Gr 5-8 -Middle schoolers will get a mini course in journalism in Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist Michael Winerip's first novel (Candlewick, 2005). Adam Canfield has trouble keeping up with his many activities, so he's apprehensive when his best friend, Jennifer, talks him into co-editing Harris Elementary/Middle School's award winning newspaper, The Slash . He likes being an investigative reporter, but isn't sure how he will handle assigning stories, editing them, and all reining in third-grade cub reporter, Phoebe. Phoebe's story about the school janitor uncovers potentially damaging information about the school's principal, Miss Marris. In an unobtrusive manner, the reporters learn about journalistic ethics and rules of conduct, such as fact checking, using multiple sources, and always seeking the truth. The co-editors eventually face expulsion as they get closer to the truth about Miss Marris. Winerip uses clever dialogue, sarcasm, challenging vocabulary, and engaging characters to shine a light on bureaucratic incompetence, racism, political correctness, the misuse of power, and the current fixation on standardized tests. Although some of Winerip's adults are flawed and hypocritical, others are portrayed as honest, helpful, and well-meaning. Actor Patric Girard Lawlor provides a lively reading, reflecting adolescent enthusiasm. He hits the right notes in creating unique voices for all of the characters. Those who like Carl Hiaasen's Hoot (Knopf, 2002), Tangerine by Edward Bloor (Harcourt, 1997), and John Ritter's The Boy Who Saved Baseball (Philomel) will like this story about two smart, inventive and ethical friends.-Jo Ann Carhart, East Islip Public Library, NY[Page 76]. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.