Restart pdf

Gordon Korman
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Restart - Gordon Korman

Title: Restart
Author: Gordon Korman
Publication Year: 2017
Genre: Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction

Detailed Description

"Restart" by Gordon Korman is a captivating middle-grade novel that explores themes of identity, redemption, and the power of second chances. It follows the story of a boy named Chase Ambrose, who gets a rare opportunity to redefine himself after a life-altering accident.

Plot Overview

The Accident

The story begins with Chase Ambrose waking up in a hospital bed with amnesia after falling off a roof. He has no memory of who he is or what his life was like before the accident. As Chase starts to recover, he learns that he used to be a popular but feared bully at his school, Kingston Middle School.

A New Beginning

Chase returns to school and is faced with the daunting task of piecing together his past and figuring out who he wants to be moving forward. Without the memories that fueled his previous behavior, Chase starts to see the world—and himself—through new eyes. He is shocked to discover the negative impact he had on others, especially on the students he used to torment.

Relationships and Challenges

As Chase navigates his new life, he forms unexpected friendships with kids who were once his victims. He joins the video club and begins to develop a passion for filmmaking, something he never would have considered before. These new relationships are fragile, as his old friends from the football team resent his change in behavior and try to pull him back into his old ways.

Inner Conflict and Growth

Throughout the novel, Chase struggles with his identity and the conflict between his past and present selves. He is determined to make amends and earn the trust of those he hurt, but this journey is fraught with challenges. His biggest test comes when he must decide whether to side with his old friends or stand by his new ones.

Themes and Motifs

Redemption and Forgiveness

"Restart" delves into the theme of redemption, as Chase works to atone for his past mistakes and seeks forgiveness from those he wronged. The novel shows that change is possible and that people can grow and improve themselves, even after serious missteps.

Identity and Self-Discovery

Chase's amnesia serves as a metaphor for self-discovery, allowing him to start over and redefine who he is. The novel explores how our identities are shaped by our actions and the choices we make, and how it's never too late to change for the better.

Bullying and Its Impact

The story provides a nuanced look at bullying, highlighting the deep and lasting effects it can have on victims. Through Chase's journey, the novel emphasizes the importance of empathy and understanding, showing the potential for bullies to change and the importance of supporting those who have been hurt.

Writing Style and Reception

Gordon Korman's writing is engaging and accessible, making "Restart" a compelling read for middle-grade students. The book is told from multiple perspectives, giving readers a well-rounded view of Chase's impact on his peers and the various responses to his transformation. This narrative style adds depth to the story and allows readers to connect with a range of characters.

"Restart" has been praised for its relatable characters, thought-provoking themes, and its hopeful message about the possibility of change and second chances. It has become a popular choice in classrooms and libraries for discussions on bullying, personal growth, and forgiveness.


"Restart" by Gordon Korman is a powerful and inspiring novel that captures the complexities of identity, the struggle for redemption, and the transformative power of second chances. Through Chase Ambrose's journey, readers are reminded that it's never too late to change and that everyone deserves the opportunity to start over and become a better person.