Book Spotlight: The Homework Strike

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Posted: July 6, 2017

Category: Staff Picks

The Homework Strike book coverGregory is having trouble in school.  He does fine in class participation and tests, but there’s too much homework and not enough time to do it.

When Gregory’s history teacher offers to share a cup of tea and a week without homework in exchange for 3 points taken off their grades, Gregory decides it’s meant as a history lesson.  He jumps up, throws the teacher’s tea out the window and yells “no taxation without representation!”  His teacher lowers Gregory’s grade by 3 marks, leaving him at a D only a week before quarterly report cards.

To avoid being grounded, Gregory spends all week working on an extra-credit assignment for his history class.  He succeeds, and raises his history grade to a C-minus just in time.  But in the process, his math and Spanish grades fall to Ds because he neglected homework for those classes.

Gregory takes the time to add things up, and it turns out that he’s forced to spend three hours on homework every night.  So he starts doing research and learns that his town made a law that banned homework in 1901.  But after doing more research he learns that, as a student, his history teacher made a complaint to the city council in 1965 that resulted in the repeal of the homework ban.

With nothing left to lose, Gregory decides on a new option:  a homework strike.  He simply quits working on his homework entirely.  Nobody joins him at first, but after his friend confronts their history teacher about the homework issue, students start to sign a poster in support.

Can Gregory’s strike succeed?  Can he force the teachers to reconsider?  Will he survive his parents finding out about the strike?

The Homework Strike, by Greg Pincus, is shelved upstairs in the juvenile fiction section of the Children’s Department.

If you enjoy The Homework Strike, you may also enjoy Frindle, by Andrew Clements.  After being punished with an extra assignment to discuss words and dictionaries, Nick decides to prove a point by making a new word.  When he starts using the word “frindle” instead of pen, the new word quickly becomes popular in his school and beyond.  Frindle is also shelved in the juvenile fiction section of the Children’s Department.

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