If you combined Artemis Fowl with Bart Simpson, you'd have Oliver Watson, the protagonist and would-be eighth grade class president. Intellectually and financially gifted, but morally and empathetically challenged, Oliver spends most of his time in middle school as an intentional social outcast--the better to cover up his undercover business ventures. He is most emphatically not, in any way, trying to win the approval of his father, but if becoming the student council president will suck the joy out of one of his father's favorite memories, then Oliver is willing to invest considerable resources to make it happen.
The author has worked on The Daily Show and The Simpsons. I could tell you about the part when Oliver arranges to print rude self-help advice on his teacher's cigarettes, or the fact that he has trained his dog to obey commands (issued in Basque) to "kill but make it look like an accidental drowning," or the incident where he steals a Boba Fett action figure from an African dictator, but if you're not offended by now, you should probably just read about it yourself.
My second-grade teacher Mrs. Guerra used to joke that I was so stupid I could get lost on my way back from the bathroom.
I have a tape of her saying this. I also have a tape of her crying when my finance company repossessed her Corvette." p. 34
"According to the fortune-cookie logic most people live by, the best things in life are free. I have a gold-plated robot that scratches the exact part of my back where my hands can't reach, and it certainly wasn't free." p. 39
The best discussion questions, of course, are generated by and contemplated by readers. These questions are designed to avoid major spoilers about the book, and to provide a starting point for teachers, parents, and student reading groups.
**Questions coming soon**
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