Black Friday shopping in the bookstore? Ahhhh, my kind of person! But maybe you're not a bookstore troll; you just need help with gift shopping. Perhaps you need a way to ignite a non-reader with a spark of reading interest. If your reluctant reader happens to be an 8-14 year old boy, I have a couple of solid suggestions. THE BIG SPLASH and THE FOURTH STALL are sure winners. Both books feature boy protagonist in mafia-esque humorous situations. The authors pack the pages with great writing, authentic voices, outrageous comedy and page-turning intrigue.
It's no wonder these books are award winners. THE BIG SPLASH was nominated for the Edgar Award in 2009 and THE FOURTH STALL won the Sid Fleischman award for comedy in 2012.
THE BIG SPLASH
The treacherous, hormone-soaked hallways of Franklin Middle School are the setting for this sharp, funny noir novel about tough guys and even tougher girls. The Frankis in the clutches of a crime syndicate run by seventh-grader Vinny Mr. Biggs Biggio, who deals in forged hall passes and blackmarket candy. Double-cross him and your number is punched by one of his deadly water gun-toting assassins. One hit in the pants and you are in the Outs forever. Matt Stevens is a proud loner with his own code of justice. He's avoided being pulled into Vinny's organization until now: Mr. Biggs has offered him a job he can't resist, even if it means bringing down one of his oldest friends. Nominated for an Edgar Award in 2009, The Big Splash revitalizes the noir novel while delivering a terrific, addictive mystery that crackles with wit and excitement.
THE FOURTH STALL
Do you need something? Mac can get it for you. It's what he does—he and his best friend and business manager, Vince. Their methods might sometimes run afoul of the law, or at least the school code of conduct, but if you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can pay him, Mac is on your side. His office is located in the East Wing boys' bathroom, fourth stall from the high window. And business is booming.
Or at least it was, until one particular Monday. It starts with a third grader in need of protection. And before this ordeal is over, it's going to involve a legendary high school crime boss named Staples, an intramural gambling ring, a graffiti ninja, the nine most dangerous bullies in school, and the first Chicago Cubs World Series game in almost seventy years. And that's just the beginning. Mac and Vince soon realize that the trouble with solving everyone else's problems is that there's no one left to solve yours.