The Defense of Thaddeus A. Ledbetter

The Defense of Thaddeus A. Ledbetter

by John Gosselink


Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Wednesday, September 18


Designed like a case file, chock-full of notes, journal entries, letters, e-mails, illustrations, and more, The Defense of Thaddeus A. Ledbetter is a hilarious middle-grade novel that argues why Thaddeus should be released from his in-school suspension and explains the unbelievable circumstances that led to his punishment. Like Adrian Mole and the Great Brain, Thaddeus is a too-smart-for-his-own-good hero. Soon readers will be chanting, “Free Thaddeus!”

Praise for The Defense of Thaddeus A. Ledbetter

"This original and entertaining book, with its smarty-pants narrator and case-file format, will draw comparisons to the Wimpy Kid series." —Booklist

"It won't take long for readers to realize that Thaddeus is as weird and annoying as the students and faculty think he is, but there is something endearing about him, too, as readers will glean from the lively assemblage of documents." -Kirkus Reviews

"Hilarious situations told by a memorable narrator in a unique format." -VOYA

"It has the same sassy, irreverent spirit as Jeff Kinney's Diary of a Wimpy Kid series but will appeal to a slightly older crowd. The format makes it an enjoyable choice for everyone, including reluctant readers." -School Library Journal

"It won't take long for readers to realize that Thaddeus is as weird and annoying as the students and faculty think he is, but there is something endearing about him, too, as readers will glean from the lively assemblage of documents." -Kirkus Reviews

"Readers who lean toward graphic novels will appreciate the unconventional format and look of this book." -Library Media Connection

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780810989771
Publisher: ABRAMS
Publication date: 10/01/2010
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 802,458
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.90(d)
Lexile: 970L (what's this?)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

John Gosselink is an English teacher who has taught students from seventh grade up to the university level. He has written a weekly humor column for his local paper for more than a decade. This is his first book. He lives with his wife (a librarian) and their three kids outside Austin, Texas. Visit his blog at

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

The Defense of Thaddeus A. Ledbetter 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is so funny. You will laugh out loud. Thad's ideas about how things should work seem to make sense by the end. It reads really fast because of the journals and emails and notes. It's never boring because of the fun facts. Those teach you about words and stuff, plus they make you laugh. They don't have enough really funny books for kids, so I hope this guy writes more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thaddeus A. Ledbetter is sentenced to a year in ISS for various crazy things, like causing his bus to hit an angry portly guy, and artist and a yodler to quit their jobs, and sending his middle school through a disaster. But for each of these events and a few others, he defends himself by claiming that these accidents weren't caused by him, and that he just wants to prepare everyone for the worst case scenarios to happen. The layout of the book is amazing--in the form of files, referel papers, folders, e-mails, notes, and pictures. It's funny, and Thaddeus's attitude is priceless! Definately a read for middle schoolers, but not a bad read for kids of higher grade levels either. :)
TexRogers More than 1 year ago
This is a brand new book and lots of kids haven't heard about it yet. I got it at the Book Fair in Austin. Thaddeus is 12 years old and gets put in In-School Suspension for the rest of the school year after having his own safety drill at Crooked Creek Middle School. He realized that staged fire drills don't really test preparedness for a real-life emergency like a FIRE and he came up with a drill that involved a killer-bee alert, pulling the fire alarm and shouting about old people driving cars into the school. Needless to say everyone had a panic attack. You won't believe who all came to respond to the seven police cars, three fire trucks and several pest-control vehicles. This great book is about Thaddeus's defense of himself, typed on a laptop the school gave him for doing his school work, included are letters to and from friends and relatives, notes from the principal, diagrams, helpful advice for running the school more efficiently and "Fun Facts"! These facts are so cool...they are definitions and derivations (how is that for a awesome word) of words he uses from his totally huge vocabulary. Thaddeus is a really cool kid and I got all kinds of great ideas from reading the book. He will make you laugh because you know what he is saying is so true! Read it! You too will want to "Free Thaddeus".
SlugbugTR More than 1 year ago
I just finished reading this book and it really made me laugh. My Dad picked up the book at the book fair in Austin because I didn't get to go. I agree with some of the adults that read the book. It is just fun to read. There are so many good ideas. I especially like the 'slug bug rules' and the parking recommendations should be considered by our principal. I am taking the book to school to show our Librarian. She will have to buy her own if she wants one for the library. I am not giving mine up! I might let her have it for a day or two. A real cool book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
How many times have my middle school students asked me to suggest a funny book that is easy to read and not too long? The Defense of Thaddeus A Ledbetter will be my first suggestion. The format of discipline referrals, notes, evaluations and letters will appeal to students. I love the inventive solutions that Thaddeus is able to present even though his teachers and principal do not agree. Students will cheer him on and enjoy how he builds his defense against being assigned to a year in in-school suspension. Not only is this a great read for a youngster, it is also a wonderful satire on education that teachers will appreciate.
clghansen on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Thaddeus Ledbetter can't understand why his plans for improving efficiency at Crooked Creek Middle School aren't receiving the praise and accolades he expected. Instead, Thaddeus faces a year spent in in-school suspension. He is undaunted by his punishment and sets out to gather the evidence he needs to free himself from his unjust fate. The result is a hilarious journey involving letters, emails, song lyrics, discipline referrals, and Thaddeus's own justification (retelling) of the events that got him into ISS. Even my reluctant readers found this book engaging and couldn't put it down. My gifted students found a sympathetic character that "thinks outside the box" and loved that Thaddeus included "fun facts" in his defense. This book is fun to read and funny, too. How many books for adolescent readers can fill that bill?
marciathing on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Read this on the recommendation of my 11-yr-old, who loved it. This book is a little slow for an adult reader but overall a good story about an extraordinary kid whose faith in himself is so large that he does not stop when he should. Really.
Booklady123 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As a parent and an educator, I found Thaddeus infuriating! But I know my students will find him to be hilariously outrageous. Once I stopped reading this book with an adult's perspective and started just reading it for the wonderful entertainment it provides, I found myself really enjoying it. Gosselink has created a character that only a mother (or perhaps a tolerant and patient teacher) could love. To put it simply, Thaddeus is so full of himself, so convinced that he knows all and can do all and everyone should bow to his superior intellect. (I did find myself wondering if Thaddeus ever gets out of in-school-suspension would he grow up to be another Sheldon from TV's Big Bang Theory.) Thaddeus is a good kid with a good heart - he just doesn't see the flaws in all of his schemes. And when they fail, it couldn't have possibly been because they were flawed - the failure is always due to someone or something else - at least it's that way in Thaddeus' mind.This is a laugh out loud read, perfect for 5th graders and above who enjoy Diary of a Wimpy Kid and want to move on to something just as humorous, but perhaps a little more advanced.Recommended for Grades 5 - 8th.Mrs. Archer's rating: 4 of 5.
PapaJohn70 More than 1 year ago
I picked this book up over the Holidays while visiting my grandson. He was reading it and thought I might like it. I am 70 and don't do a lot of light reading; but, I just couldn't put this book down while visiting the kids. This Thaddeus kid is so full of mischief that he will have you laughing huge crocodile tears. It is a quick and easy read and if you have children or grandchildren you will see you kids thinking up some of these really crazy ideas. Thaddeus advises his school principal about a better way to park the faculty, like have the really fat people park all the way in the back of the parking lot in order to walk off a little weight. I highly recommend this book as a way to put aside some of the more difficult things we now face in our country. 7 or 70...this one will make you laugh and put a smile on your face every time you think about it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago