Happy Kid!

Happy Kid! book cover

book cover image from gailgauthier.com

Gauthier, Gail.  Happy Kid.  230 p. Putnam.  2006. ISBN 978-0-399-24266-3.As annoying as it is to middle school kids, Mom’s sometimes worry about their kids.  Imagine your Mom, in an effort to try to make you a happier person, bribes you (with money!!) to read a book called Happy Kid: a young person’s guide to satisfying Relationships and a Happy Meaning-filled Life!  I know, I know…I can hear the groans from kids already.  Well, this happened to Kyle.

Kyle is an average kid just trying to make it through 7th grade at Bert P. Trotts Middle School. At the end of 6th grade, Kyle did a school project that ended up having him being accused of bringing a weapon to school. He proves his innocence, but the reputation he got from that incident carries over into the new school year. In an effort to help him improve his attitude and help him make it through the school year, his mother has purchased a self help book for him, Happy Kid: a young person’s guide to satisfying Relationships and a Happy Meaning-filled Life!

Kyle is mortified (wouldn’t you be?!)  but takes his Mom up on her offer to pay him for every chapter he reads. His goal in life is probably similar to most middle school kids;  he just wants to blend in and, well, it would be cool to have a girlfriend.

Anyway, for Kyle, as with a lot of kids in school, finding a comfortable place to sit at lunch the first day of school is a big problem.  He is also having a hard time in his advanced placement classes where he has been mistakenly placed.  On top of that, he is trying to find some friends and time for having fun when he’s not in school. He is faced with a major ethical dilemma and he wants to do the right thing.  But he risks losing everything he has gained by doing it.  Tough.  And to top it off, the school bully thinks Kyle is “his man”.  Oh no.

When Kyle reads the book he’s been bribed into reading, he wonders why it keeps opening to the same chapter.  It only changes to a new chapter once the current chapter’s issue (and also Kyle’s issue) has been properly taken care of in his life. How does a book seem to always know what help he needs?

Find out in the hilarious book Happy Kid!

Genre:  Humor, realistic fiction

Themes:  middle school, bully, family, friends,

A/R Reading level:  4.9

Interest level:  Grades 6-8

Link to Harvest Park Library catalog:  Happy Kid!

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