Books by John Bladek

Released: Sept. 1, 2010

Six months ago, sixth grader Jake Machet's parents decided the city was too dangerous and moved the family to a stinky small town…one that REALLY stinks. Everyone there works in J.P. Rumblegut's corndog factory and everyone loves the boss—but no one save Jake can smell that nose-hair-curling miasma. When he sets out to discover the source of the stench and the strange noises that fill the night, Jake and his new friend Sammie find a mystery more bizarre than their wildest nightmares, which involves mind control, toxic waste, kidnapping, witches and, of course, corndogs. Narrated in first person (mostly from his hiding place in a janitor's closet in Rumblegut's factory), Jake's silly, sarcastic, footnoted tale will entertain to a point. The pacing of Bladek's debut sags a bit in its midsection, and at times it's difficult to know for certain what is Jake's wild imagining or sarcastic hyperbole and what is "real" strangeness. The obviously-open-for-a-sequel denouement is a further letdown. An additional purchase for late-summer reading. (Fiction. 10-13)Read full book review >