Twelve-year-old Ross tries to discover the formula for being funny and getting his new classmates to like him in this laugh-out-loud MAX novel!
Ross Stevens has changed schools twelve times in the last three years but when his beloved Pops becomes ill, Ross and his mom must plant roots—which means no more school moves. And no more moves mean no more school exits, and Ross has perfected the science of leaving a school with an epic prank. Worse, it means he will actually have to learn how to make friends and do a science project, two things he’s never had to do before.
Then Ross hits on a hypothesis: if pranks are cool because they are funny then maybe he could discover the formula for funny! If his nerdy “peer review” partner doesn’t cramp his style and if the embarrassing notebook full of his “research” doesn’t get out, then maybe Ross can actually be happy staying in one place.
But can he really figure out the formula for ultimate middle school happiness?
In Allbright's entertaining debut novel, an itinerant middle schooler gets a humorous lesson in building relationships and putting down roots. Ross Stevens hasn't just moved 11 times: he has made a grand exit from each school he's attended, often involving a big prank that would've gotten him suspended if he had stayed. It's a solid track record of what he calls "exit-lence," but when Ross's grandfather falls ill, the commitment-phobic 12-year-old is forced to settle down. Unaccustomed to forging real friendships beyond those involving his family and one childhood best friend, Ross has to learn how to get to know people and think about how he wants to be known. While researching "how to be funny" for a science fair project, Ross learns how humor can bring people together or tear friends apart. Allbright's fresh take on middle school social dynamics is genuine and sweet without being saccharine. Readers learn alongside Ross just how rewarding it can be to take risks and show one's true self to the world. Ages 9 13.