Twelve-year-old Seamus Hinkle is a good kid with a perfect school record—until the day of the unfortunate apple incident. Seamus is immediately shipped off to a detention facility—only to discover that Kilter Academy is actually a school to mold future Troublemakers, where demerits are awarded as a prize for bad behavior and each student is tasked to pull various pranks on their teachers in order to excel. Initially determined to avoid any more mishaps, Seamus nonetheless inadvertently emerges as a uniquely skilled troublemaker. Together with new friends Lemon and Elinor, he rises to the top of his class while beginning to discover that Kilter Academy has some major secrets and surprises in store….
This is a crude book that fans of Lemony Snicket will thoroughly enjoy. Like Lemony Snicket’s work, this book is outrageous and daring and will make you think, are you serious? and then what the heck? It’s a lot of fun. A light read, but full of fun and humor. I loved Seamus as a character. I also really liked Lemon–Seamus’s fire-loving room mate–but not so much some of the other characters. The academy itself was fun to read about too.
Things happen quickly, but there are some dry spots. Throughout the book, Seamus is conflicted with the thoughts of trouble-making and the guilt he feels for hurting, and murdering, a teacher. That’s right. He killed her with one incredible, coincidental throw of the apple. Like I said, this book will really make you wonder. It’s basically the story of one good kid who makes a bad decision and how he ends up. I was at the end of the book, and I was still wondering if this book was for real.
This was a great start to a series I’ll be following up on.
pg count for the paperback: 368
Series: Merits of Mischief