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Joel and Cat Set the Story Straight

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Joel and Cat Set the Story Straight

By Nick Earls, Rebecca Sparrow (Illustrated by)

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Format: Paperback, 256 pages
Published In: Australia, 30 July 2007
Joel and Cat Set the Story Straight is two weeks in the life of Joel Hedges and Cat Davis. Joel would prefer to get through his final year of high school without Cat Davis or his mother's faux Spanish boyfriend and just hang-out with his best-friend Luke. Cat Davis has an annoying best-friend, an even more annoying little brother, and a deep abiding hatred of Joel Hedges. Due to an unfortunate incident involving a leaking pen and suspected outbreak of Bird Flu, Joel and Cat are forced to sit next to each other in Extension English. To make matters worse, and to their mutual horror, they are paired together for a tandem story writing assignment. What ensues reveals a lot about how smug teenage boys are and what teenage girls really think. No, wait - it's about a sane female and an insane male. It's about revenge and mistaken identity.

About the Author

Nick Earls is the author of twenty books, including the bestselling novels Zigzag Street, Bachelor Kisses, Perfect Skin and World of Chickens. His work has been published internationally in English and in translation, and has won awards in the UK and Australia. Five of his novels have been adapted into plays and two into feature films. He was the founding chair of the Australian arm of the international aid agency War Child and is now a War Child ambassador.


Gr 8 Up-Joel and Cat could not be more dissimilar. Furthermore, they don't like each other and haven't had much to do with one another since Cat caught Joel with another girl when he was supposed to be dating Cat's best friend. Joel and Cat are forced to work together on a school assignment to write a tandem story. Their dislike of each other becomes more apparent with time. They are both dismayed by the other's writing style and topic choice. Cat leans toward a Victorian-esque feel, whereas Joel prefers spies and dramatic action. The competition is fierce as they clash again and again, each trying to seize control of the tale and making it more and more personal. To make matters worse, both Joel and Cat have family problems that become an entangled mess when Joel's mother and Cat's father begin dating. Australian authors Nick Earle and Rebecca Sparrow narrate their story (Penguin, pap. 2007), bringing the characters' personalities to life with believable dialogue. The razor sharp, witty, sarcastic exchanges between them are hilarious, as are their thoughts and reactions. The tension between them sizzles. As their story winds to an end, Joel and Cat learn a few things about themselves and each other.-Mary Oluonye, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

EAN: 9780143006916
ISBN: 0143006916
Publisher: Puffin
Dimensions: 19.9 x 13.2 x 1.8 centimetres (0.19 kg)
Age Range: 10-14 years
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1 review(s)
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Customer on
This book was not my favorite, the style of writing was somewhat dull and boring hence making the book seem to drag on for nearly ages.
It does have some good feedback for young teenagers as it explores the lives of two teenagers with complications with school, parents and even children.
For some this might be a real hook you in book but to me it was simply boring.
I would give it 3 stars, but good luck to anyone who wants to read it.

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