No Child Left Behind

NCLB Volume 1

Fiction - Science Fiction
466 Pages
Reviewed on 05/02/2016
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Ray Simmons for Readers' Favorite

No Child Left Behind by Claudia Casser is one of the most unique approaches in Young Adult science fiction I have ever read. Teens will love it. Adults will love it. I loved it. The writing is great. The characters are very believable and easy to care about. You just keep reading naturally because everything flows. I was hooked from the first chapter. I have read a lot of science fiction, but I had never read a story from the particular angle of aliens from another universe who look enough like humans to blend into our society, consulting with a lawyer in order to avoid pitfalls and remain low key. It is a brilliant idea if you have the right characters for it, and Claudia Casser pulls it off with flair.

Geoff has ADD. He avoids taking his medication because he hates the zoned out state it puts him in. He is a very smart and very likable young man with a very nice and understanding mother. I wanted to know where this story would take them from the moment they met the aliens and I wanted them to come out on top. The plot is great. The characters are great, from the main ones to the minor ones out on the periphery. Everyone contributes to the story and moves the plot alone. If you are into Young Adult sci-fi at all, do yourself a favor and buy No Child Left Behind. It is simply one of the best stories I have ever read.

Rabia Tanveer

No Child Left Behind: Volume 1 by Claudia Casser is a science fiction novel that will be loved and enjoyed by people of all ages. I see this novel as children’s fiction, but, hey, I am 23 years old and I loved it, so this is going to be a novel for those who love science fiction at all times. Geoff Moraine, a nerdy little high schooler, will remind you of yourself when you were in high school. Remember all that angst you had? Now add up the angst of having ADHD and you will feel exactly like our friend Geoff.

Geoff has to attend high school in the West Rock rural area. And you can imagine how he must be feeling. Add his ADHD medication to the mix, and he is just about ready to kill himself because he would never ever join a Special Ed school. He had no idea he would be asked to join a group of meta-humans. Yes, they are not even human; they are from a “parallel universe” that recently survived a war. Lord Kemp, the leader of this group, is ready to take help from anything and anyone if it means he can save his people. But are Geoff and other West Rock people really his best option?

Wow. Awesome! The level of sass in this novel is just wonderful. I could not help but copy just a little of that in my review. Geoff is one funky kid. And I kind of admire him. He is cool, nerdy, brave and really, really sassy. He is awesome. I like him. I would definitely love to read volume 2 because who can stop after reading this?

Tracy Slowiak

In a very interesting and unique book by debut author Claudia Casser, No Child Left Behind, Volume One is a story that will have readers engrossed from the very first page. Follow the story of protagonist Geoff Moraine, a kid who's been characterized as a "weirdo" and relegated to special education classes as traditional systems can't seem to find the right fit for him. His life takes a drastic turn when his mother, an attorney, is suddenly the retainer for Lord Kemp, the leader of a band of meta-human refugees from a war-torn parallel universe. And when it's revealed that there is much more to Geoff and the other "special ed" kids in his town than what it appears on the surface, that's when the story really gets started! Geoff realizes that he might need to prepare to fight for himself and others like him. Will Geoff win and save not only his friends but the entire town of West Rock? You'll need to read the book to find out!

I so enjoyed No Child Left Behind. Author Claudia Casser has done a fantastic job in creating characters, especially the lead character, Geoff, that her readers will be able to connect with, care about and continue to think of long after the book is done. If that isn't a hallmark of a great author, I'm not sure what is. Her world creation skills and scene setting abilities in a sci fi story are second to none. Any young adult reader, and especially those who may have felt "different" at one point or another in their lives, should absolutely give this book a chance. I highly recommend No Child Left Behind, and certainly hope that author Claudia Casser is already hard at work on the next volume of this promising new series. If it's anything like this, it will certainly be worth the read!

Chris Fischer

In an excellent new work by first time author Claudia Casser, No Child Left Behind, Volume One tells the tale of a hero in disguise. Main character Geoff Moraine is a boy who has been part of a special education program, probably not because he actually needed one, but because the school system wasn't sure what to do with him. But when Lord Kemp, the leader of a band of meta-human refugees from a war-torn parallel universe, enters the picture and gets Geoff's attorney mother to act as his "Retainer," the truth about Geoff finally comes to the surface. Geoff and his kind are truly special, and might be the only hope that the town of West Rock, and even beyond, will have against a group of mutants intent on affecting everyone they come in contact with.

I loved No Child Left Behind. Loved. It. I enjoyed that the protagonist, Geoff, was a kid that had been identified with special needs and turned out to save the day. So many kids, not just those with special needs, but any who have ever felt that they did not quite fit in, will be able to relate to Geoff and the story as a whole. Besides the excellent message that the book sends about the important skills that everyone possesses, it also has a simply great, adventurous sci fi story to tell as well. I recommend this book to any young adult reader, especially those who enjoy science fiction, or to anyone looking for a unique work of fiction in general. I hope that the obviously talented author, Claudia Casser, is already working on the next book in the NCLB series. I, for one, will be keeping my eye out for its arrival!

Samantha Dewitt (Rivera)

Geoff is determined to be normal, but no matter how hard he tries, it just doesn’t seem possible. However, things in his world are about to get a whole lot more interesting when Lord Kemp and thousands of his fellow Fulgorans show up in town. Geoff’s suddenly forced to choose between just being Special Ed in his own school and suddenly becoming part of a new world where there’s a lot more to be concerned about than just trying to fit in with his fellow students. After all, there’s no telling what the Fulgorans are really looking for, or what they’ll do when they’ve established themselves in the town in No Child Left Behind by Claudia Casser.

This is an interesting book with some great characters. I really liked Bea, Geoff and all the rest, and the way they seemed to change throughout the course of the book. There is a good plot and a lot going on throughout. It’s a mix between a realistic world and a futuristic or otherworldly image. I liked the mix and the fact that Geoff is actually different from a traditional main character because he’s got a different way of working with his mind. There are some crazy things going on in this school and with all the characters. It is a really captivating read and I would be interested to read more about the characters and the way the worlds work together for the good of more than just Fulgora in No Child Left Behind by Claudia Casser.