Publication Date: August 4, 2015
Source: From Zondervan and BookLook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review of the book.
Life lessons in bullying, first love, and an up-close examination of the meaning of courage for kids ages 11-14.
Author Luke Reynolds's humorous and heart-warming contemporary novel chronicles one boy's journey through bullying, first love, and a discovery of the meaning of courage.
Atticus Hobart couldn't feel worse. Not only does he have the world's most overactive imagination, he's in love with a girl he can't talk to, is the class bully's personal punching bag, and to top it all off, his dad just left the family. Into this drama steps Mr. Looney, an older than dirt and crazier than insanity itself seventy-seven-year-old substitute English teacher with a very unconventional approach to teaching. But Atticus soon discovers there's more to Mr. Looney's methods than he'd first thought. And as Atticus begins to unlock the meaning behind his own name, he finds that his imagination can help him forge his own voice, and maybe-just maybe-show him that the power to face his problems was inside him all along.
The Looney Experiment is an interesting book and I think all young readers will enjoy it. It is about a boy named Atticus, he is bullied, ignored, and his life is falling apart around him. Then Mr. Looney appears as a substitute teacher and Atticus begins to feel like a part of the class and that he might just be able to take control of some things. Mr. Looney is the shock he has been waiting for in his life.
I read The Looney Experiment in one sitting and I flew through it. The writing was well done and the author made it feel like I was there with Atticus experiencing all the same emotions. What I liked most about this book was the overarching idea that courage means so many different things and what really drives that home is Mr. Looney and his teaching. He taught that there is much more to people and their lives than meet the eye, that it is alright for learning to be fun, and that acting crazy is sometimes ok.
Atticus, while the main character and focus of the story, really takes these lessons from Mr. Looney and applies them. He becomes a stronger character through the book and much more confident in himself. In that, I think this book is a great one for younger readers – especially if they are having confidence problems. As a shy kid this book really hit home for me and I think it will for others as well.
Parental note: there is some cursing at about the half way point in the book, nothing crazy but just a warning.