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9781554700950_cover Enlarge Cover
5 of 5
1 rating
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list price: $19.95
edition:Hardcover
also available: eBook Paperback
published: Oct 2008
ISBN:9781554700950
publisher: Key Porter Books

Numbers

by David A. Poulsen

reviews: 2
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school & education
5 of 5
1 rating
rated!
rated!
list price: $19.95
edition:Hardcover
also available: eBook Paperback
published: Oct 2008
ISBN:9781554700950
publisher: Key Porter Books
Description

Fifteen-year-old Andy Crockett wouldn—t call himself the luckiest kid on earth. At home, his brother got all the looks and the smarts. And at school, he doesn—t exactly fit: not with the Goths, not with the athletes, and certainly not with the brains. Not even, really, with The Six—a group of misfits who hang out with each other only because they can—t stand hanging out with anyone else.
At the start of the school year, though, Andy starts to think that his luck has changed. Although Parkerville High isn—t the coolest school on earth, there's one very cool thing about it: Mr. Retzlaff. And Andy's got him for Grade 10 Social.
Grade 10 Social is awesome from Day One. It's the class that covers World War II, and Hitler, and the Holocaust. It's the class in which Mr. R. stresses that pictures can be deceiving, and encourages his students not to believe everything they hear. It's the class that Andy wants to ace—if only to make Mr. R. proud. Before long, though, Andy starts to realize that Mr. R's version of history doesn—t quite match everyone else's, and that acing this particular class may cost more than he's willing to pay.
With Numbers, award-winning author David A. Poulsen offers a piercing look at the costs of turning your back on what is popular and learning to think for yourself.

About the Author

David A. Poulsen has been a broadcaster, teacher, football coach, and — most of all — a writer. He is the author of more than twenty-five books, including the first three books in the Cullen and Cobb Mystery series. He lives on a ranch in the Alberta foothills near Calgary.

Author profile page >
Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
Age:
12 to 15
Grade:
9 to 12
Reading age:
12 to 15

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Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

Numbers

Fifteen-year-old Andy Crockett has never been what anyone would call lucky. Always on the outside, he doesn’t seem to fit in at home, and is barely tolerated by a group of misfits called “The Six” at school. At the beginning of his Grade 10 year, it looks like his luck is about to change when he’s assigned the super-cool Mr. Retzlaff for Social. Social is cool from day one, covering topics such as WWII and the Holocaust, and encouraging the students to think and to question. But when Andy starts to realize that Mr. R’s version of history doesn’t match everyone else’s, he starts to question how far he is willing to go to belong.

David Poulsen is at his strongest when he tackles difficult issues for teens, and this book is no exception. While the plot centres on Anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial, there are a number of deeper issues at play in the novel as well. Mr. Retzlaff’s teaching is about looking at the world from different points of view, and not blindly accepting the popular view, which are crucial concepts for today’s students to understand. Also key to the story is Andy’s desperate desire to fit in, and that makes him particularly impressionable.

What especially makes the novel interesting is how the principles of individual thinking that Mr. Retzlaff teaches are so effective that – despite his eagerness to please his teacher – Andy comes to the realization that he can and must think for himself, and not blindly accept someone else’s point of view.

A thought-provoking ending will leave readers thinking about this book long beyond reading, offering a powerful message about the irreparable damage that can be caused when we don’t ask the important questions.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Spring 2009. Vol.32 No.2.

Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

Numbers

Andy wants to ace Mr. R.’s class. Covering World War II, Hitler and the Holocaust, he urges students to question what they see and hear. Andy then sees that Mr. R.’s version of history doesn’t match everyone else’s, and the cost of passing Mr. R.’s class may be more than he is willing to pay.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. 2009.

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