Monday, April 8, 2013

No Ordinary Excuse by Michelle Adams

Date Published: February 11, 2012
ISBN: 0987232517
Genre: middle grade fiction, contemporary
Themes: Family, honesty, choices, school
 Odyssey Books
About The Book: ‘I put on my imaginary thinking cap. Mine is a hot pink, domed helmet with purple lightning bolts on the sides. It pulls down from a long spring coil above my bed… So with my cap in place, I started thinking of possible homework excuses. Maybe I could tell Miss Haven that I’d spent the last two weeks under alien hypnosis and they’d erased any memory of a school project…’
Meet twelve year old Gemma Martin. She wants to be an actress, but school is getting in the way. Gemma has used all of the usual excuses to avoid her homework, but this time she’s facing serious consequences and must rely on her vivid imagination to create the most extraordinary homework excuse ever. Initially, Gemma’s stolen project story skyrockets her popularity, but it isn’t long before things start to spiral out of control and Gemma is headed for disaster. No Ordinary Excuse is the story of how our biggest mistakes are often our greatest teachers. —Goodreads
First Line: I've never been a morning person; especially not a Monday morning person, and I probably would've done things differently if this story had started on another day.

What Other's Are Saying: "Debut junior fiction author Michelle Adams delivers some poignant life lessons without being preachy, and her tween-speak dialogue is simply spot-on." —The Daily Telegraph.

"No Ordinary Excuse was an absolute pleasure to read. Gemma had me laughing hysterically and cringing. Michelle Adams has produced a thought provoking and hilarious novel that teaches us that sometimes our biggest mistakes are our greatest teachers." Gold Coast Bulletin 

Book Bloggers Weigh In:

What I Thought: I've had a repeating dream for years. I'm frantically pawing through my jam-packed locker, papers and books falling on top of me, to find an assignment that is due. The feelings are intense. I totally related to Gemma. I don't know how many times my report card or notes from teachers would read: "Pam is not using her intellectual or creative abilities." So when I read this delightful romp through middle-school with Gemma and her crazy adventure. She creates the most outlandish excuse for not having her homework ready to turn in and I was immediately transported back to my middle grade years. Adam's Tween speak is excellent and I loved Gemma's character. This is a great read about telling the truth but isn't at all heavy handed in it's message. 

My Analysis:
1. POV: First person, Gemma.
2. 168 pages
3. The Hook: Gemma remembers her social studies project is due and 
she forgot to do the project.
4. Inciting event: Gemma tells Miss Haven that her completed project has disappeared.
5. Plot and Pace: There seems to be too much space between the hook and the inciting event but other than that once the plan has begun the story races and doesn't stop until the end.
6. Voice: Adam's Tween voice for Gemma is incredibly realistic. 

Photo by Katrina Cram Photography
About The Author:
Michelle Adams

Who: Michelle Adams is not of the modern, fast-paced world. She exists in a realm where everyone has enough time to hear a good story, and the joy of growing and cooking your own food is the norm. Neighbours trade things over the fence and a tribe of children trample through the house on a daily basis. Some of them live here, but many others float in and out upon wafting aromas or wandering welcome bubbles. This is a happy place where the magic of imagination is alive and well.—Odyssey Books

Click on over to the other MMGM bloggers listed in my sidebar for some great reads to add to your TBR lists.

Next week:  Mirage by Jenn Reese [Book 2 of the Above World Series.] You can see my review of her spectacular first book here.


  1. Thanks for this review. This book sounds like a winner. I'll be checking it out soon.

  2. wow...kind of LOVING that first line. Thanks for sharing it, Pam. And thanks for all the other "stuffs" about the book! It is now on my too read list oh yes yes it is.

  3. I hadn't heard of this before, but it sounds like a fun read.

    Oddly enough, I had a dream a couple of nights ago that I hadn't done my homework for school. And it's been 40 years since I graduated. :)

    Those dreams never go away, do they?

  4. This sounds like a fun read! I'm going to look for it!

  5. I like the sound of this one! I agree with Joanne, those kind of dreams never go away. In mine, I'm usually also late and can't find my shoes . . .


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