Cap, short for Capricorn, has lived with his grandma on a communal farm all his life. The community where he lives is a remnant of the 60's nature/hippy movement. He has never watched TV, he has never handled money, and has never even had a hair cut. When he is 13 years old his grandmother breaks her hip, and he is put into a foster home and sent to a public middle school. Of course, he is utterly bewildered by his introduction into the modern world and quickly becomes the target of all the 8th grade jokes. The funny thing is that he is so oblivious to social norms that he hardly realizes that he is being ridiculed. He is a pure example of the 60's nonviolent, peace-love-harmony principles, and he gradually wins over one student after another. This is a story reminiscent of Star Girl by Jerry Spinelli, but it is a lot less melancholy. It is serious in places, but it is also really funny, and the ending is upbeat and hopeful.
At my library we do a monthly book club for kids age 9-12. This is the book we have chosen for the kids to read for the book club in September--a kind of "back to school" selection. The book has a lot of potential for group discussion and fun activity ideas. We just have to do some kind of tie-dye craft and ti-chi game. It should be a fun program to plan.