Monday, May 19, 2008

Pirates of the Retail Wasteland!!!

Adam Selzer has a warped and very funny sense of humor. Like How to Get Suspended and Influence People, this book walked that very fine line of almost inappropriate, and never tipped far enough over that parents would complain. It also lent itself to reading aloud and guffawing, which is why I don't have it in front of me to quote-- older daughter tried to rip it out of my grasp but I won, so she is reading it now.

Leon and his friends are upset that Sip, their favorite coffee house/hang out might be forced out of business by Wackford's, a chain coffee house whose primary purpose seems to be to house corporate drones working on lap tops. They plan, with the help of the "McHobo" manager, to take over on one Saturday, turn Wackford's into an office, and film the resultant chaos for a school project. This seemed somewhat far fetched, but it really didn't matter because the sub plots were so much fun.

Leon has the best parents in teen literature. They embarass him gleefully and with abandon. The father's attempt to create hair dye that adheres to hair but not skin results in a green mohawk, and later, no hair at all. They are still cooking out of vintage cookbooks and dressing the part as well. They aren't mentioned a lot, but I adore them.

There's some girlfriend issues, some hysterical poetry attempts to get the gym teacher to quit (the reworking of Ginsberg Howl begged to be declaimed out loud), and line after line that made me giggle. My only problem with this book is that I'm afraid that my daughter may try to start collecting tacky vintage album covers to decorate her walls.


  1. Suspect I'll have to look into getting my hands on this one for elder son to read... Sounds like something he might like, since, aside from fantasy and sci fi, he likes humorous books.


  2. YAY! I'm glad you enjoyed it! :) He sold out of it at the Illinois Young Author's event this past weekend.