by Stepanie Tolan (4th+)
Jake doesn’t have much luck with school, or should I say schools. Rumor has it that he burned down one school and then was kicked out of every other school in his home state. Jake moved to North Carolina to live with his grandfather and attend middle school. Now here it is September, just three weeks into the new school year, and Jake has managed to get himself thrown out. There wasn’t a school left that would take him--except Wit’s End. What kinds of a school is named Wit’s End? A one-of-a-king school, a home school that is run by an outrageous, forgetful, chaotic, quarrelsome family. Each and every Applewhite is an artist. The place is overrun with them-the father loves theater, the mother writes, one daughter dances, Uncle Archie makes furniture you can actually use, and the list goes on. But there is E.D. who loves math and who longs for order and predictability. Being Jake’s age, E.D. finds herself paired with him in the families first experiment in “cooperative education.” Cooperation is far from what ensues. E.D. would only be too happy to be rid of Jake and Jake would be delighted to be rid of the whole crazy Applewhite clan. The only thing E.D. and Jake have in common is the determination to survive the families eccentricities.