|Kathryn Lay: Crown Me|
Holiday House (Hardcover), ISBN 0-8234-1845-6
In step one of his plan for a career in politics, Justin Davies hopes to become president of the fifth grade. Then, a wonderful opportunity arises. In connection with a social studies project on the French Revolution, the student who writes the best essay on monarchy will be chosen to rule the fifth grade for two weeks. The other students must obey this ruler (within limits), must curtsey to the ruler whenever he/she passes, and will be at risk for being thrown in the dungeon should they disobey any orders.
Justin feels certain he'll be chosen king over the other 22 classmates (royal subjects). Rising to the challenge, Justin writes an outstanding essay. But so does Andrea Carey. As a result, Mr. Bailey chooses them to rule together -- both a dream come true and a nightmare for Justin.
In two weeks, Justin must display his qualifications to lead the fifth grade as well as prove himself a better choice than Andrea. However, uprisings led by his best friends Carlos and Lester, his calculating Queen Andrea, and the other students make Justin's path to possible victory rocky. Will he overcome his student body -- and his faults -- to win?
Unusual, informative and humorous, this well-written book provides an interesting look at the politics of being a leader in the fifth grade. While Justin, at times, seems annoyingly full of himself and too much to take, he believably fills the shoes of a child who aspires to be a politician.
A shortage of books geared to middle-grade boys exists. If you are a middle-grade boy or the parent of a middle-grade, put this title on your reading list.
Lynne Marie Pisano
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