- Reformed by Justin Weinberger
ISBN 978-0-545-90252-6 $16.99
Reviewed from galleys Ad Gr. 5-7
Ian is a quiet kid who is glad to have a few close friends in Devon, Ash, and Mark, even if they don’t always treat him well. When a peer who is allergic to peanuts somehow ends up with Ian’s sandwich, all four boys are severely punished by being [End Page 286] sent to a summer camp called the Juvenile Academy for Noncompliant and Underachieving Students. Ian is memorable and intriguing kid as he grapples with the situation, asking an imaginary Thomas Edison for advice or breaking himself into parts in his own brain, divvying up his “normal” self and his “freak” self depending on who he is around. Unfortunately, it’s completely implausible that Ian’s loving parents would voluntarily send him off to correctional camp for something he clearly didn’t do; in addition, Devon is seriously dark, especially for a rising sixth-grader, and this malevolence is at odds with the occasionally humorous tone. It’s therefore no Holes, but the idea of a school where most of the “bad” kids have to find comfort, friendship, and even reform in each other against their actually rough peers and the camp itself is nonetheless a worthy one.