The Looney Experiment

Hardcover | August 4, 2015

byLuke Reynolds

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Atticus Hobart couldn’t feel lower. He’s in love with a girl who doesn’t know he exists, he is the class bully’s personal punching bag, and to top it all off, his dad has just left the family. Into this drama steps Mr. Looney, a 77-year-old substitute English teacher with uncanny insight and a most unconventional approach to teaching. But Atticus soon discovers there’s more to Mr. Looney’s methods than he’d first thought. And as Atticus begins to unlock the truths within his own name, he finds that his hyper-imagination can help him forge his own voice, and maybe—just maybe—discover that the power to face his problems was inside him all along.

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From the Publisher

Atticus Hobart couldn’t feel lower. He’s in love with a girl who doesn’t know he exists, he is the class bully’s personal punching bag, and to top it all off, his dad has just left the family. Into this drama steps Mr. Looney, a 77-year-old substitute English teacher with uncanny insight and a most unconventional approach to teaching. ...

Format:HardcoverDimensions:208 pages, 8.75 × 6 × 0.88 inPublished:August 4, 2015Publisher:BlinkLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0310746426

ISBN - 13:9780310746423

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Editorial Reviews

Though this book is clearly meant to be an empowering story for middle school students who can relate to the story, this novel will resonate with any generation. Not only is it a tale of courage and self-empowerment, especially for those who have trouble finding their own voices, it also explores important subjects such as bullying, separation and divorce, emotional and physical abuse, and doing what is right even when it isn't easy.Atticus, who is both the main character and the narrator of the book, at first appears to be completely average. He has trouble in school, he has trouble in sports, and he has trouble with social interactions. But he soon learns that the only person holding him back is himself, and once he realizes this, the real Atticus is revealed.Mr. Looney is equally mysterious in the beginning of the story. His name is not the only thing that implies he could be crazy; his teaching methods also lend themselves to this idea. Loud, ridiculous, and completely off his rocker, he is exactly the type of teacher to get Atticus to open up and begin to feel comfortable in his own skin.With excellent characters and a strong, emotional story, not much else is needed to make The Looney Experiment even more appealing. However, the author doesn't stop there. Instead, Reynolds uses To Kill a Mockingbird to teach Atticus about his own name, about the role of fathers, and about what it means to be courageous. This lesson could not come at a more relevant time in history.This book is real, and though it is meant for a young audience, it does not shy away from the tough topics kids often must face and understood well before they should. The ending does not tie up the story with a perfect little bow, and not every aspect is resolved, but such is life. The Looney Experiment will offer any reader, young or old, the opportunity to view difficult events from a child's point of view, and by the end of the book, they will be better because of it.By Karen Rought