Surviving The Applewhites by Stephanie Tolan

Posted January 18th, 2011 by Parker

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Brief Summary:

This book is about a juvenile delinquent named Jake Semple. He’s 13 and has gotten kicked out of every school he’s attended. With his parents in jail, and having been kicked out of every school in the state of Rhode Island, Jake’s sent to his grandfather who lives in Traybridge, NC by his social worker. Within a week Jake’s kicked out of that middle school, and so as a last resort, he’s sent to live and learn with a family who “home schools” their children, and who are friends with his grandfather. They are a family of artists; The Applewhites. This fiction novel is about what happens when Jake is with the Applewhites, and how the he and the family grow and change.


I thought that this was a very well written book. It had a steady plot and sturdy, likable characters. One aspect that I enjoyed was that the author chose to write the book from more than one character’s perspective. It had a bit of comedy, and just enough suspense and foreshadowing to keep you reading and interested. It didn’t have a very challenging vocabulary, and was an easy read for me. But I don’t think it would be too difficult for a ten year old to read either. This book is meant for the age group of 10 and up. It was a fun book to read, one that I believe would please just about any reader, with almost any taste for a book. Probably the only reading palate that it would not satisfy would be the action lover’s palate. It has pretty much every other attribute at it’s disposal. The characters had to go through real life problems and issues, and that gave me a sense of satisfaction. It wasn’t an outlandish storyline, with impossible problems and things like a fantasy, it was a true realistic fiction. I really enjoyed reading this book, it definitely deserved the Newbery Honor award that it received.


I'm a 14 year old that loves reading, writing, and playing soccer! I also love tea and want to see the world!

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5 Responses to “Surviving The Applewhites by Stephanie Tolan”

  1. Travis

    Nice review by Parker. Very informative. Thanks, Parker. I look forward to more reviews.

  2. Kelly

    Love the review!! You make me want to read it.

  3. Kelly

    I really enjoyed this book, also. Great review!

  4. Jeff

    Nice review! Full of evidence that you not only read the book, but spent time thinking about it and analyzing its impact on you and, potentially, on others your age. Keep up the good work!

  5. Peggy

    Good review. Do you think you — or other kids reading this book — would learn anything new from Jake’s experiences? Sounds like a good book to recommend to students who have a difficult home life and are getting into trouble at school. What do you think?

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