Cover image for Story time
Story time
Bloor, Edward, 1950-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Orlando : Harcourt, 2004.
Physical Description:
424 pages ; 22 cm
George and Kate are promised the best education but instead face obsessed administrators, endless tests, and evil spirits when they are transferred to Whittaker Magnet School.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG+ 4.8 12.0 77522.
Format :


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X Young Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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George and Kate are promised the finest education when they transfer to the Whittaker Magnet School. It boasts the highest test scores in the nation.

But at what price? Their new school's curriculum is focused on beating standardized tests; classes are held in dreary, windowless rooms; and students are force-fed noxious protein shakes to improve their test performance. Worst of all, there seems to be a demon loose in the building, one whose murderous work has only just begun.

A bitterly funny satire about the state of modern education from the author of Tangerine and Crusader.

Author Notes

EDWARD BLOOR is the author many acclaimed novels, including Tangerine, Crusader, and Story Time . A former high school teacher, he lives near Orlando, Florida. Visit him online at ."

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 5-8. Readers who think they know what to expect from the author of Tangerine (1997) and Crusader (1999)--wrenching family drama played out in grim suburban settings--will need to recalibrate after finishing this novel. It's the story of brainy sixth-grader George and sassy eighth-graderate, who find themselves in a magnet school housed in a purportedly haunted library. Both kids grow to hate taking standardized tests all day alongside green-tinged Mushroom Children, and coping with the exaggeratedly amoral cadre of adults who run the place. There doesn't seem to be much hope of liberation, though, until a series of demonic possessions and grisly deaths delivers retribution toate and George's oppressors, putting the kids on the trail of a creepy paranormal mystery spanning generations. Part spine tingler, part breezy gothic, and part sly satire (the school espouses a No High-Scoring Child Left Behind policy), it's an audaciously eclectic mix. The proliferating story strands--including some deus ex machina intervention from the White House--are not always satisfactorily woven, but the irreverence and offbeat horror will still find an admiring audience. --Jennifer Mattson Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

"In the sprawling, satirical tradition of his Tangerine and Crusader," PW wrote, "Bloor delivers a no-holds-barred, deeply subversive tale about modern education." Ages 12-up. (Aug.)n (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 6-9-Sixth-grade genius George and his eighth-grade niece, Kate, become involved in the shadowy goings-on at a haunted library-turned-school in this book by Edward Bloor (Harcourt, 2004). Much to Kate's dismay, instead of getting the lead in Lincoln Middle School's production of Peter Pan, she and George start the new school year at the Whittaker Magnet School. Whittaker students have the highest test scores in the nation, which translates for Kate as test-taking hell due to the school's "Test-Based Curriculum." Black comedy, horror, and a satire of the U.S. education system all combine, not always harmoniously, in a wildly careening plot which includes political machinations, underhanded dealings, several deaths, and a pesky demon residing at the school. Narrator Julie Dretzin does a fine job portraying the adults in the story, from the outrageousness of Ma Melvil to the wonderful Minnesota-flavored tones of the County Commissioner, but her George and Kate seem flat and inflectionless at times. Suspension of disbelief walks a fine line here, but those willing to put aside logic for the thrill of the ride should enjoy this compelling tale.-Charli Osborne, Oxford Public Library, Oxford, MI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



A Carefree EveningKate was flying. She was thinking beautiful thoughts, and she was flying.She sailed across the backyard in a graceful arc, ten feet above the dirt, rising over the fence at her apogee near the kitchen window and dipping below it at her perigee near the back gate.Kate's uncle George, a slight, bespectacled boy, ran along the ground below her like a disembodied shadow. He had a length of rope tied around his waist. It ran up to a system of pulleys that were screwed deeply into the oak branch, threading through them and connecting, finally, to Kate. He was Kate's ballast, scurrying back and forth beneath the big oak branch, grunting and tugging in contrast to her effortless aerobatics.He called up to her, "How does the bodice feel?"Kate thought for a moment about the Velcro-and-wire brace wrapped around her body. "It's killing my armpits on the turns," she shouted, "but it's worth it! I'm flying, Uncle George. I'm sprinkled with fairy dust and I'm flying!" Spontaneously she broke into the first big number from Peter Pan, singing lustily, "I'm flying! Look at me way up high, suddenly here am I. I'm flying!"As she sang, Kate dipped one arm and one leg left, executing a smooth glide across the length of the yard and then back again. Her auburn hair wafted on and off her forehead, and her green eyes shone in the sunset.On the ground, George hustled to keep up with her. He was two years younger than his niece, Kate. He was twenty-two years younger than Kate's mother, his sister, June.Theirs was an unusual, although not unheard of, family arrangement. George and his parents, Kate's grandparents, lived in one-half of a gray-shingled duplex, with this fenced-in yard, while Kate and June lived in the other half. This is how things had always been, for as long as George had been alive.George was red and sweating when he called up, "Let's try a landing.""No," Kate shouted back. "Please, Uncle George. Let me sing 'Never Never Land,' and then I'll come down."George paused for a moment to check his invention. The pulleys were still securely attached to the tree. The rope was gliding smoothly through them. The bodice was a good fit, except for Kate's armpits. With a satisfied nod and a sigh, he took off running once again as the warm early-September evening faded slowly into dusk.Kate scooted her arms and legs outward, ballerina-like, and sang, "I know a place where dreams are born and time is never planned. It's not on any chart; you must find it with your heart, Never Never Land."With each move, Kate gained more confidence dancing on the air, coordinating her arms and legs in sweeping jets, grand gestures for the audience in the back row of the Lincoln Middle School auditorium. That was where, in two months' time, she hoped to be starring in the fall production of Peter Pan. But for now her performance was for George alone.Kate and George's duplex sat in a row of such double homes. Most were occupied by two unrelated Excerpted from Story Time by Edward Bloor All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.