Reviews for Restart

by Korman, Gordon

Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

When a middle school bully suffers amnesia after a bad fall, it gives him the chance to start fresh, but rebuilding his life is an uphill battle when everyone else still remembers the sins of his past. Eighth-grader Chase Ambrose attempts to reconstruct himself based on what his friends and family tell him, but the more he learns about how he mistreated others, the less he likes the old Chase. Unable to play football while he's healing, Chase joins the video club, whose members have good reason to distrust him. And while his former self did community service at a local retirement home, the new Chase comes to enjoy spending time with the residents-especially a grumpy veteran whose stories he values. In this compelling and sometimes humorous tale of nature and identity, Korman (Slacker) offers an intriguing exploration of the potential for redemption. By telling the story from multiple perspectives (Chase's, as well as those of several classmates), he conveys a complex, thorough picture of Chase's influence and impact on those around him. Ages 8-12. Agent: Elizabeth Harding, Curtis Brown. (May) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Recovering after a fall, Chase regains consciousness in a hospital bed surrounded by complete strangers including his mother and brother. After he returns to school, he struggles to regain what amnesia has erased, but what he learns isn't reassuring. His two old buddies from the football team are bullies. The kids he wants to hang out with now, like those in the video club, were often their victims, and they're understandably wary of the new Chase. If he regains his memory, will he become the jerk he was before? Chapter by chapter, the very readable first-person narration shifts among seven students, giving readers access to many points of view. Their reactions to the changes in Chase's outlook vary according to their personalities and their prior relationships with him. The characters are well drawn, and the scenes in which Chase befriends an elderly veteran at an assisted facility are nicely integrated into the novel. A talented storyteller, Korman shows bullying, regret, and forgiveness from various perspectives and leaves readers with ideas to ponder.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2017 Booklist


School Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Gr 3-6-What would it be like to forget your whole life, your family, your friends, and even who you are? After falling off his roof, 13-year-old Chase Ambrose learns the hard way that reinventing himself can be pretty hard, especially when his past is not what he wants for his future. Before his fall, Chase was a jock, captain of the football team, following in his father's footsteps. He was also the biggest bully in his middle school, had made many students' lives miserable, and was serving a community service sentence for the damage that his bullying had caused. Even Chase's little stepsister was afraid of him. If it were up to his dad and his former best friends, Bear and Aaron, Chase would go right back to his bully-jock ways. However, the new Chase is a kinder, more sympathetic person who struggles with his past and becomes friends with his former victims. As he works with the video club geeks, he forms a relationship with elderly Mr. Solway. Korman juxtaposes Mr. Solway's sharing of his Korean War memories with Chase's search for his own past. Despite the strong antibullying theme, the story is never preachy or trite but thoughtfully presents questions about loyalty, identity, and the possibility of a new start in a way that appropriately fits the middle school setting. VERDICT A fresh approach to the familiar topic of bullying, kept credible by believable characters and events, with typical Korman humor and just the right touch of mystery. An excellent addition for all middle grade collections.-MaryAnn Karre, Binghamton, NY Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.