Your friends on one side. This weird kid on the other. A great plan in the making. A new friendship growing.
What would *you* do?
How strange is Carlos? REALLY strange. He scratches himself all the time, and he talks about aliens in this weird shaky voice, and he breaks up the class and gets everyone else in trouble when it's *his* fault he's such a freak.
So Trina, Donte, Thea, Sara, and Frankie decide to use the upcoming 7th-grade class trip to "get" Carlos and scare him into acting normal. But when Trina has to work with Carlos on a class project, she discovers both his sweetness and the full extent of his troubles. Will she pull out of the plan or go through with it? And what will happen if--when--Carlos gets it?
Seventh-grader Trina and her friends have had enough of Carlos, the disturbed kid in class whose bizarre behavior always gets everyone else in trouble. They come up with a plan to scare Carlos big-time during their upcoming class overnight at Mount Cardigan. Trina, the narrator, is not a bad kid, and she's initially reluctant to go along with the scheme, until Carlos embarrasses her in front of the whole class. Even so, Trina feels increasingly plagued by a guilt-demon. Emerson (the Oliver Nocturne series) makes the tug-of-war within Trina between her growing empathy for Carlos and her desire to fit in with her friends realistic and compelling: It's just too bad you don't have a little card that you can use at, like, a store, to swap yourself into another body for a while, until the heat of your own life cooled down. Though the prank plays out melodramatically, Trina's narration is authentic, and dialogue involving parents, teachers and classmates feels lifelike, too. Ages 9 12.