'Merits of Mischief Book One': Review by Rachel Renee Russell

The author of the 'Dork Diaries' lauds 'Merits of Mischief' for its creative twist on the boarding school story.

August 26, 2012


Rachel Renee Russell is the bestselling author of the "Dork Diaries" series, which will continue in October with book No. 5, "Tales From a Not-So-Smart Miss Know-It-All." We asked the lawyer-turned-writer what she's been reading. Her answer: "Merits of Mischief Book One: The Bad Apple," by T.R. Burns. Here's Russell's review:

"Quiet and shy Seamus Hinkle is a normal 12-year-old just trying to survive middle school — until the unfortunate apple incident with his substitute teacher in the lunchroom. Seamus's world is turned upside down when he's sent off to Kilter Academy for Troubled Youth, a reform school for juvenile delinquents. However, things are not as they seem and Seamus soon discovers the school is a technologically advanced, secret training facility for 'professional trouble-makers.' Students are rewarded with demerits for bad behavior, breaking the rules and pulling pranks on teachers. In this funny and fast-paced story, Seamus's sleep-walking, fire-setting roommate is the least of his troubles. 'Merits of Mischief' offers a fresh, creative and original twist on the boarding school story. I really enjoyed this book and can't wait for the sequel!"