Homeroom Headhunters (The Tribe Series #1)

Homeroom Headhunters (The Tribe Series #1)

by Clay McLeod Chapman

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All Schools are the same and Spencer Pendleton expects no less from Greenfield Middle. But Spencer hasn't met them yet-the Tribe, a group of runaway students who secretly own the school. They live off cafeteria food and wield weapons made out of everyday school supplies. Strangely, no one seems to know they exist, except for Spencer. And the group wants him to join their ranks. All he has to do is pass the initiations . . . and leave his mother and life behind. Can Spencer go through with it? Better yet, what will happen if he says no?

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"An engaging, over-the-top tale with much to say about how schools treat individuals and outsiders."— Kirkus

"...a comic Lord of the Flies for the modern era, Chapman's novel offers a new take on the ethos that pervades middle school and its caste system."— Booklist Online

"...as though Wayside School were about to give way to The Hunger Games."— SLJ

School Library Journal

Gr 5–8—Expelled for starting a fire at his school, Spencer Pendleton has just transferred to Greenfield Middle. In trouble with the hapless assistant principal from the get-go, Spence is recruited by a hidden Tribe of runaway kids who live deep within the school, sanctimoniously inflicting vengeance against former tormentors. Peashooter, the Tribe's seething captain, is a serious reader: Call of the Wild, Peter Pan, "The Most Dangerous Game." But it's his willful misreading of Napoleon that tips off Spencer that this revolution might not be so pure. Their campaign culminates in the gym with the entire school poisoned via a tainted holiday lunch, devolving into a miserable free-for-all of flatulence, vomit, and diarrhea. The mood is sometimes oppressive. Kids in the Tribe are not merely resentful of bullies; they swing from sneeringly condescending to gravely hostile toward everyone. Other children are cartoonish "werekids," "stupid rodents," lemmings, and cattle. The threat of real violence is always imminent, as though Wayside School were about to give way to The Hunger Games. One of the Tribe loses a fingertip to a table saw. While the core story is compelling, something is lost in the details. Much is made of Spence's asthma, but it will ring false to anyone with the condition. His parents are separated and Dad is distant, but readers never see much to make Spencer sympathetic. He seems oppositional and irreverent without any motivation. This is the first volume in a trilogy; perhaps more exposition will follow.—Bob Hassett, Luther Jackson Middle School, Falls Church, VA

Kirkus Reviews

In the opener of the Tribe trilogy, Spencer Pendleton welcomes the chance to start anew at Greenfield Middle School. It's an "overblown rumor" that he burned down his old school. Most of the school is still standing, minus a couple of classrooms. Now, though, he hopes to stay on the straight and narrow, with the help of his inhaler and latest meds. But on Day 1, he has his first confrontation with bully Riley Callahan and his Cro-Magnon cronies. On Day 2, Riley sends Spencer toilet diving. Then Spencer almost gouges out his teacher's eye with a pencil, is involved in a cafeteria food fight and has a chat with the assistant principal. When he's recruited by the Tribe, a mysterious "underground ring of runaways" hiding out in the school, he might have found a way to survive. But, though the Tribe is more than capable of doing battle with school bullies, Spencer realizes they're a tyrannical clique in their own way, and he's too independent-minded to be a loyal follower. He will have to find his own way to survive. The first-person narration effectively conveys Spencer's internal struggles, and the clever "Ghost Stories" interspersed toward the end of the volume offer fascinating back stories for the Tribe's members. An engaging, over-the-top tale with much to say about how schools treat individuals and outsiders. (Fiction. 10-14)

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781423154839
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date: 05/07/2013
Series: Clay McLeod Chapman's Tribe Series , #1
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
Lexile: 610L (what's this?)
File size: 2 MB
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

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