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Also Known As Rowan Pohi (2011)

by Ralph Fletcher(Favorite Author)
3.38 of 5 Votes: 2
0547572085 (ISBN13: 9780547572086)
Clarion Books
review 1: One day, while bored at IHOP, Bobby Steele and his friends Marcus and Big Poobs decide to create a fake application for Whitestone Academy, a fancy private school that rivals their own public one. Rowan Pohi is born, and they have a good time creating a persona for this person. But then Rowan is accepted to Whitestone, and Bobby decides to attend the school as Rowan. Everything goes according to plan for a while, but Bobby can’t balance his two worlds forever, and eventually they come crashing together.Readers, what can I say? Nothing about this one worked for me. It’s fluffy wish-fulfillment masquerading as deeper fiction, and the result is an uneven mess. Even with a complete suspension of disbelief, the story seems improbable at best. Half-baked characters an... mored an underdeveloped plot make this one difficult to get through despite it’s very short length.Even recognizing the story’s implausibility isn’t enough to make this one enjoyable. When Bobby decides to attend Whitestone as Rowan, the reader knows he won’t be able to keep up the facade for very long. Perhaps making things worse is the fact that Bobby is never a fully developed character, making his plight as a nice guy from the wrong side of the tracks fall completely flat. This is exceedingly apparent, especially when he starts talking about the night his father abused his mother: it’s supposed to be upsetting, and it is, but it also feels incredibly manipulative.Nothing about the story feels authentic in any way. Bobby’s ultimate success at Whitestone feels completely undeserved and is largely underwhelming, as far as culminating events go. Everything about this novel was underwhelming, except for the weirdly culturally insensitive and racist comments about Native Americans.Definitely worth skipping. It might work for reluctant readers (especially male ones), but there are so many better options out there it hardly seems worth it.Also Known as Rowan Pohi by Ralph Fletcher. Clarion Books: 2011. Library copy. Read for 2012 Cybils Round 1 Panel.
review 2: I love a good story about reinventing yourself, because lets face it, most of us would've loved the opportunity, especially in grade school or high school. And Bobby's Rowan transition is pretty epic. It was downright Ferris Bueller-esque.I liked Bobby's character quite a bit. He's spontaneous and doesn't really think about the consequences of what he's getting into, everything is done by the seat of his pants. But obviously he's also smart, no dummy could pull off the scam he's setting up. Which makes his entry into Whitestone less of a joke and more of his rightful place as a smart kid who needs to be challenged more then his sad public school can manage. And that's the turning point from amusing scam story to actually rooting for Bobby for me.However I was a bit disappointed that there wasn't a bit more of his friends in the story. They're there to set things up but then become slightly dispensable which I thought was a loss to the story. Marcus and Big Poobs had the potential to be amusing side kicks, and as a pretty short book there was room for that aspect of the story to be expanded on. Instead the focus is more on Bobby, his dad, his brother and two girls at Whitestone. If you think about Ferris Bueller, Sloane and Cameron really made the story, without them it's just a delinquent teen who's way too smart for his own good. Bobby could have used a bit more rounding out through his friends, and it could have done a lot for building some of the suspense.That being said, this was a fun light read, it required little of the reader except to come along for the ride. less
Reviews (see all)
This was a fun and quick young adult read. Great for middle school boys.
Great, hilarious read with a perfect ending! Must-read!!
funny and delightfula good book to readvery short book
flat characters and a ridiculously implausible plot.
Quick read, interesting premise.
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