One Kid’s Trash by Jamie Sumner

Published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers

One Kid's Trash: Sumner, Jamie: 9781534457034: Amazon.com: Books

Summary:  Sixth-grader Hugo is dismayed about his father’s decision to quit his corporate job and move the family to become a ski instructor.  Hugo, small for his age, has finally found friends and doesn’t relish the idea of having to start all over again at a new school.  Sure enough, a boy named Chance seems to delight in bullying Hugo about his size.  Fortunately, Hugo’s cool cousin Vijay goes to his new school, and introduces Hugo to his surprisingly uncool but interesting friends.  The group is working on a new school newspaper (or newsletter, since it’s only a single sheet of paper), and Hugo gets drawn into this activity.  When he shows a talent for interpreting people’s trash to get insights into their personalities, he finds himself with a certain middle school celebrity status.  But superpowers must be used for good, and when Hugo uses his to get back at Chance, he finds himself in big trouble with both his family and his new friends.  240 pages; grades 3-7.

Pros:  Familiar middle school concerns of bullying, family tensions, and starting a new school are all explored here with a cast of engaging characters.  From the eye-catching cover to the satisfying conclusion, this book is sure to appeal to a wide range of readers.

Cons:  Hugh’s trashy grand finale felt a little anticlimactic.

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