by Judy Newman with Alexie Basil
Scholastic Book Clubs’ Book of the Week is Restart by kid-favorite, irrepressible, bestselling author Gordon Korman—whose first novel, This Can’t Be Happening at McDonald Hall, was published by Scholastic when he was still a middle school student.
Kids—and adults too—will relate to the story of Chase Ambrose, a terrible bully who (for reasons you’ll have to read the book to find out) falls off a roof and gets amnesia. When he wakes up in the hospital, he has no memory of the bully he was—he truly reinvents himself.
Or does he?
So far, in 2020, a lot has been reinvented:
• Baseball has been played without live fans in the stands.
• The Democratic and Republication national conventions were held remotely with no live audience.
• Vocabulary lists now include words like pandemic, social distancing, and personal protective equipment.
• Theater, movies, and concerts have all been canceled or moved to digital formats.
• Channels for social support and activism are expanding online and to socially distanced masked events.
• And, of course, school is being reinvented as we speak to embrace remote learning, in-person instruction, or a hybrid model—so many assorted combinations of teacher-student interface.
What is still left for us to keep reinventing is bad behavior and any form of picking on someone or being a bully. COVID-19 is teaching us that we’re all in this together.
Going back to school in whatever form—remote, in-person, or hybrid—is always an opportunity for us to reinvent ourselves for the new school year.
I always loved going back to school and reinventing myself in a way after summer break: new outfits (which were always a way to get excited about the first day of school), new book bags, fresh notebooks, new school shoes that gave me huge blisters, and seeing old friends and making some new ones.
My friend and colleague David Vozar and I have similar feelings about our own back-to-school memories:
The same is true with the teachers and families we work with every day at Scholastic Book Clubs: back to school means a fresh start.
This year is going to be tough and tricky and hard for us all to get through. We want to help support you in any way we can. And we know that the best thing we at Scholastic Book Clubs can do is make sure we offer the very best books at great prices, so all kids can have the chance to read—which is so important now, for kids to get away from the screen, to help make sense of the world, to see themselves in books, to escape, and to use their imaginations.
We are so proud to be offering Gordon Korman’s Restart as our Book of the Week.
“Set in the present day and told in the alternating voices of Chase and several classmates, this finding-your-middle-school-identity story explores provocative territory....Korman’s trademark humor makes this an appealing read.” —Kirkus Reviews
There are so many rich aspects of Restart that are going to inspire, entertain, and be thought provoking for all your middle grade students. All of us at Scholastic Book Clubs have spent a lot of time this summer—working remotely—to reinvent our program for the new school year. For Restart, we put together engaging digital and printable resources to help your students get the most out of this wonderful middle grade novel.
• Book Boys help you and your students make the most out of the resources and activities on the blog—and play a fun book trivia game!
• Discover why one fifth grade teacher believes Restart is the perfect back-to-school virtual read-aloud in Book Talks.
• Watch an exclusive interview with author Gordon Korman in Behind the Scenes to get some insight into his life, writing process, and more!
• Download a free persuasive and expository writing prompt to use after reading Restart in Cooked Up from a Book.
Please let me know how the new school year is going. We want to be available to help you and your students in any way we can.
This Book Is Available from Scholastic Book Clubs