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Kid Konnection: The Defense of Thaddeus A. Ledbetter

February 11, 2012

Thaddeus Ledbetter is one of those annoying kids who thinks he knows more than everyone else – you know the kind I’m talking about.  He corrects teachers, asks inappropriate questions, and bombards the principal of his school with suggestions.  The straw that breaks the camel’s back and the thing that lands him in in-school suspension for a whole year is the emergency drill he planned and executed without anyone else’s knowledge.  The thing is Thaddeus isn’t malicious – he actually thinks he’s smarter than everyone else so he thinks the things he’s doing are helpful.   He feels he’s being punished unfairly and organizes his defense while he’s serving in-school suspension.

The Defense of Thaddeus A. Ledbetter, by John Gosselink is the defense Thaddeus has put together to present to his principal.  It consists of discipline referral forms, diagrams, letters, a journal, and other forms.  Thaddeus’s story comes together through all the documentation and the reader is able to piece together just what happened and why Thaddeus is the way he is.

I have to admit that I found Thaddeus dreadful to begin with.  Not only does he think he knows everything, he thinks he should have special privileges.  As his story unfolded and I realized why he was the way he was, I empathized with him more.  I still found him a little annoying, but at least I knew why.  In the end, I felt a little sympathy for him and hoped things turned out okay.  Maybe there’ll be a sequel!

Overall, I found The Defense of Thaddeus A. Ledbetter to be cute and clever.  The formatting is unique and should appeal to voracious readers as well as reluctant readers.  I do think it will appeal to boys more than girls.

For more children’s books reviews, go to Booking Mama’s feature, Kid Konnection. If you’d like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children’s books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week,  leave a comment as well as a link on her site.

Review copy provided by Abrams.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. February 11, 2012 9:00 am

    I think it’s great when authors can write an obnoxious character and resist the impulse to “correct” the character!

  2. February 11, 2012 9:38 am

    Sounds like a cute book for young readers!

  3. February 11, 2012 9:42 am

    I think I know Thadeus. Great review. Thanks.

  4. February 11, 2012 11:01 am

    I know a few kids like this, and it’s always funny to a read about a character that it seems so real reflected in a book like this. Thadeus seems like he would jump on my last nerve, and it sounds like you felt that way too. Now I am curious and have to find out more! Greatly enticing review, Kathy!

  5. Staci@LifeintheThumb permalink
    February 11, 2012 11:08 am

    I happen to know a few boys like Thaddeus!! I think I’ll have to order this one for the shelves! Another great middle school review! 😀

  6. February 11, 2012 11:14 am

    This one sounds different and I think you’re right that it will appeal to boys and reluctant readers. I’m all curious about how he put together his defense!

  7. February 11, 2012 9:23 pm

    This sounds like a book that’s written in a very different format from “normal”. I haven’t read books like that, but I have skimmed trough some of them. It also reminds me of “Artemis Fowl”, in that the reader knows the main character is a “bad guy” but is expected to eventually sympathize. Overall, it sounds like an interesting book.

  8. February 12, 2012 3:34 pm

    I think I need to see this in person … the cover looks so appealing to me and I’m curious to see the insides.

  9. February 13, 2012 3:35 pm

    Sounds precious. Booking Daughter always gets mad at characters and has a hard time forgiving them. I wonder if she’d soften for Thadeus.

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