Published January 3rd 2017 by Arthur A. Levine Books
Format read: Finished copy via publisher
Middle school is hard work, and Gregory tries to be a good student. He participates in class, he studies for his tests -- he and his friends even help each other with their assignments. But no matter what he does, there's never enough time to finish all his homework. It just isn't fair.
So Gregory goes on a total, complete homework strike. No worksheets, no essays, no projects. His friends think he's crazy. His parents are worried about his grades. And his principal just wants him to stop making trouble. Can Gregory rally his fellow students, make his voice heard, and still pass seventh grade?
Find out in this book for anyone who thinks school is stressful, gets headaches from homework, or just wants to be heard.
I ended the book with a newfound appreciation for Greg Pincus, who has created an engaging story about how one kid’s desire to find more time to do things he loves, turns into a wise lesson on civics and education.
While The Homework Strike is very much a tale about protagonist Gregory K not wanting to do homework, it also evolves into a tale with a much-appreciated character arc. Because as Gregory tries to figure out how to best share and evolve the merits of his strike, he also learns – through some clever guidance from a bemused teacher and his parents – how strikes have functioned throughout history, and the various emotional and physical obstacles he needs to undergo, to prove his point and rouse his fellow students into joining him.
It’s a great reminder on how responsibility and leadership can begin at a young age, and Pincus smartly challenges Gregory K to accept both the ups and downs of that leadership. For while Gregory doesn’t have to do his homework, he also has to deal with the consequences of not doing said homework, including an unhappy principal and potential impacts on his grade.
But whereas it would be easy for Gregory to just give in, the very fact that he is encouraged to keep going both by friends and understanding parents, shows a wonderful emphasis on the value of holding true to one’s convictions, which is a worthwhile lesson to take away from the book.
Highly recommend, full stop.
About the author:
Greg Pincus is a children's poet and novelist, a screenwriter, a volunteer elementary school librarian, and a social media strategist. He is also an active member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. He lives in Los Angeles, California, and can be found online at gottabook.blogspot.com, or on Twitter as @GregPincus.