about some kid named Paulie Fink.
Depending on whom you ask, Paulie was either a hilarious class clown, a relentless troublemaker, a hapless klutz, or an evil genius. One thing's for sure, though: The kid was totally legendary. Now he's disappeared, and Caitlyn finds herself leading a reality-show-style competition to find the school's next great Paulie Fink. With each challenge, Caitlyn struggles to understand a person she never met...but it's what she discovers about herself that most surprises her.
Told in multiple voices, interviews, and documents, this funny, thought-provoking novel from the bestselling author of The Thing About Jellyfish is a memorable exploration of what makes a hero — and if anyone, or anything, is truly what it seems.
"Just-right pacing, authentic voices and characters, beautifully crafted plot, and superb writing. Readers will find that this story lingers with them after the book is closed." VOYA (starred review)
"Reminiscent of works by Jennifer L. Holm and Sharon Creech...a shining example of the highs and lows of early adolescence." Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"There are...a lot of children who might not only benefit from this book but also find themselves deeply moved by it." New York Times Book Review
About the Author
Ali Benjamin is a New York Times bestselling author and National Book Award Finalist for The Thing About Jellyfish, and the co-writer for HIV-positive teen Paige Rawl's coming-of-age memoir Positive as well as Tim Howard's national bestseller The Keeper. She lives near Williamstown, Massachusetts.