From the Book:
with you and camels, anyway?"
"I don't know. They're great. I love painting them. Why?"
"Well, look at today -- a perfectly mild day for Querada. Okay, he threw my chair out the window and had a few tantrums, but on the whole, things were calm. Then you came along with your camel and got him all riled up."
"I like that part. It's important for our student-teacher relationship."
"But you're the one who's always talking about other people's stupid, impulsive, harebrained ideas. What would you call this?"
Sam smiled. "A blind spot? Look, Querada and I understand each other perfectly."
"Then why did he order you to come to his office?"
Sam shrugged. "We'll find out at three-thirty. Probably just a little extra chewing out. Sure, T.C. and I are going to end up sitting through a few stories about people who don't do what Querada tells them to and die as a direct result. But we've heard most of those already, and wouldn't mind hearing them again. They're great stories."
About five minutes later, Sam and T.C. came down the hall, glassy-eyed and coughing.
"What's the word?" Simon asked.
"The word is I'm getting too old for this business," T.C. declared, ripping off his tie and undoing his shirt halfway to his waist.
"Un-believable!" said Sam in an awed whisper. "I've seen Querada do a lot of pretty strange things, but this was just beyond anything! He started out sweet as pie, sat us down in nice comfortable chairs -- and very calmly he struck a match and set the drapes on fire! Then he said he wasn't going to let us go for a fire extinguisher until I promised never to bring another camel into his classroom!"
Phil looked pale. "And I told this guy his cologne was tacky?"
"Don't worry about it, Phil," said Simon sarcastically. "There was never any real danger. You see, Sam and Querada understand each other perfectly."
Sam shuddered. "We do now!"
Copyright © 1986 Gordon Korman used by permission
Almost nobody likes Interflux; its a massive, powerful, uncaring mega-corporation that runs roughshod over anybody who disagrees with it. But Simon has special reason to dislike the company he's the son of Interflux, or at least of its Senior Vice President. He's lived most of his life hearing how he would have a place in its bureaucracy, but he's got the talent and a desire to be a world-class painter, and has no interest in Interflux.
So when he starts attending the Nassau County High School for Visual, Literary and Performing Arts, and finds that the school's beautiful environment is to be destroyed in a massive Interflux expansion, he's not happy about it. And when he discovers a mistake in Interflux planning that could put the expansion in jeopardy, he jumps on it, and with the help of 1500 classmates, sets out to stop Interflux.
Between massive amounts of class work, a seven foot maniac of an art teacher who feels that destruction is simply a method of changing energy levels, and hassles from Interflux and the city, Simon's life is certainly busy. Throw in an attractive but violent dancer whom Simon would like to get to know better and a slightly unusual mix of high school problems, sprinkled with liberal doses of humor, and you've got one of Gordon Korman's best books ever!