Monday, May 14, 2018

Review! Class Dismissed

class dismissed coverAuthor: Allan Woodrow

272 pages

Published by Scholastic Press on 27 October 2015

Summary (from

Class 507 is the worst class Ms. Bryce has ever taught. And she would know -- she's been teaching forever. They are so terrible that when a science experiment goes disastrously wrong (again), Ms. Bryce has had it and quits in the middle of the lesson. But through a mix-up, the school office never finds out.
Which means ... Class 507 is teacher-free!
The class figures if they don't tell anyone, it'll be one big holiday. Kyle and his friends can play games all day. Samantha decides she'll read magazines and give everyone (much needed) fashion advice. Adam can doodle everywhere without getting in trouble. Eric will be able to write stories with no one bothering him. And Maggie ... well, as the smartest kid in the class she has an ambitious plan for this epic opportunity.
But can Class 507 keep the principal, the rest of the students, and their parents from finding out ... or will the greatest school year ever turn into the worst disaster in school history?


I picked this book up from the bookstore on one of my bookstore binge trips. It’s was only $6.99, which compared to the price of hardcover books is quite the steal. So I didn’t put much thought into purchasing it. To be honest, I picked this up mostly because the cover reminded me of “Ungifted” by Gordon Korman, which is a book I quite enjoyed. The basic plot of this book is a teacher quits in the middle of the school year without informing anyone but her students. Naturally, they all see an opportunity to have a fun rule-free rest of the year. However, soon they find out keeping this massive secret involves plenty of work they didn’t count on. And of course, they each learn something about themselves and each other.

[caption id="attachment_1859" align="aligncenter" width="576"]ungifted vs class dismissed Okay, when looking at them side by side they don't look that similar.[/caption]


The second official day of my summer break and I’ve already finished one book! Go me!

Actually this book was one that I had started months ago but after reading 9 chapters I put it down and sort of forgot to pick it back up again. When I was reading this last night I thought about starting over, but decided against it. So I started from chapter 10 and just kept going. I can’t say I remember much that happened in the first 10 chapters, but I was able to quickly pick up the story again. You really don’t need to know much more than: “the teacher quit and the students are trying to keep it a secret so they can do whatever they want.” This book was written in multiple point of views with a grand total of 5: Kyle, Adam, Maggie, Samantha, and Eric. Sometimes it’s a bit hard to switch between perspectives because the students are basically cardboard cutouts dazzled with basic stereotypes. However, once you read for a few chapters it becomes easier to distinguish them (or rather it’s easier to follow the flow of the story).

This book is definitely for a younger audience, but I still found some of the humor funny. For example, this class is notorious for being troublemakers and once their teacher quits the principal gets suspicious because no one is being sent to detention. So the students decide everyday they need to send someone to the principal’s office. They boy that ends up going, Adam, then has to make up excuses for why he’s in trouble and the best he can come up with is he ate something he wasn’t supposed to. One example (pg. 184):
“You ate Lizzie’s sneakers?” she asked.

I shrug.

“For heaven’s sake, why?”

“I was in the mood for some fast food.”

She groans and points to an empty row of chairs. “Take a seat.”

Every time Adam was sent to the prinipal’s office I loved his excuses. Although I do wonder how no one thought to question his ridiculous statements.

[caption id="attachment_1857" align="alignright" width="300"]The author, Alan Woodrow. The author, Allan Woodrow.[/caption]

One thing I didn’t like about this book was the way that some students treated each other wasn’t resolved at all. My biggest peeve was when Kyle spent a ton of time on his homework and got all the answers correct, yet Maggie still gives him a C. She tells him it’s because no one would believe he did well on his homework and the class needs to keep up appearances. That’s absolutely ridiculous! Okay, so I get it that Maggie has misconceptions about the other students, but it’s never established the real ramifications of what she’s told Kyle. She’s basically told him that there’s no point in trying and she never seems to fully understand the idea of grading everyone on the same standard.

Overall, there’s nothing groundbreaking in this book. The characters are all stereotypes, the plot is predictable, and although there is character growth, it happens exactly the way you would expect it to. However, sometimes that’s okay. I don’t need everything I read to be earth shattering stuff. This was an enjoyable and quick, if forgettable read.


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