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Sailing off a roof, slamming into the ground, having a concussion, and having amnesia, with a series of dramatic events, Chase Ambrose, the protagonist of the book “Restart” is presented to readers by Gordon Korman, an award-winning author.
When Chase first opened his eyes in the hospital, he couldn’t recognize his family or remember his identity. To make it even worse, he had completely forgotten everything that happened in his thirteen years. After a long, thorough explanation from his family, Chase learned a bit about himself. Just as Chase was adjusting to his new life, a girl got so angry that she dumped her frozen yogurt on the unsuspecting Chase right after she spotted him. Little did Chase know why she did that or how this was related to his dreadful behaviors towards his schoolmates in his past which was buried in his lost memories.
On his first day of school, he was greeted by some welcoming faces and some faces of fearfulness. Chase had trouble getting along with his old self’s friends because of the dramatic change in his personality. He used to be an arrogant jock that strutted around the school, bullying others. Now, Chase grinned at every person in the hallways, joined the video club, and even hung out with the “video dweebs.”
Once he learned that he had caused many injuries and bullied a student so harshly that the victim had to switch schools, Chase vowed to never do what he did again. Many unpredictable things then happened, for instance, winning a national video competition with the girl who poured her frozen yogurt on his head to becoming hateful enemies with the old Chase’s friends.
The author has creative ideas and masterful writing technique. In the beginning, Chase was crestfallen when he found out that his old life had vanished in a poof. After these turns of events, Chase was grateful that he had a chance to restart his life.
“Restart” by Gordon Korman, Scholastic Press, 256 pp.
Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Grade Level: 3 – 7