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Posted & filed under Children's Book Reviews

Notes from the Life of a Total Genius is Stacey Matson’s third and latest novel about aspiring writer Arthur A. Bean. Now in his final year of junior high, Arthur is co-editor of his school newspaper and even has his own column, something he has worked towards since starting Grade Seven. However, with his best friend Robbie living in another city, his co-editor and former crush Kennedy already angry at him, and a new principal, Ms. Kraleigh, whose seemingly authoritarian approach clashes with his own argumentative tendencies, Arthur quickly finds himself in trouble again, this time over what he perceives as censorship of his drama class’s play festival.

Like the first two novels, A Year in the Life of a Total and Complete Genius and Scenes from the Epic Life of a Total Genius, Notes from the Life of a Total Genius is told through a combination of journal entries, emails, texts, notes from teachers, English class assignments, and newspaper articles. This approach keeps the plot flowing, and the short snippets of text make the book a fast, but still satisfying read. Matson perfectly captures the voice of her over-confident, yet angsty, teenage narrator, managing to make Arthur simultaneously charming and annoying. Hilarious, thoughtful, and completely believable, Notes from the Life of a Total Genius is a strong finale to Arthur’s years in middle school, and readers will definitely be left hoping that Matson will tackle Arthur’s high school experiences next.

  • Notes from the Life of a Total Genius

    By Stacey Matson, Published by Scholastic Canada Inc.
    • ISBN 13: 978-1-4431-4823-8
Roseanne Gauthier
Roseanne Gauthier is the Youth Services Librarian for the PEI Public Library Service where she writes book reviews. She has worked in the Faculties of Education at both the University of Prince Edward Island and Mount Saint Vincent University and spent two amazing years as the Children’s Librarian at the Confederation Centre Public Library. She holds a Master’s in Library and Information Studies from Dalhousie University, and a M.A. in English Language and Literature from the University of Waterloo. Roseanne lives in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island with her husband, their adorable daughter, and two tuxedo cats.