Friday, February 26, 2010
The Trouble With Mark Hopper by Elissa Brent Weissman(1 ARC Tour)
Release Date: Available Now from Dutton Juvenile
Source: 1 ARC Tour
Mark Hopper is the smartest student in the sixth grade, and he knows it. When another Mark Hopper moves to town (the same age, with similar looks), Mark Hopper makes trouble for Mark Hopper. The Mark everyone knows isn’t very nice, so the other Mark finds no one will talk to him. The new Mark isn’t very brainy, so the other Mark worries that people will think he’s a dummy. When a teacher forces them to be study partners, they realize that they can benefit from one another’s strengths—and maybe win the Mastermind Challenge together. Trouble is, one of the Marks wants to win so badly that he’s willing to steal from Mark.
This was a delightful read. I loved getting to know both Mark Hoppers, through their good times and their bad. There was a lot of humor in this book mixed with quite a bit of heart.
Weissman's realistic writing style made me think of Andrew Clements. I love Clements work, so that is high praise indeed. I'm always in awe of writers who can get into the mind of the middle grade audience and turn out a believable story with believable characters. Weissman is one of these talented breed.
She truly captured that sense of being the odd one out, and the delight at finding that you aren't alone. I highly recommend this read and I'm looking forward to more from Weissman.