Friday, December 18, 2020

Flashbacklist: Regular Guy Friday

Weeks, Sarah. Regular Guy
June 1st 1999 by HarperCollins Children's Books
Library Copy, first edition

Guy has long suspected that his parents are not his own. He is a buttoned down, calm person, and his parents are decidedly quirky. Mom favors lime green stretch pants and is a fan of decoupage, and his father's favorite trick in restaurants is to snort an oyster in through his nose and hork it out through his mouth. His best friend Buzz agrees, and the two conspire to get into the school records to find it there are other children born around the same time. It turns out that the very odd Bob-o was born on the same day in the same hospital, and that the parents knew each other. Guy arranges a "swap" for a "school project" after discussing the possibility of this mix up with Bob-o. He hopes to prove that the Smith's are his real parents, while his parents are really Bob-o's. There are some similarities in the way the Smith's dress (no tie-dyed underwear for them!), but after expressing his concerns to his mother, he realizes the two could not have been switched, and that the Smith's are not as amusing as his own parents, after all. 
Strengths: There are a lot of small, funny things about Guy's parents that irritate him. His mother doesn't match his socks, serves him odd snacks, and tries to decoupage his baseball cards onto a lamp shade. Buzz and Guy also get up to some highjinks. The story moves along quickly, and addresses the quintessential thought of adolescence "Surely THESE people are not related to me!" The reason that this has circulated steadily in my library for over twenty years is the fact that it is short and has an easy-to-read san serif font. This is the first book in a four book series. 
Weaknesses: Bob-o picks his nose and keeps balls of tuna fish in his pants; I'm not sure this level of quirky is used these days. Still, this is within the realm of standards today; Bob-o is not really made fun of 
What I really think: This series should be reissued, with perhaps a few tiny tweaks. I want to read the other four books and remember what else Guy gets up to!
Ms. Yingling

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