The Genius Hour Project

Author: Leanne Shirtliffe
ISBN: 9781771872577 Categories: Juvenile Fiction, Fiction, Adolescence & Coming of Age, Bullying, Family, School & Education Tags: ,
Publication Date: 6 August, 2024
Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5"

Eleven-year-old Frazzy is mostly coping with being bullied and not always fitting in at school, until every aspect of her life goes haywire.

Frazzy likes to chat her way through classes, distracting her best friend Mel, while inwardly speculating about whether Ebrahim, the boy she has a crush on, really does like her—all without attracting any more attention from the bully Jake who humiliates her whenever possible. Then the teacher springs a yearlong assignment on her class called The Genius Hour Project, while at the same time Frazzy discovers that Mel’s parents might be divorcing and Mel might be going to a different school. And just when she needs him most, Frazzy’s stay-at-home-dad disappears into a major depression.

The idea behind the Genius Hour Project is for kids to “let their inner genius shine,” but the thing is, Frazzy doesn’t want her schoolmates to know that what she really cares about is vintage music and finding deals on old records at garage sales with her dad—too totally uncool. So she chooses a really dull, normal Genius Hour Project, something that she thinks will please her teacher: women politicians. She’ll start close to home, with her mom, the long-suffering mayor of Riverview.

The problem is that nobody, not her teacher or the principal or her friends, gets behind Frazzy’s project. So, if trying to be more normal is not the solution, what is? Over the months that follow, though she is worried about her dad, and even more distracted than usual at school, Frazzy slowly finds a way to be her best and brightest self.

About the Author

Leanne Shirtliffe is a writer and teacher who has lived in Canada, Thailand, and Bahrain. The author of five picture books for children and two nonfiction books for adults, The Genius Hour Project is her debut middle-grade novel. When she is not writing, she can be found teaching teenagers, going to garage sales, and listening to an eclectic collection of music. Leanne now lives with her family in Calgary, Alberta.


“Frazzy has a chatty and distinctive voice, and doesn’t mind laughing at herself. Her class at Riverview Elementary and Middle School is made up of goofs and weirdos. Her homelife is a stew of music, laughter, and popcorn. What’s not to like?” —Richard Scrimger, author of Weerdest Day Ever! and Downside Up   “Zany, heartfelt and bubbling with creativity, The Genius Hour Project delivers its charming story right to the heart.” —Arthur Slade, author of The Hunchback Assignments and Dust.
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