Publisher's Note:  

Chase's memory just went out the window.

Chase doesn't remember falling off the roof. He doesn't remember hitting his head. He doesn't, in fact, remember anything. He wakes up in a hospital room and suddenly has to learn his whole life all over again . . . starting with his own name.

He knows he's Chase. But who is Chase? When he gets back to school, he sees that different kids have very different reactions to his return.

Some kids treat him like a hero. Some kids are clearly afraid of him.

One girl in particular is so angry with him that she pours her frozen yogurt on his head the first chance she gets.

Pretty soon, it's not only a question of who Chase is--it's a question of who he was . . . and who he's going to be.

From the #1 bestselling author of Swindle and SlackerRestart is the spectacular story of a kid with a messy past who has to figure out what it means to get a clean start.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Scholastic


by Gordon Korman

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Overall Review:  

"How many people ever get a do-over at life?" is the question that Chase Ambrose is asking himself as he is getting a major second chance at life. In Gordon Korman's latest novel, Restart, Chase starts out with a clean slate when he falls off the roof and ends up with amnesia. All Chase can remember is a picture with a girl in a blue dress, so he needs to learn exactly who he was before the head trauma. As he slowly learns who he was and gets brief glimpses of his former self, Chase has some serious self-reflection to do. Maybe he isn't all that he thought he was and maybe this second chance will allow him to become a better person. And the biggest question of all, is 'Who is Chase Ambrose really?' Does he want to be the person that others say he is/was or does he have it in him to become a better person, right the wrongs, and take a stand against those that bully. As Chase rebuilds his life, he realizes that he can pick and choose the best of who he was and who he wants to be, to become the best Chase possible, and along the way hopefully righting some mistakes from the past, while learning from all of the things he can't remember, but others tell about him.

Restart takes the subject of bullying and examines it from many different perspectives, while also bringing it down to a level that middle schoolers could relate to. As Chase learns why kids run away from him and hears the rumors of what he did in his 'previous life', he wonders why he was that way and what he can do differently. The great thing is that the novel is not all from Chase's perspective, so the reader can see how exactly Chase grows and learns and changes. Each person's perspective adds to the story of what it is like to associate with a bully, from many different viewpoints. There is sure to be someone that every reader can relate to in the different characters that associate with Chase. And hopefully, even though we as the reader won't get a complete second chance by having amnesia, we come away wanting to be a better person.

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language:  3 religious exclamations. 

Violence/Gore:  Secondhand account of man punching a wall in frustration; description of injuries from falling off a roof; secondhand account of bullying that included tripping, shoving, ruining things; account of stick being thrown at someone biking, causing them to wreck and end up with injuries; account of bullies putting fire crackers in piano and ruining it; bullies knock character down and step on him; character has a towel snapped at his face; group of boys push a character around in a bullying way; character slams another against the wall; group of boys start shoving and pushing one another; secondhand account from when somebody who was a soldier of them having thrown a grenade at someone in war; secondhand account of bully having stuffed someone in a locker; flashback to character having punched and shoved kids in the hallways at school; character gives an account of having had head shoved into the water fountain resulting in stitches; boy attacked by a dog; bullies attack kids with fire extinguishers and one kid slips and gets a black eye; character gets tackled and has the wind knocked out of him; character threatens to throw someone in a wood chipper in a fit of anger (half kidding); 2 boys attack another, shoving him to the ground and trying to wrestle something away from him; character charges 2 boys with a vacuum cleaner knocking them down; character yanked to the ground by someone pulling on the cord of the vacuum; character begins hitting another person

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Reviewed By Sally
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