Schooled by Gordon Korman

Meet peaceful, patient Capricorn Anderson, a dyed-in-the-wool hippie who has grown up on the Garland Commune for all of his 13 years with his grandmother Rain. It’s been just the two of them until Rain falls and breaks her hip. Cap drives Rain to the hospital, getting arrested in the process. That’s just the beginning of the upheaval in Cap’s life. When Rain has to go to rehab for three months, Cap is sent to public school at Claverage (C-average)  and lives with the school’s guidance counselor and her beautiful but resentful daughter Sophie.

Tradition has it that the geekiest of them all becomes 8th grade class president, so Cap is duly elected. Since he’s not in on the joke, he does his best. He is so naive that he doesn’t realize that the in-crowd has it in for him and makes sure that he fails at every turn. Eventually, Cap wins the students over, even as he makes incredible and very expensive blunders. The kids who had laughed at him begin to admire and even emulate him.

Since Schooled is told from different characters’ points of view, the reader is able to tune into the turmoil that each person is experiencing as Cap influences his or her life. Korman manages these shifting perspectives with ease and humor, creating a realistic look at middle school culture and an iconoclastic character in Capricorn Anderson.