The Report Card (英語) ペーパーバック – 2006/1/1
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A fifth-grade genius turns the spotlight on grades—good and bad—in this novel from Andrew Clements, the author of Frindle.
Nora Rose Rowley is a genius, but don't tell anyone. She's managed to make it to the fifth grade without anyone figuring out that she's not just an ordinary kid, and she wants to keep it that way.
But then Nora gets fed up with the importance everyone attaches to test scores and grades, and she purposely brings home a terrible report card just to prove a point. Suddenly the attention she's successfully avoided all her life is focused on her, and her secret is out. And that's when things start to get really complicated....
"Kirkus Review" Grabs hold of your heart and never lets go商品の説明をすべて表示する
"Most kids never talk about it, but a lot of the time bad grades make them feel dumb, and almost all the time it's not true. And good grades can make other kids think that they're better, and that's not true either. And then all the kids start competing and comparing. The smart kids feel smarter and better and get all stuck-up, and the regular kids feel stupid and like there's no way to ever catch up. And the people who are supposed to help kids, the parents and the teachers, they don't. They just add more pressure and keep making up more and more tests."
Nora Rose Rowley said that. Nora is a fifth-grader and she is a genius. Except that no one knows it. All her life Nora had kept her smarts a secret from everyone, even from her family. Secretly she takes an online college-level astronomy course from M.I.T., corresponds with a primate expert at the Jane Goodall Institute, and she's taught herself Spanish simply by viewing Spanish television shows. So, yes, Nora is a genius.
Nora wants a normal life, just wants to fit in; she doesn't like "performing." But that's about to change. To help out her best friend Stephen, who grows ever more anxious with regards to his grades, Nora is about to challenge her middle school and the state's standardized testing curriculum. It begins with her deliberately earning Ds on her report card (and, to her frustration, a C for Spelling). But what Nora doesn't figure on is that her actions would lead to a student uprising.
I happen to think that Andrew Clements is genetically encoded to be unable to write horrid books. Add THE REPORT CARD to his pile of terrific stuff. As usual, once you crack open the first few pages and allow Clements to set up the premise, he's got you. I got hooked early on in THE REPORT CARD when I got to the part where baby Nora was able to gaze at the scattered pieces of a jigsaw puzzle and instantly know how they fit together. After that bit of mojo, I just had to find out what happened.
This book features Clements' customary excellence in storytelling. He introduces us to a winning protagonist, plonks her in an intriguing premise, and raises thought-provoking issues along the way. Having been a school teacher himself, Clements shows the educators in this book in a good light, especially Mrs. Byrne, the school librarian and the first person to whom Nora opens up. Even the prohibitive villain, the unlikeable school psychologist/guidance counselor Dr. Trindler, isn't really a bad guy. Children (or basically whosoever else reads this book) will get a kick out of the appealing central character. To echo another reviewer, I felt a bit sorry for Nora in the sense that she's so intelligent that it's a struggle for her to fit in with regular kids, and she can't help but feel estranged. There are lessons to pick up on in this book, be it the significance of persistence in one's studies, yet tempering one's anxieties with knowing that tests do not ultimately define the student. And then there's that old maxim about, above all else, being true to yourself. I have no objections with Nora's wanting to be treated like a normal person. Nora is a genius. She's also only a kid. For a time, let her be a kid. But that's just my opinion. Read THE REPORT CARD and see if you agree.