Gavalda, Anna "95 pounds of hope" (French: 35 kilos d’espoir) - 2002
35 kilograms or 95 pounds, that's exactly how much Gregory Dubosc weighs at the age of 13. Everything goes wrong in his little life. His parents don't care much for him, only his grandfahter loves him. He is not exactly an over-achiever at school, so his parents send him to a boarding school that is more technical than the ordinary one. When he is afraid his grandfather might die, he starts working hard and determined.
I have volunteered in school for a long time and I have seen children like Gregory, children that didn't hope to get anywhere in life, children whose parents were so busy with themselves that the only thing they recognized in their chidlren were their grades. So, the children lost hope and interest because bad grades would be the only thing that would get some sort of recognition.
Even though the story is not entireIy unhappy, I am sorry for all the Gregory's in the world. Anna Gavalda has depicted their lives and problems very well in this short story.
I read this in the original French version.
From the back cover:
"Gregory has never liked school. And now that he's in sixth grade, life has only gotten worse. He's been held back twice and expelled once. His parents think he should go to boarding school, but his only happy moments have been found in his grandfather's cluttered shed, among the tools he uses to build his inventions. Grandfather has been his only supporter, but now even he is urging Gregory to take control of his life. Gregory has to wonder if a fresh start-in school and in life-might not be such a terrible idea after all. This fresh, funny, direct story will resonate with every reader who has ever felt like a square peg in a round hole. "