Monday, June 8, 2015

The Worst Class Trip Ever by Dave Barry

The Worst Class Trip Ever by author Dave Barry is a story about friends, terrorists and farts...I kid you not. A group of middle schoolers go on a field trip to Washington D.C. hoping to learn more about the history and see some of the many tourist attractions there.  Told from the point of view of Wyatt Palmer, an ordinary eighth grader whose parents are loving if not a bit zany. His mom is a loving, doting parent...but she doesn't suffer fools gladly as his father finds out early in the book.

Wyatt is a typical student, not too good but not too bad. Things get off to a bad start literally from the time the kids get on the plane when he and his best bud Matt get into a minor tiff with some strange guys sitting next to them try to flout the rules about baggage. The guys want to put a bag somewhere but are told not to by the stewardess. Things don't end there however because Matt, the goofy friend takes something out of the bag. This leads to perhaps the weirdest sequence of events I have read in some time.

In addition to this Wyatt has to deal with his affection for a girl who for all intents and purposes is unattainable. She is taller, smarter and more worldly than he and she also doesn't know how he feels about her. But this situation is so crazy he just might be able to use it to his advantage.

The kids find themselves having to make some serious decisions and I like how Barry was able to frame the decision. On one hand they realized when things got serious and that they would need grown up help but on the other hand theywant to follow instructions they received This for me is adolescence in a nutshell; yes there are some things that can be done on your own but there will still be times when adult assistance will be required.

This is a good summer read for kids aged 10+. I enjoyed it and I think middle grade readers will identify with the social scenarios and mild friend drama described in it. This is a good summer read.

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