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Restart has a very cool premise – Chase Ambrose wakes up in the hospital with no idea who he is or what his life has been like up to this point. He’s physically healthy after a dangerous fall from his roof, but he can’t remember anything about his life before he opened his eyes in intensive care. As he is released to go home and starts back at school, Chase realizes something weird… everyone seems to be afraid of him. He’s left to piece everything together; what kind of person was he? And does he want to be that person again? This cool plotline has so much potential, but I feel like author Gordon Korman never quite reaches it. While Chase and a couple of his friends have some character development, the ensemble in this novel is too big and most of them never reach more than “token character” status. This book would make a great read aloud with a teacher willing to go the extra mile to spark discussions about empathy, bullying, having the strength to be yourself, and the way we treat each other. By itself, Restart is an entertaining novel that kids will probably enjoy. With a little bit of help, it can be the cornerstone of a valuable classroom conversation. #bookreview #middlegradefiction #restart
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