Friday, September 18, 2015

The Looney Experiment by Luke Reynolds

Atticus is short with curly hair, not really thin and wears glasses. He's not athletic enough for his father or the baseball coach (yes, he is suffering through a season of baseball even though he has no talent for the game). He is being bullied by the coach's son, Danny (who cleverly calls him Fatticus). Atticus is starting to think he is the reason his father left.

Atticus copes by playing out fantasies in his head (like the one where poet Robert Frost helps him with a class presentation and tells Danny off, too). He also dreams of his classmate Audrey, the most beautiful girl he has ever seen.

What really seems to be his saving grace is the new substitute English teacher, Mr. Looney. And he lives up to his name right away. On the his first day of class, Mr. Looney doesn't say a word to any of the students. He just stares at them. Atticus feels like Mr. Looney can really see him - maybe he's the first person who has ever seen the real Atticus.

Atticus gets bullied more by Danny. His (once non-existent) friendship with Audrey gets stronger. And Mr. Looney's 'antics' get the attention of the school board. Through it all, we pull for Atticus. We want him to see what we know to be true (and what his mom and Mr. Looney see): that Atticus is a good guy.

For more info, check out the Indianapolis Public Library catalog and the author's blog.

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