The Secret Sheriff of Sixth Grade
The Secret Sheriff of Sixth Grade
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Annotation: Maverick Falconer is just starting middle school and he wishes he were a hero like his father because maybe then he could deal with his mother's drinking and series of abusive boyfriends, not to mention the kids who bully him in middle school (pretty much the same ones who bullied him in elementary school)--but as the year passes he begins to realize that other kids have problems too, and maybe if they can all survive sixth-grade things will get better.
Catalog Number: #172244
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
Copyright Date: 2019
Edition Date: 2019
Pages: 193 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-545-86321-X Perma-Bound: 0-7804-3383-1
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-545-86321-6 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-3383-0
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2016048294
Dimensions: 19 cm.
Language: English
Horn Book
Maverick Falconer navigates family challenges and various sixth-grade social obstacles before his aunt steps up when Maverick's alcoholic mother hits rock bottom and finally seeks treatment. Sonnenblick's latest chronicle of middle-school life follows the same winning formula as his previous stories: a child in crisis, lots of humorous situations and one-liners, and moments of genuine warmth and emotion.
Kirkus Reviews
For white sixth-grader Maverick Falconer, life could hardly be worse. His father died while serving in Afghanistan; he's ashamed of his alcoholic mom, who can't keep a job and attracts abusive boyfriends; he often misses meals and wears worn-out clothes—and, for good measure, he's friendless, mercilessly bullied in school, and can't stay out of trouble. He dreams of being a superhero but berates himself for weakness. Some bright spots peek through: Maverick has a loving, supportive aunt, a pet hamster, and a plastic sheriff's badge his father bought him. This he holds onto to remember his hero dad and to bolster his courage. In fast-paced, breezy, first-person prose that's by turns laugh-out-loud funny and heart-wrenching, Sonnenblick creates in Maverick an endearing protagonist to root for. Despite daunting obstacles, this terrific boy retains a strong sense of self, a sense of humor, and a big heart that impels him to do what's right, as when he defends his archnemesis. Other characters are similarly well-realized, in particular the assistant principal who projects a terrifying persona but is actually compassionate and softhearted. A daring confrontation, some startling revelations, and serious injuries lead to an emotionally satisfying ending in which Maverick acknowledges who real heroes are—and that his kindness proves he was one all along. A winning novel that lays bare some painful truths and is sure to nurture empathy among readers. (Fiction. 10-13)
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* Disheartened that he's unable to protect his mother from her latest abusive boyfriend, Maverick decides to model his sixth-grade persona on his favorite superheroes (Spider-Man and Captain America) by doing good deeds and protecting smaller, weaker kids at school. "Assuming I could find anybody smaller or weaker than I was." From his first official visit to the assistant principal's office (within an hour of starting middle school) to his last one, when he realizes who his heroes really are and what he wants to become in seventh grade, this engaging first-person narrative captures idealism trampled t also transformed into something more durable and worthwhile. Maverick is a conscientious kid in a household where the refrigerator is often empty and the single parent is loving, if also alcoholic, needy, and dysfunctional, and he makes for a memorable character among many who are realistically complex and contradictory. The girl who disparages Maverick secretly admires him. The "smaller, weaker" boy who rejects his blundering attempt to rescue him later becomes an on-again, off-again friend. Meanwhile, after months of tormenting Maverick, the bully delivers a hard, damaging punch, followed by a surprising act of self-sacrifice and courage. The adult characters are just as quirky, well-drawn, and believable. A rewarding novel, lit with flashes of irrepressible humor.
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Starred Review ALA Booklist (7/1/17)
Horn Book
Kirkus Reviews
Word Count: 38,354
Reading Level: 5.1
Interest Level: 4-7
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 5.1 / points: 6.0 / quiz: 190935 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:4.6 / points:10.0 / quiz:Q71887
Lexile: 760L

A new hilarious, honest, and inspirational middle-grade novel about finding your inner hero, from the author of Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie.

In sixth grade, bad things can happen to good kids. Bullies will find your weakness and jump on it. Teachers will say you did something wrong when really you didn't mean to do anything wrong. The kids who joke the loudest can drown out the quieter, nicer kids.Maverick wants to change all that. One of the last things his father left him was a toy sheriff's badge, back when Maverick was little. Now he likes to carry it around to remind him of his dad -- and also to remind him to make school a better place for everyone . . . even if that's a hard thing to do, especially when his own home life is falling apart.The Secret Sheriff of Sixth Grade is a story about standing up for yourself -- and being a hero at home and in the halls of your school.

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