by T. Ernesto Bethancourt ‧ RELEASE DATE: Sept. 1, 1983
T.H.U.M.B.B.? ""The hippest underground marching band in Brooklyn."" Tom and Aurelio, the rock duo who almost made it big in New York City Too Far From Tampa Blues (1975), are back--in deadhead, blackboard-jungle Thaddeus Stevens High. On account of a sniffy complaint to the police about their tender age (14), they can't sing at Delaney's bar any more. Their near-future is the Stevens marching band--togged in ""penguin suits"" and so bad (says Aurelio) ""you couldn't tell them,"" otherwise, ""from the crowd."" But trust undersize dynamo Aurelio to come up with something (and Bethancourt for a timely, multi-ingredient mix). Aurelio has neutralized Stevens' worse thugs, the Godzillas, with the local karate club, the Fists of Death. (One of the Fists is also ""from a napolitano family,"" and they all want guitar lessons from Tom.) He has his eye on Lettie, the well-developed head twirler. And eight of the band-players are okay. All that's left, for T.H.U.M.B.B. to shape up, are: getting the self-disciplined, quick-to-learn Fists into the band; holding a concert, proceeds to ""a nonprofit youth organization,"" to pay for uniforms and equipment; building a rolling platform (parts contributed by Aurelio's sanitation-man dad) to carry the amplifying gear; flattering and bribing the Godzillas into pulling it; and talking-around stuffy school music director Mr. Johnson--a no-go. Comes a surprise invitation for the Stevens' stumblebums to march in N.Y.'s St. Patrick's Day Parade, and Aurelio (benefiting from Tom's anti-horseplaying sermonette about a diarrheic greyhound) gets the idea of milk-of-magnesia in the pre-marching milk. . . of everyone ""except for us in T.H.U.M.B.B."" At book's end, T.H.U.M.B.B., a St. Patrick's Day sensation seen on national TV, has an invitation to the Rose Bowl--and Mr. Johnson's declared enmity. Tom has the busty Lettie (who's heard enough, she tells him, on that subject); and Aurelio, jealous for a time, has a little woman of his own. Free-form and free-flowing, sassy and earnest, like the first--without the words ""you can't put in print,"" and with every welcome sign of more to come.
Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1983
Page Count: -
Publisher: Holiday House
Review Posted Online: N/A
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1983
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