Monday, October 19, 2015

BOOK REVIEW, SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY: A Year in the Life of a Complete and Total Genius by Stacey Matson

Book Info:

Title: A Year in the Life of a Complete and Total Genius
Author: Stacey Matson
Release Date; November 3, 2015
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Praise for A Year in the Life of a Complete and Total Genius

“[A] humorous coming-of-age novel.” –Publishers Weekly

“Arthur, like Sedaris, is at essence, a self-dramatizing memoirist with a subversive sensibility, viperous yet vulnerable, sharp-witted with a magnet eye for the ridiculous. His writings and personality also bring to mind Jeff Kinney’s hilarious mini-Machiavellian schemer and pretension-piercing fellow diarist, Greg Heffley.” –The Vancouver Sun

“Arthur is a sweet funny character and it is a lot of fun to join him on his journey through the ups and downs of junior high.” –Shelf-Talkers


Arthur Bean is a genius. It’s just that no one else realizes this quite yet. He’s going to be a world-famous author, and the first step is to win this year’s story writing contest. What he writes is pretty funny, but it gets him into trouble too.

Like with his English teacher, and the school newspaper advisor. And cool girl Kennedy. And Arthur’s number one nemesis, Robbie Zack.

But all great authors spark controversy, so Arthur’s not too concerned. Through letters, email exchanges, “SEE ME AFTER CLASS” notes and doodles, enter the funny, touching, and often mixed-up mind of Arthur Bean, creative genius. 

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About the Author:

Stacey Matson has worked in a theatre program on Parliament Hill and written theatre pieces for the Glenbow Museum and for the All-Nations Theatre in Calgary. She earned her Master of Arts in Children’s Literature at the University of British Columbia. A debut novelist, Stacey lives in Vancouver, BC. Visit Stacey at

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Excerpt from A Year in the Life of a Complete and Total Genius:

The Next Great Bestselling Novel (Title to be announced)
By Arthur Bean

Once upon a time there was
There was once a
A long time ago
America is awesome! This is because
A boy and his unicorn sat on the grass and the unicorn could talk and said
Murder! There’s been a very violent murder!

Dear Ms. Whitehead,
As you know, I haven’t been in class yet, but my next-door neighbor Nicole suggested that I write you a letter since I will be starting soon. I don’t really know what to write to you. Maybe I will tell you a little about myself so that you feel like I started school at the same time as everyone else.
My name is Arthur Aaron Bean, but I normally just go by Arthur. I spent the summer at my grandparents’ house in Balzac. It was a long summer. I actually live in one of the apartment buildings pretty close to the school. I like to knit and watch movies, sometimes at the same time. I’m a very good multi-tasker. I like creative writing, so I hope that we will do that and that I didn’t miss it. I was probably the best writer in my elementary school, and I plan on getting rich as a novelist when I’m a grown-up. I don’t have any siblings, but my cousin Luke is kind of like my twin brother.
My most profound work so far is the heartwarming story called “Sockland.” In this short story, a little boy climbs into the dryer during a game of hide-and-seek with his older brothers. He is accidentally shrunk and crawls through the dryer vent into Sockland. Sockland is a land where missing socks go to live. He enjoys it for a while, but then finds that single socks are very boring, and needs to find a way to get home. He then gets the socks to help him by promising to send their partners through the tunnel, and he crawls back up into the dryer to rejoin humanland.
Mrs. Lewis said it was highly original and that I showed real promise in becoming the next J.K. Rowling. The secretary told me that I’m in a class with some of the people from my elementary school so that I would feel more comfortable. Actually, she didn’t say people, she said some of my friends. This may seem weird, because I wasn’t really friends with a lot of the people in my elementary school. Actually, most of my friends went to the Catholic school next door to our school, and so I saw them all the time. I did have a couple of friends like Oliver, but mostly I wasn’t friends with people in my elementary school class. Besides, who would want to be friends with guys like Robbie Zack? I’m not friends with people who spell thoughts as thots. Good luck with that one. He’s what my mother called “a handful of trouble with a capital T.”

Yours truly,
Arthur Bean

REVIEW BY: Arianna, age 12 years, 10 months


This was a great book! 

My favorite character is Kennedy because she knows what she wants. She is honest and an amazing friend. 

My favorite parts are when Arthur Bean makes hilarious jokes and when he writes letters to his teacher. 

I recommend this book to anyone who likes wonderfully funny adventures of an unknown genius! 

I give this book 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 and up. 

This book's publishing date is November 3, 2015. 

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