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My Teacher Fried My Brains (1991)

door Bruce Coville

LedenBesprekingenPopulariteitGemiddelde beoordelingAanhalingen
627627,935 (3.66)3
The first day of seventh grade was probably the worst day of Duncan Dougal's life. He knows that things are really bad when he finds an alien's hand in a dumpster and then gets plugged into an alien brain fryer.
  1. 00
    Het genie in de muizeval door Daniel Keyes (infiniteletters)
    infiniteletters: More drama, less humor, but a similar effect in the end.
1980s (198)
1990s (193)
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1-5 van 6 worden getoond (volgende | toon alle)
  lcslibrarian | Aug 13, 2020 |
It was reading 'Jennifer Murdley's Toad' last week that gave me the itch to reread these books. I've even gone so far as to order the other two, but I just couldn't wait for them to get in. Sometimes you just have to stop trying to sleep and start reading prepubescent classics. This was one of the first books I remember ordering through the Trumpet Club (almost as exciting as the Scholastic Book Fair!), and can you blame me? Just look at that cover!

I compared the homely heroine Jennifer Murdley to Duncan Dougall in my review as near equals in complexity. I was a trifle off the mark, though since 'My Teacher Fried My Brains' is more suitable for readers just making the transition into chapter books. It has similar elements to Coville's other writing, a great genre hook to get a reader interested with surprising multifaceted characters, but with simpler language and structure.

In the case of 'Fried' there's only one multifaceted character (I don't recall Susan ever getting past the good-girl archetype, but I'll see soon) since Peter let himself be abducted at the end of book one. Duncan Dougall was the bully in the first book and given a few lines that suggested he was misunderstood. Right off the bat here we learn his brother and his father beat on him and at school he lets his temper get the better of him. He lashes out when he suspects someone's making fun of him. His quarrelsome reputation gets ahead of Duncan and he finds at the beginning of 7th grade, in a new building no less, the teachers are already on the lookout for trouble from him.

So on the first day at school, only a few months since the end of the first book, Duncan finds evidence that Mr. Smith/Broxholm was not alone, and that there may yet still be an alien teacher at school. But nobody believes Duncan the bully. With four suspect teachers, Duncan soon finds himself the product of an unlikely experiment that fries his brains, making him a genius. Apparently he figures out cold fusion. A nice touch for the parent reading this out loud.

It's weird to say, but the most implausible thing about this book was how matter-of-fact everyone is, including the teachers and parents, about there having been an alien abduction. There are no lingering questions, no media circus. Everyone just flatly accepts that it was a tragedy*, yes, yes, now will you please just go to class and shut up? What? Where are the men in black suits?

This book also introduces an alien pet named Poot. That used to be such a barrel of laughs.

*With the exception of Peter Thompson's father. His lonely, late-night search for his missing son is an unsettling moment in the book.

My Teacher is an Alien

Next: 'My Teacher Glows in the Dark'

Previous: 'My Teacher is an Alien' ( )
  ManWithAnAgenda | Feb 18, 2019 |
Last year, Duncan Dougal was a minor player in his sixth grade class's struggle to save their town from the alien who was masquerading as a teacher at their school. Now he's in seventh grade, hoping to turn over a new leaf and be a better, or at least less troublesome, student in his junior high, with new teachers.

Unfortunately, he's really not good at this whole "get to class on time, don't provoke the teachers, and do the assignments," thing.

Also, there's an alien teacher at the junior high, too. And since Duncan creates conflict with everyone, he's on his own in dealing with a problem everyone else wants to believe is over.

Duncan is a nicer kid than he wants to think he is, and his best efforts can't keep him from being really taken with his alien teacher's alien, slug-like pet. He also can't stop himself from doing the right thing when it's up to him to save the world.

It's a fun, and funny, sf adventure for younger readers.

It was originally published in 1991, so the tech is only slightly more advanced than when I was in junior high, but that doesn't slow things down.


I bought this audiobook. ( )
  LisCarey | Sep 19, 2018 |
This chapter book is the second installment in the "My Teacher is An Alien" series and it is written from the perspective of Duncan, the school bully, who was the main antagonist in the first book for our heroes; Peter and his best friend Susan. So fittingly, the central message to this story is about the road to redemption for Duncan Dougal as he tries to make nice with his classmates at the start of a new school year in the seventh grade. As we learn more about Duncan we begin to understand more about why he is the way he is and we find out that his bad behavior and acting out in school is mostly due to his poor family life at home and the constant bullying he undergoes from his own older brother; Patrick Dougal.
But after finding Mr. Smith was actually an Alien Teacher last year and seeing Peter( the shy and nerdy kid) take him down in front of the entire school, Duncan witnessed both Peter and Susan gain immense fame and popularity around school from it and he longingly decided at that moment last year that he had wanted to be just like them; and not known as the "bully" any longer. So this year, he tries several different attempts to be kinder to his classmates, stop beating up kids after school, and simply not responding back when he has nothing good to say to others. At first, his attempts to improve his reputation go unnoticed and he begins to realize just how hard it is for someone to see you in a different light, when you've been known for something else for so long. However he does not give up, and continues try to be nicer to his peers and not get into trouble. Eventually, and with much persistence, Duncan is able to finally befriend several students-including Susan- who he is used to bully the most and together they try and take down the new Alien Teacher of the year, Miss Karpou. ( )
  JadaHalsey | Mar 30, 2017 |
-Unfinished review-
  ssadar | Aug 14, 2010 |
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The first day of seventh grade was probably the worst day of Duncan Dougal's life. He knows that things are really bad when he finds an alien's hand in a dumpster and then gets plugged into an alien brain fryer.

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