The Looney Experiment

Posted on Jun 4, 2016 in BR Library

9780310746423By Luke Reynolds
Publisher: Blink
Pages: 208
Age Range: 11 – 14 Years

Atticus Hobart couldn’t feel lower. He’s in love with a girl who doesn’t know he exists, he is the class bully’s personal punching bag, and to top it all off, his dad has just left the family. Into this drama steps Mr. Looney, a 77-year-old substitute English teacher with uncanny insight and a most unconventional approach to teaching. But Atticus soon discovers there’s more to Mr. Looney’s methods than he’d first thought. And as Atticus begins to unlock the truths within his own name, he finds that his hyper-imagination can help him forge his own voice, and maybe—just maybe—discover that the power to face his problems was inside him all along.


“Atticus Hobart’s life isn’t so good. He can’t bring himself to speak in public. He hears voices in his head. He’s in love with the most beautiful girl in school, and he’s sure she doesn’t know he exists. The school bully, Danny Wills, has too much power, and is completely protected. Danny’s father is the baseball coach, and his mother is school board chairperson. He can call Atticus “Fatticus” all he wants, and beat him up with no qualms. Just when Atticus thinks things can’t get worse, his father leaves, and his English teacher is replaced by the strangest, oldest teacher on the planet. But this teacher, Mr. Looney, introduces Atticus to new ways of looking at things and, perhaps most important, new ways of looking at himself. Just as Attius seems to be getting his balance, something happens to threaten it all.
Luke Reynolds has written a story that will resonate with a lot of young people, both boys and girls. The premise is surprisingly fresh, the characters real and believable, and the writing is simply terrific. This book deserves readership, far beyond the middle-school audience for which it is intended. Don’t miss this amazing book.”
Reviewed by Rosi Hollinbeck
City Book Review (San Francisco/Sacramento Book Review), print and online book reviews magazine, 5 star review