In the book, “Schooled” by Gordan Koman, a kid named Capricorn Anderson, Cap for short, was raised as a sixty’s hippie. Cap was pulled out of his remote world on Garland farm when his grandmother, Rain, broke her hip. Rain wasn’t his real grandmother, but she sure acted like it, and his real parents died when he was a kid, so it was just the two of them left at Garland farm. Cap has no idea about the real world and doesn’t know that some of the stuff he does is considered strange, like the tai chi he does every morning at school. Rain is headstrong, stubborn, and sometimes scary, but her heart was in the right place. This book is realistic fiction so it could happen but hasn’t yet and it has 208 pages of lovable, tender, and fascinating text. Ms. Donnelly was the social worker that took care of Cap for the two months when Rain was recovering and like Cap, grew up at Garland. Zach Powers was the athletic, Mr. Popular of Claverage Middle School, he was very self-centered, and mean to others. Hugh Winkleman was the biggest victim of Zach and Caps first friend at their school. He was originally going to be the eighth-grade president, which is a job given to the biggest loser to make their life miserable. Next is Naomi Erlanger who was in love with Zach, until she got to know him when they were pranking and torturing the new eighth grade president, Cap. Sophie Donnelly, Ms. Donnelly’s daughter, takes one look at Cap and decides that he is a nuisance and that she would be crude to him. Eventually, though, they build up an indifferent relationship that’s not too bad and they’re on good terms. So, they are all the main characters and the book is narrated in each of their views. After Cap becomes eighth grade president, he decides to run things a little differently by being charitable and kind, so no matter what the others said or did to him it didn’t get under his skin. Almost everyone was against him, including Sophie, who has had it rough, with her father and his empty promises. One of them was a promise to go out driving with Sophie and Cap, being the hippie he is, offered to teach her since he had been taught to drive when he was a kid. Sophie was a new driver and whenever she messed up Cap was very understanding and didn’t get upset. She really learned a lot from that driving trip and that was the big turn in their relationship where they had a truce. Cap even engraved the bracelet Sophies father forgot to engrave and give back to her, Cap even let Mr. Donelly take credit for it. As stated before, Cap can drive, so when their bus driver has a heart attack, he steps in and drives him to the hospital. He did have to face the consequences for underage driving, but he saved a life and became popular at school for driving a school bus. Then, Cap taught Hugh how to tie die in the art room, but the art teacher catches them, and excuses them from class because she loves tie die. After that a bunch of other students also join the fun and tie die whatever they can find that they have that’s white. Then the Halloween dance is coming up and Cap must plan it and is given checks which he doesn’t know how to use or how they work, so he donates a lot of money to charity. This is when Naomi falls in love with him and Hugh starts ignoring him because he becomes popular. Zach is also not enjoying this, so he and Hugh put together a plan to put Cap in a “predicament” per say. At their pep rally they told him he had to wear the other team’s uniform because he was the eighth-grade president, but when he went onto the field, he was trampled by all the jocks. Later a friend of Caps finds out who caused this event and tries to punch Zach, but Cap steps in and saves Zach. Everyone sees him being taken away in an ambulance, but he was really just going back to Garland with Rain, who was waiting for him inside of the ambulance. Then the whole school is worried about Cap while Hugh and Zach try to make their reputations better by holding a ceremony for the greatest eighth-grade president. In the end, it looked like they were mourning Caps death, who was completely fine at Garland. Then Cap shows up thinking it was the Halloween dance tells everyone he’s okay and moving back to Garland. When he says “good-bye” to everyone he literally memorized everyone’s name and matched it to a face, so he said “good-bye” to everyone individually. Overall, Rain sold Garland and moved back to the real world with Cap, so he could go back to Claverage Middle School.
This book was amazing and very heartwarming because it shows how people only need one encouraging person to change. It’s all about how a kid follows what his heart tells him and in the process changes others to follow his lead in being kind to others and sharing their feelings. “Schooled” has a lot of great characters, but I feel like I can relate to Ms. Donelly the most because I just want the best for everyone, but I always end up in the kind of situation she was in with Cap and Sophie. This book was written in many different points of view of everything that happened and there are very contrasting opinions. Cap usually doesn’t understand that what he’s doing is amazing and cool, but the others sure do and never hesitate to share their thoughts. I admire this style of writing because it is the same style as the second “Percy Jackson” series, which I love and grew up with, so in some ways it takes me back. This style is not commonly used as far as I know, but it’s interesting because the reader gets opinions, stories, memories and other pieces of their life from all the characters. Since this is such an engrossing book, I would recommend this book to my friends and family because it sends a message to the reader that nobody is alone and being kind can make a huge difference in your life and the lives you touch. Overall, “Schooled” was a good book that is relatable and makes the reader stop and slow down to enjoy life in this rushed world.