I read this book on the recommendation of coworkers when we were discussing books about students who rebel. This is a cross between middle grade and young adult—there are bits in there that older kids would get, but the story is appropriate for middle grade.
The story follows a boy named Wallace Wallace, who made a star play on the football team. But since he refuses to lie (and praise a book he didn’t like), he has detention for English class, preventing him from joining his football teammates.
As he stays after school and is forced to watch the drama club rehearse for their play, he cannot help but use his brutally honest personality to offer suggestions about how to improve their play. The story uses multiple points of view, including Wallace, a “love” interest of his, and the drama teacher. At first the multiple perspectives were jarring, but by the end, they came together quite nicely. The novel was humorous and fast-paced, weaving together a mystery, a plot, and a love triangle. The title comes from the main characters objection to the classics read in school in which the dog dies (Old Yeller).
I liked Wallace’s honest personality and the way he stuck to his beliefs no matter what. Since it’s more of a middle grade book, the characters weren’t as developed as I would prefer (as in YA or adult books), but it was still an enjoyable read—and definitely something I would have loved as a kid.