Book Review: The Classroom Student Council Smackdown! by Robin Mellom

The Classroom; Student Council Smackdown! written by Robin Mellom, with illustrations by Stephen Gilpin, is a wonderful follow up to The Classroom: The Epic Documentary of a Not-Yet-Epic Kid.  We are returned the the halls of Westside Middle School and the worry prone Trevor, slightly neurotic Libby, and the slew of secondary characters that we met in the first book. Libby Gardner and Cindy Applegate have gone head to head in elections for class president for as long as they can remember, and seventh grade is no different. But the pressures of this campaign are more heavily felt and might be cause for some extreme actions. Meanwhile Trevor is still trying to understand what makes a person cool and maintain the coolness he gained by standing up to a bully all while still being a good friend to Libby. There are major speed-bumps for all those concerned, and through the documentary film crew and student diary entries we are witness to it all.

The Classroom; Student Council Smackdown! brings readers deep into the world of middle school struggles to be popular and school politics. Trevor, Libby, and the rest are all still struggling to find their place in a world with new rules and expectations. I found the concerns and thoughts of the middle school students to be realistic and honest for the most part. There seemed to be some exaggeration- but that is part of fiction and what makes a good story. The struggles of being in middle school were also realistic, it is a tough age since you are no longer really a child but neither a teen, I dread my own kids hitting the tween era. I really felt the interaction with the bully and the advice of Molly that the real definition of being cool is not caring about weather others think you are cool. I find that to be advice people of all ages would do good to remember and put into action. If children, and adults, spent more time following that advice and just concentrate on being themselves we could all be happier.

The Classroom; Student Council Smackdown! is an honest and entertaining look at middle school, and I book I honestly enjoyed reading. I would recommend it to those that read the first book, and readers that enjoy reasonably realistic fiction about the middle school years. I loved the continuing story of middle school adventure and drama for characters that I feel like I have come to know, and look forward to whatever might come next for this unique cast of characters in the future. I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a far review.
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