Crown Me – Holiday House

In November 2008, our presidential elections will take place. Just in time for this event, read about how a 5th grade boy and girl learn about leadership and teamwork in my humorous novel.

Crown Me! , for ages 8-12.  Justin has always wanted to be a leader.  He envisions himself as President of the United States–but he’ll have to start with the fifth grade class of Payton Middle School.  He’s helped along by a new project in Mr. Bailey’s history class, where one boy and one girl are appointed king and queen for two weeks.  The other students are their subjects who must obey or be punished.  There are jesters and knights to be chosen.  A dungeon to be built.  Chaos erupts as Justin and his followers interrupts the PTA meeting.  And a bicycle joust decides whether Justin will keep his crown, or lose it to the bully of fifth grade, Badger Crabtree.  Look out world, here comes King Justin!

ISBN: 0823418456

CROWN ME! Book Club Questions for Summer Reading programs.

Study Guide for CROWN ME!

Honors for CROWN ME! —

  • Winner of the 2005/2006 Texas State Reading Association’s Golden Spur award for Intermediate Books
  • Named to the 2006/2007 Texas Bluebonnet Award Reading List
  • Trophy award winner for Best Juvenile Book of 2004, Oklahoma Writer’s Federation
  • 2006 Hawaii Nene Award Suggested Reading List
  • 2005 New York Charlotte Award Suggested Reading List
  • Accelerated Reading List
  • 2005 School and Library Summer Reading Lists
  • Missouri State Teacher’s Association 2005/2006 Reading Circle booklist


“Justin Davies is determined to be the next president of the fifth-grade student council. Inspired by a study of the French Revolution, his history teacher appoints a king and queen of Payton Middle School, based on essays the students were asked to write. Justin and equally competitive Andrea are the winners. Told to select a knight, he picks nerdy Willie rather than choosing between his two best friends. Carlos and Lester are both furious and humiliate him at every opporunity, while the remaining clasemates resent King Justin and Queen Andrea’s abuses of power. The more the monarchs try to set themselves up to win votes for the upcoming election, the more they learn that being a ruler can alienate friends and make enemies. With Willie’s sound political strategies, Justin realizes that making wild promises is harming his cause and, instead, comes up with a realistic plan that will benefit the school. By working with his classmates rather than against them, he learns a lesson in teamwork and leadership. CROWN ME is funny, with on-the-mark dialogue and characterizations. It’s also a telling look at what happens when power is misused. — School Library Journal

From Booklist
…kids will enjoy the high comedy that Lay packs into her first novel, which is well timed to follow this year’s election hullabaloo. Jennifer Mattson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

In her first novel, local author Kathryn Lay mixes slapstick humor with some good observations about the privileges and pitfalls of leadership. On the surface, it’s an amusing story where the chracters engage in zany,over-the-top antics… On a more substantial level, however, Lay’s book shows how Justin hurts his friends and loses their trust through a series of selfish decisions and broken promises…Justin must figure out how to win the class election by finding real solutions to school problems, rather than just trying to impress his classmates with empty talk
Review by Fort Worth librarian, Claire Abraham for the September 13, 2005 Star Telegram.

by Jason McDonald
Dancing Word Reviewer

Title: Crown Me!
Author: Kathryn Lay
Publisher: Holiday House
ISBN: 0-8234-1845-6
Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Fifth-grader Justin Davies dreams of becoming the President of the United States someday. But right now, hell have to settle for running for class president. He has no idea that one little class project will change his life . . . forever.

Justin, and one of his worst enemies, Andrea Carey, are appointed to be the king and queen of the Payton fifth-grade class for two weeks. However, Justin, Andrea, and the rest of the fifth grade, are about to learn that royalty can be a royal pain in the neck.

Justin also has to choose a knight to protect him. The problem is, he has TWO best friends. In his nervous state, he accidentally calls Willie Fisher, nicknamed whiney Willie, to be his knight. His buddies are furious.

To make matters worse, the school bully, Badger, wants to grind Justin into a hamburger. And Andrea is running for class president. Can Justins life get any worse?

This book is a modern medieval adventure with a touch of humor, a dab of misadventure, and a cherry on top. I liked watching Justin get himself into predicament after predicament. I would definitelyy recommend this book to anyone 9 and above. Great job Mrs. Lay!

From Chapter 1

Equal Rights for Boys, Too
Future Politicians Rule #1 — Never get caught.

There is a time in every kid’s life when he has to stand up for something important. This was my time. If I was going to be president of the United States someday, I had to start at the bottom. And for me, the bottom was Payton Intermediate School.
I had set my first political goal at Payton. A goal that every kid in school would thank me for. They just didn’t know it yet. I, Justin Davies, was going to be the next president of the fifth-grade student council. We were the Payton Penguins, and I planned to be the head penguin.
I had lots of ideas to gain their votes, and I was about to put my first plan into action.

You can order this book at now, with this link:: Crown Me!

Do you want to be King or Queen of the school? Click here to find out how Kathryn Lay can come to your school.