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The Report Card

Review

The Report Card

written by Andrew Clements, illustrated by Brian Selznick

In a family of high achievers, Nora Rowley seems to be the odd one out. While her sister's grades and accomplishments are extraordinary, and her brother's are certainly far from lacking, she brings home a report card full of Ds. For years, Nora has convinced her parents, teachers and friends that she is nothing more than average; her brightest talent is on the soccer field.

Nora, in truth, is anything but average. She takes college-level astronomy courses online and taught herself to understand Spanish by watching television. In short, she's a genius, but she hides her abilities from almost everyone because she doesn't want to be singled out.

The only person who knows this is the school librarian, who discovers Nora's list of visited websites and sees Nora for what she is. Nora, in turn, confides in Mrs. Byrne. As an experiment, she is purposely scoring low to average on tests in order to show everyone that intelligence is not necessarily equal to your test scores. What she starts, instead, is a revolution.

For anyone who has ever received a low test score and said, "I thought I did better than that!" or "I'm smarter than that!" this is a book to check out. As he did with FRINDLE and THE SCHOOL STORY, Andrew Clements creates a perfect setting to raise the question of "What if?" and take it beyond simple answers while keeping the story believable. Kids are heroes, and everyone wins in the end.

Reviewed by Carlie Webber on April 6, 2004

The Report Card
written by Andrew Clements, illustrated by Brian Selznick

  • Publication Date: April 6, 2004
  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
  • ISBN-10: 0689845154
  • ISBN-13: 9780689845154