Sophomore year can be tricky, as 15 year-old Scott finds out in “Sophomores and Other Oxymorons” by David Lubar. He just barely made it through freshman year in the book “Sleeping Freshman Never Lie”, and his life is looking up, with his semi-girlfriend by his side and his two brothers no longer quite so bent on harming him, bodily or (more often) socially. But he quickly realizes that things aren’t going to be as easy as he thought, with an evil biology teacher, an old-school Language Arts teacher who seems to be out to get him personally, and a school board that seems bent on the most boring school year ever. Lubar cleverly and punnily tells the story of a boy whose life just doesn’t seem to want to run smoothly. With a little help from super-smart freshman Jeremy, semi-girlfriend Lee, and frenemy Kyle, Scott might be able to straighten out his life, and give some others a little help along the way.
This story of forgiveness and word play is told partially in the conventional book style and partially as a letter on how to survive high-school, written to his younger brother for days of need. It is the second book in a series, but you do not need to have read the first to follow it. Though the story is about high-school, and there are some trickier concepts, the story is in general not a particularly tricky read, and there are no concepts which might be inappropriate for younger readers. Due to the more advanced concepts, I would however recommend this heartwarming story to those 10 and up, particularly word-nerds.