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Fiction Ages 9-12
Pages: 224
Themes: music, drama, humor, friendship
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: 01/10/2014
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The Dunces—Josh, Magnolia, Wang and Wilmot—are back, and this time they’re going up against a formidable foe: Principal Hale, who has canceled their school’s drama and music program just when Wilmot needs it most. He has a guitar (given to him by a teen named Headcase), but no teacher and nowhere to practice (his dad hates rock ’n’ roll). The Dunces’ plan to convince Principal Hale to reinstate the program involves Josh’s reluctant participation in a hockey team, Magnolia’s enthusiastic role-playing and Wang’s disillusionment with a suspicious character named Hui Bing (aka Larry). But can the Dunces really rock, even when they rebrand themselves as Cousin Willy and the Wang Dang Doodles?

Southwest Ohio and Neighboring Libraries - December 18, 2014
"The Dunces are an amusing gang of middle school kids. These characters are relatable and well developed...A quick, enjoyable read."
VOYA - December 1, 2014
"Middle-grade readers will commiserate with the characters’ frustrations about not being allowed to do what they really want to do, and they will laugh out loud at the Dunces’ shenanigans. In particular, readers will enjoy the principal-inspired songs, and Wang’s attempts to master a possibly mystical, distinctly absurd dance will leave readers in stitches. Packed tight with jokes, deliberately quirky scenes, and lovable characters, Dunces Rock’s fast-paced humor is perfectly suited to its intended audience."
StoryMonsters Ink - November 16, 2014
"Well-written, with short, digestible chapters and plenty of action to keep the reader hooked. This motley crew of students has multiple challenges thrown at them throughout the course of the book, and manages to figure out a way around each of them. Their path may not always be straight—and in fact might seem downright backwards at some points—but they never give up, which keeps the story interesting."
Booklist - November 1, 2014
"Jaimet keeps the story fast-paced and funny, giving each friend a distinct challenge to overcome while they work together to bring drama and music back to their school...The Dunce’s latest escapades prove that friends can accomplish anything as long as they’ve got one another’s backs."
Resource Links - October 1, 2014
"Madcap mayhem has always been a popular vehicle for comedic fiction, and Dunces Rock definitely falls into the funny school category of books for young readers...The Dunces (Josh, Wilmot, Magnolia and Wang) have a huge amount of appeal...and the author has a nice light voice. Recommended."
Kirkus Reviews - September 1, 2014
"The author is wise not to dwell too much on the arts-vs.-sports agenda, instead leaning heavily on witty banter among her characters and larger-than-life explosions of joy and friendship. Another wise decision is made when dealing with Principal Hale, who is painted not as evil or shortsighted but instead pompous and vain, making this less and less a sophisticated analysis of scholastic debate and more a well-intentioned romp. A cute and mildly amusing slobs-vs.-snobs tale."

Awards

CCBC Best Books  | 2015 | Commended
Red Cedar Book Award nominee  | 2015 | Short-listed

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