Saturday, May 19, 2012
Merits of Mischief: The Bad Apple by T.R. Burns
Merits of Mischief: The Bad Apple by T.R. Burns is the first book in a quirky new series for young readers. When he accidentally kills a substitute teacher by throwing an apple, Seamus Hinkle's parents send him to a school for troublemakers. What his parents don't know is that Kilter Academy is not a reform school . . . if anything, it's the opposite. Seamus and his fellow students are trained in the art and science of troublemaking. At Kilter Academy, demerits are good and gold stars are bad. Playing pranks on your teachers is mandatory. Students who fail to make enough trouble are in danger of expulsion. The thing is, Seamus wasn't trying to be a bad kid -- the incident with the apple was an extremely unfortunate accident. Can he survive his time at Kilter Academy?
This odd little story fits in well with books like The Mysterious Benedict Society and The Name of This Book is Secret. It's obvious that the author plans to continue with the series, as very few loose ends are tied up at the end of this book, and though it's not exactly a cliffhanger, readers may find that they have more questions than answers when the book is closed. Even so, it's a tremendously fun read, and I'll be keeping an eye out for future installments.
(Reviewed from a copy borrowed through my library system.)