Don’t Care High – Summary The novel Dont Care High was written by Gordan Korman.
This novel, as well as other novels he wrote were based partly on his experiences in high school, where he says, “the only way to get through high school alive was by laughing”. This novel relates to teenagers about high school and how their high school is different. Korman wrote his first novel at age 12, This Cant Be Happening at McDonald Hall. Korman graduated from New York Universitys Dramatic Writing Program. He now lives in New York City with his wife and children.
This novel is based in various High Schools in New York City. One of the main characters Paul, just moved to New York from Saskatoon, Alberta. This novel takes place in the mid 1980s. At this high school, Don Carey High, none of the students or teachers care about anything that goes on within the school. They have no team spirit at all, there are no teams or clubs because no one shows interest.
Shelton Pryor was Pauls best friend; he was more outgoing than Paul. He didnt care what the consequences of his actions would he just wanted to have fun. Shelton was upset because of the facts that nobody cared about the school. He had the idea that if they got a student to run for president things would change. Paul Abrams is a conniving teenager who causes trouble when he is around his best friend Sheldon.
Since he was the new kid, he acted shy and quiet until he made some friends. Paul met a teen named Sheldon, he was Pauls first friend in New York and they shared similar interests. When he arrived at Don Carey High he felt weird because it was a dump and know cares about what happened to it. Paul knew right from wrong but Sheldon did not, so Paul got in trouble when he was around Sheldon.
Pauls nickname was “ambition” because he was the only one with ambition in his life. Mike Otis is a main character that is certainly not popular at Don Carey High. He is an unusual person who is shy and he keeps to himself. He always wears a big raincoat and safety pins in his jeans. Mike is a dweeb who minds his own business.
Mike was also a paranoid person. For example, he gave the wrong address and phone number to the school so if something happened they could not contact him. That is why Paul and Sheldon chose him to be student president because nobody knew him and no one would suspect anything. I believe that the heros of this novel is Shelton and Paul because they got the school believing in themselves for the first time in many years. Don Carey High would have never had Mike Otis as the student body president. The school would have never entered the science fair, the basketball league, or had the school renovated if Paul and Shelton would have done nothing.
At the beginning of the novel Paul and Sheldon nominated Mike as Student body President without Mike even knowing. Mike then became president and didnt care (obviously). Little things in the school were fixed or replaced because of the guidance that Paul and Sheldon secretly gave (ex: painted hallways, bathrooms were fixed, etc.) and people started thanking Mike, but he didnt understand because he still did no…..t know he was president. As the time went on the Don Carey Students traveled to the Science fair. They also went to Laguna High for a basketball game, they trashed that school out of disrespect and jealously for their good school.
This is a problem because Don Carey High had to pay for the damages, which would stop the renovations to their school. When the vice principal Mr. Gamble heard this, he kicked Mike out of office. The kids got so mad they covered the school in pictures and postures saying they wanted Mike back. The teachers did not reply to the students actions. In response, the entire school came to school early one day to tell the teachers how they felt.
The national T.V. broadcasters were actually there to broadcast the protest. This was a big step considering a few weeks ago they didnt care about anything. The vice-principal resolved this conflict by making Mike Otis student body president again.
This made all of the students happy, as well as the teachers. The teachers were amazed because they noticed how much of an improvement of attitude the students made. After this conflict was resolved Mike told Paul that his parents had to move and had to switch schools. Although Mike didnt understand him being President in the first place, he was thoughtful for the chance to make a difference in the education of his classmates. Mike replied to Paul, “There are a lot of things at this school I dont understand, but maybe you do.” The students missed Mike but they didnt regret the things he did, and the things they did for him to keep him in office. They missed his guidance and inspiration a lot but they were glad they had him as a president for a little while.
Reviews “Don’t Care High: It’s more than a nickname — it’s a concept.” At Don Carey High School, school spirit is so non-existent that nobody even noticed when a highway on-ramp got built over the football field. But new students Paul and Sheldon have a plan to wake the school up — and Don’t Care High will never be the same. Totally off-the-wall, but always good-natured, this hysterically funny book is not to be missed. –Steve McDonald When Paul Abrams moves to NYC from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, he finds that things are not as he thought.
His school, Don Carey High (dubbed Don’t Care High), is just as crazy as its nickname. Along with his new friend Sheldon Pryor, they decide to turn the dead school into the best known in the area. –Wayne Bishop Though I’m in my 20s, I’ve kept more or less up to date with Korman. I consider this Korman’s last funny book. He was starting to get weaker even before this book was published (such as “No Coins, Please”), but he somehow managed a last gasp.
–Robert McQueen One interesting thing about this book is that though it still shows Korman’s weakness as a writer (it’s another collection of vignettes made into a story), the vignette angle is less obvious, and the central story is stronger. There are also some very interesting characters. For some reason, I found the character of Mike Otis fascinating, and I still wonder about him to this day. Credit to Korman for managing to make this “boring” character so memorable.