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'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

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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!"