Hobie is a fourth grader. He goes to school one day to find that his teacher is out sick and they have a substitute. This sub tells the students a secret, it's her very first time being a substitute. This spurs on a game of "Sink the Sub". Whichever child makes the teacher cry first is the winner. This leads to snow ball fights, flooding the classroom, and generally being the worst students possible. This leads to chaos, a general lack of getting any possible work done, and maybe the substitute crying?
As a teacher, I understand that my students will do things for a substitute teacher that they would never dream of doing for me, but this book takes it a little bit far. I also wanted to smack the substitute upside the head. Even when attempting to be a "good sub", there is a point in time where you need to reach out for help. I think the best substitute teachers that I have had in my classroom wrote detailed notes and went to someone else if they were stuck. They are in charge of the classroom and they need to show it. This book made the substitute teacher out to be too meek to make it in a class of fourth graders. I was looking forward to when the hammer would fall, but there aren't any real consequences given out. That's probably the worst part of the book in my opinion. With all of the things that happened, I was looking forward to just as clever consequences and they just didn't come. There really isn't even regret. As a teacher, I'm a little worried to give this to my students without a warning that if I find out they have done anything in the book to my classroom while I am away, then there will be serious consequences. Maybe I'll flood their bedroom and see how they like it?