Down With The Dance

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Middle-school mayhem magic.

Austin Davenport, grade six, is an everyman (or an everymiddle-schooler, at least). Slightly nerdy, awkward, insecure and trying desperately to fit in with the “cool” kids, Austin and his struggles are immediately relatable and universally compelling. Where he differs though, is in that Austin is both an everyman and a hero – somehow able to turn his “huge analytical mind” and the power of his “coding” prowess to a one-man, bumbling crusade against evil – in this case, in the form of his bullying brother Derek, and his new arch-enemy – the school Principal Buthaire.

“If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so (Thomas Jefferson)”

Armed by those words, with the aid of his best friend Ben Gordon, and fueled by his crush on his new science partner Sophie Rodriguez, Austin takes a wobbly stand against corruption in high places. His efforts, not resoundingly successful but always entertaining and laugh-out-loud funny in places, are well-intentioned and principled. (even as they are Principal directed!).

We can’t help but cheer for Austin as he reminds us of, not only the awkwardness of middle-school, but the purity and innocence of the singleminded youthful pursuit of dreams, and how close to the surface such hard-earned happiness can be for each of us.

I highly recommend this marvelous introduction to Austin and his world and look forward to reading more of this delightful series!

My stop today on the @rararesources #blogtour for #middleschoolmayhem #downwiththedance by @ctwalshauthor

A great big thank you to the author for an ARC of this book. All thoughts presented are my own.


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