|Also known as Rowan Pohi
Author: Fletcher, Ralph J.
After lying his way into an elite preparatory school, Bobby hopes to escape the shame of his father's well-publicized incarceration but expects his secret to be revealed.
|Accelerated Reader Information:
Interest Level: UG
Reading Level: 4.00
Points: 5.0 Quiz: 149068
|Reading Counts Information:
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 4.30
Points: 11.0 Quiz: 56525
Common Core Standards
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 6 → Reading → CCR College & Career Readiness Anchor Standards fo
Grade 7 → Reading → RL Literature → 7.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 7 → Reading → RL Literature → 7.RL Craft & Structure
Grade 8 → Reading → RL Literature → 8.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 8 → Reading → RL Literature → 8.RL Craft & Structure
Grade 7 → Reading → RL Literature → 7.RL Range of Reading & LEvel of Text Complexity
School Library Journal (01/01/12)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (A) (01/12)
Full Text Reviews:
Bulletin for the Center... - 01/01/2012 What better place to launch a truly boneheaded scheme than a booth at the IHOP? Bobby Steele and his public-school buddies get their hands on an application to toney Whitestone Academy on the affluent side of town and, inspired by the reflection of the restaurant’s name in the window, conjure up a virtual applicant, Rowan Pohi, complete with vita and references. Pohi gets accepted, and the guys collectively freak at their unanticipated success and bury the acceptance packet in an empty lot. Bobby, though, meets a luscious female Stoney who shows some interest in him, and he exhumes the papers, attends orientation, wins a scholarship, and begins to settle in to his new, clandestine identity. The tenth-grade bully recognizes him for who he is-just another neighborhood kid-and threatens to shoot down Bobby’s promising academic prospects. There are no surprises here, from the course of Bobby’s romance, to his blue-collar father’s eventual support, to his triumph over the bully. Given that readers already know the story, even its relatively slim page count sometimes seems a bit bloated. This very predictability, however, coupled with plenty of dialogue, makes the title an easy-to-booktalk quick pick for reluctant middle-schoolers coerced into book reports, or anyone with a couple of extra hours and a taste for schoolhouse comedy. EB - Copyright 2012 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
Booklist - 12/01/2011 Sitting at IHOP, lamenting the start of tenth grade at their lackluster public high school, Bobby and his friends decide to fill out an application for the fancy local prep school. Their applicant is the imaginary Rowan Pohi (IHOP backwards), who has everything going for him: honor society, football star, soup kitchen volunteer—you name it. When Rowan is accepted, Bobby decides to take the spot in hopes that he can attend classes where no one knows about his abusive past. Of course things go wrong when Bobby tries to live a double life, adding some humorous moments to an often sober story line. Bobby’s family and home life are authentically depicted, and teens will respond to Bobby and root for his crazy idea to work. (Maybe he can even nab the girl in the end, too.) Though the resolution is a little too neat, readers already invested in the story will not mind. - Copyright 2011 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 01/01/2012 Gr 8–10—Bobby is looking for an escape from his troubled home life and mediocre school. On a whim, he and his friends fill out an application to a ritzy private school on behalf of a made-up persona, and when "Rowan Pohi" is accepted, Bobby takes the chance to start fresh under a fake name. Although this premise is enticing, the idea that a prestigious academic institution would accept a student under false pretenses so easily, without requiring test scores, previous transcripts, and immunization records, is difficult to accept. The book's overly neat ending is problematic, as is the protagonist's little brother coping with his troubled home life by deciding that he's an Indian and wearing a feather in his hair—until he concludes that being Spider-Man is "way cooler." It's not unheard of that a five-year-old would hold these views of Native American culture—kids are kids; they're still learning about life, but it's troubling that the author chose to go this route. Character development is thin. The most compelling aspect of the story is Bobby's struggle with the aftermath of his father's shocking act of domestic violence against his mother and her subsequent departure from their family. His confusion and pain are genuine and heartfelt. Also, themes of class differences, identity, and self-acceptance are thought-provoking, but ultimately this uneven read is at best an additional purchase.—Allison Tran, Mission Viejo Library, CA - Copyright 2012 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.