Reviews for Adam Canfield Of The Slash
Booklist Reviews 2005 May #1
Gr. 4-7. Cub reporters hungry for a byline; editors fending off the intrusions of a powerful publisher: just another gritty newsroom drama, right? Sort of. With other media outlets in town run by an unethical tycoon, Harris Elementary/Middle School's student monthly the Slash is the last bastion of journalistic integrity. So it's up to scrappy Adam and his coeditor Jennifer to expose injustice, whether in city hall or the suspiciously spiffy renovation of the school principal's office. Alongside the Bernstein and Woodward-style investigative reporting, Winerip, an education columnist for the New York Times, satirizes both standardized testing and the relentless rounds of activities that put Adam on the verge of getting "enriched to death." Kids may miss some of the satire, particularly in episodes involving ineffectual bureaucracy and precocious small fry engaging in sophisticated newsroom banter. But the characters' conviction that "truth is a mighty precious commodity" may inspire readers, as they are ensnared in the thrilling quest for the big scoop. ((Reviewed May 1, 2005)) Copyright 2005 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2005 Fall
After overscheduled middle-schooler Adam uncovers dirt about the principal, he and his fellow school-newspaper reporters must find a way to publish the truth without getting anyone fired or expelled. Winerip's recurring messages that kids today are overprogrammed and that standardized testing is bad can feel intrusive, but the characters and story are engaging, and the easygoing prose charms throughout. Copyright 2005 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 2005 April #1
Intrepid elementary/middle-school newspaper reporters uncover scandals in this quick-moving, suspenseful and well-written comedy by an intrepid Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist. Overachiever Adam Canfield regrets agreeing to be co-editor of the school paper, but he has a crush on Jennifer, his fellow editor and he's committed to hard-hitting, courageous journalism. When a third-grade girl reporter shows as much spunk as him, he resents her, but follows up a story she's uncovered. He and Jennifer learn that their evil school principal is misusing school funds. Along the way, the kids deal with journalistic ethics and rely on solid reporting methods that may inspire some young readers toward journalism. Winerip's humor relies on campy, stereotyped villains and seems long at over 300 pages, but that's fine. The comedy scores and the writing zips along with real suspense, making this a fun, fast read. It's an excellent effort for Winerip's debut that should delight middle-school readers. (Fiction. 8-12) Copyright Kirkus 2005 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2005 April #3
Winerip (9 Highland Road, for adults) delivers a terrific crash course in Journalism 101 within this acerbic satire featuring a junior Woodward and Bernstein. Adam, "the most overprogrammed middle school student in America," and Jennifer, who keeps her many balls in the air with more ease, have been named co-editors of the Slash. This award-winning Harris Elementary/Middle newspaper was named either for the diagonal line in the school's name or, according to a former editor, for villainous Principal Marris's tendency to "[slash] anything interesting out of every article." The team's tenure begins with a pesky but smart third-grade reporter's glowing profile of the unsung hero of a school janitor-which inadvertently reveals some shady dealings afoot, linked to the principal's gold-plated bathroom fixtures. Adam and Jennifer work to get the goods on Marris, and create enough outrage to overturn a law with fine print banning basketball hoops from front yards. Through his characters, Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Winerip makes a statement about standardized tests, onerous zoning regulations and mergers that land all local media in the hands of one "telecommunications magnate." Fans of Carl Hiaasen's Hoot will find the same cynical humor at work here, as well as villains just as baldly caricatured. Between laughs, readers will also be prompted to think-about what constitutes truth, how the media massages it, and the importance of ethics, fairness and getting the facts right. Ages 8-12. (Apr.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal Reviews 2005 March
Gr 5-8-Winerip has tapped on his experiences reporting on education issues for the New York Times to fashion this excellent novel. Adam is the reluctant new coeditor of the Slash, his affluent suburb's "award-winning" elementary/middle school newspaper. While he has a precocious penchant for investigative reporting, he's decidedly less adept in the interpersonal arena and finds he has much to learn from his more poised partner, Jennifer, about meeting the subtler demands of the job. Among them is the matter of how to supervise Phoebe, a pesky third-grade cub reporter who, though annoyingly hyper, turns out to have a remarkably potent pen and a disturbing talent for sniffing out front-page scoops. The suspenseful central plot begins when these three journalists discover that their school's social-climbing principal-a woman who likes to try to dictate the paper's content and use it as a medium for feel-good community relations-may have misused funds from a bequest to install luxurious amenities in her office. Do they dare pursue the ugly story and risk staining their "permanent records?" This poignant tension between facing thorny truths or acquiescing to more comfortable, but nonetheless insidious, systemic falsehoods-particularly those perpetuated in education, the media, race relations, and government-is echoed in subplots throughout the story. This is a deceptively fun read that somehow manages to present kids with some of the most subtle social and ethical questions currently shaping their futures.-Jeffrey Hastings, Highlander Way Middle School, Howell, MI Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.