The alpha male beast at Hiawassee Middle School goes by the name of Chase Ambrose.  He's callous, mean, self-centered and his reputation precedes him as he walks down the halls.  No one leaning over a water fountain is safe from a possible stitch or two from the local doctor.   His pranks are legendary and they have crossed the line into having a day in court before the judge.

It was only a few cherry bombs inside the school's grand piano.  Chase and his two buddies Aaron and Bear thought it would be a great prank but when the bombs exploded everyone in the auditorium was terrified and the young man at the piano was traumatized.  That meant going to court for the three boys and a sentence to community service at the old folks home.

That's only one of the things Chase did to build his reputation as a bully.  But, that was before he slid off his own rooftop and lost his memories as a result of a concussion.  As he wakes up, Chase doesn't even recognize his own mother.

It's an entirely new version of Chase who walks the halls of his school now.  Told by his doctor that he can't play football for this season, Chase looks around for something else to do and ends up joining the video club where all the losers are that he used to pick on.  His father is pushing Chase to get back in the game to keep the family reputation as superstars alive and one memory sticks in Chase's mind.... it's a girl....but he can't figure out who she is.

This is a whole new Chase...or is it?  Is he faking it?  Does he remember the secret of what he owes his old football friends?

Gordon Korman writes as though he just left the school cafeteria and he is on his way to football practice.  How will Chase turn out?  Can he make amends to the people he harmed?  Can you change your reputation?

The angst of middle school with the romances, the jockeying for social position, the power of social coolness are in the spotlight here along with Korman's trademark stand up comedy.  A slightly different tone and depth than most of his books but his flair for comedy never flags.

Tone:  slightly introspective; Humorous

Pacing:  Moderate; punctuated with humor

Characters:  Told from multiple points of view

Storyline:  Mix of action brought in by secondary characters and introspection by main characters

978-1338053777 Ages 8-12 243 pages

Recommended by:  Barb Langridge,


Chase's memory just went out the window.

Chase doesn't remember falling off the roof. He doesn't remember hitting his head. He doesn't, in fact, remember anything. He wakes up in a hospital room and suddenly has to learn his whole life all over again . . . starting with his own name.

He knows he's Chase. But who is Chase? When he gets back to school, he sees that different kids have very different reactions to his return.

Some kids treat him like a hero. Some kids are clearly afraid of him.

One girl in particular is so angry with him that she pours her frozen yogurt on his head the first chance she gets.

Pretty soon, it's not only a question of who Chase is--it's a question of who he was . . . and who he's going to be.

From the #1 bestselling author of Swindle and Slacker, Restart is the spectacular story of a kid with a messy past who has to figure out what it means to get a clean start.--from the publisher

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