Cover image for The Strange case of the reluctant partners
Title:
The Strange case of the reluctant partners
Author:
Geller, Mark.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Harper & Row, [1990]

©1990
Physical Description:
88 pages ; 22 cm
Summary:
Thomas is dismayed by a seventh grade English assignment requiring him and the intelligent and unusual Elaine to write biographies of each other, but they soon become good friends.
General Note:
"A Charlotte Zolotow book."
Language:
English
Reading Level:
430 Lexile.
Program Information:
Reading Counts RC 6-8 6.1 4 Quiz: 10998 Guided reading level: NR.
ISBN:
9780060219734

9780060219727
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

Thomas is sure he'll never survive the assignment. The class must write biographies of each other and he's stuck with Elaine, the weirdest girl in the seventh grade.


Summary

Thomas is dismayed by a seventh grade English assignment requiring him and the intelligent and unusual Elaine to write biographies of each other, but they soon become good friends.


Reviews 4

Booklist Review

Gr. 6-8. Seventh-graders Thomas Trible and Elaine Moore are assigned to be partners in a class biography project for which each will profile the other. But to write about Elaine, Thomas has to get to know her--something that doesn't interest him at all. She's too brainy, and too homely, and too snooty--nothing at all like lovely Brigette Coates, whom his pal Alan lucked into partnering. Perceptive readers, however, won't be surprised when Elaine starts to grow on Thomas. Though there is an upset after Thomas lies about going to Brigette's house when he's supposed to be with Elaine, the story ends on an upbeat note. Thomas reads his biography of Elaine to the class and describes the warm, wonderful person that she is. However, the ending is a little too hopeful. Will readers really believe that Brigette and Elaine have become friends by the conclusion? Oh, well, this only adds to the story's fairy tale feeling--to mix metaphors, the ugly duckling gets her prince. Written primarily in dialogue, the book has an immediacy that kids will like. ~--Ilene Cooper


School Library Journal Review

When Thomas' English teacher decides that her students will write biographies of one another, Thomas finds himself paired with Elaine, the class outcast. Of course, his friends tease him unmercifully but, predictably, once he gets to know her, he discovers that she is really a nice person. After he reads his biography of Elaine to the class, the popular students decide to befriend her. This thinly plotted story might work as an easy read in spite of its improbable ending, were it not for its incredibly simplistic style. The short, choppy sentences read like something out of a Dick and Jane primer, and the dialogue is stilted and artificial. Even the slowest of readers are likely to feel that Geller is condescending to them. And, should they read far enough, they will be puzzled to find words such as ``magnanimous'' and ``ostentatious'' mixed in with an otherwise simple vocabulary. Geller's Raymond (Harper, 1988) is similar in style but fares better because it deals with the highly emotional issue of child abuse. There's just not enough in this story to hold the interest of the book's intended audience. --Bruce Anne Shook, Mendenhall Middle School, Greensboro, NC (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Booklist Review

Gr. 6-8. Seventh-graders Thomas Trible and Elaine Moore are assigned to be partners in a class biography project for which each will profile the other. But to write about Elaine, Thomas has to get to know her--something that doesn't interest him at all. She's too brainy, and too homely, and too snooty--nothing at all like lovely Brigette Coates, whom his pal Alan lucked into partnering. Perceptive readers, however, won't be surprised when Elaine starts to grow on Thomas. Though there is an upset after Thomas lies about going to Brigette's house when he's supposed to be with Elaine, the story ends on an upbeat note. Thomas reads his biography of Elaine to the class and describes the warm, wonderful person that she is. However, the ending is a little too hopeful. Will readers really believe that Brigette and Elaine have become friends by the conclusion? Oh, well, this only adds to the story's fairy tale feeling--to mix metaphors, the ugly duckling gets her prince. Written primarily in dialogue, the book has an immediacy that kids will like. ~--Ilene Cooper


School Library Journal Review

When Thomas' English teacher decides that her students will write biographies of one another, Thomas finds himself paired with Elaine, the class outcast. Of course, his friends tease him unmercifully but, predictably, once he gets to know her, he discovers that she is really a nice person. After he reads his biography of Elaine to the class, the popular students decide to befriend her. This thinly plotted story might work as an easy read in spite of its improbable ending, were it not for its incredibly simplistic style. The short, choppy sentences read like something out of a Dick and Jane primer, and the dialogue is stilted and artificial. Even the slowest of readers are likely to feel that Geller is condescending to them. And, should they read far enough, they will be puzzled to find words such as ``magnanimous'' and ``ostentatious'' mixed in with an otherwise simple vocabulary. Geller's Raymond (Harper, 1988) is similar in style but fares better because it deals with the highly emotional issue of child abuse. There's just not enough in this story to hold the interest of the book's intended audience. --Bruce Anne Shook, Mendenhall Middle School, Greensboro, NC (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.