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PIRATES OF THE RETAIL WASTELAND by Adam Selzer

PIRATES OF THE RETAIL WASTELAND

By Adam Selzer

Age Range: 12 - 15

Pub Date: April 8th, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-385-73482-0
Publisher: Delacorte

Looking for fresh triumphs in the wake of the brouhaha caused by his avant-garde sex-ed film in How to Get Suspended and Influence People (2007), geeky eighth-grader Leon joins the rest of his Gifted Pool cronies in filming a semi-mock takeover of the local Starbucks clone, Wackfords. The plotline comes off as something of an afterthought, though, as Leon spends the bulk of his emotional energy and narrative space being embarrassed by his eccentric parents—particularly his inventor dad, who dyes his hair bright green and then accidentally burns most of it off—and getting whipsawed between the mixed signals of urbane possible-girlfriend Anna and suggestive letters from sheltered classmate Jenny, who has a mad crush on him. Everyone should have such problems. Aside from some fretting about how burgeoning strip malls sap the funky life from small towns, there’s not a serious element in this lighter-than-air comedy, and except for a hostile but clueless coach, the adult cast forms a sturdy safety net for the young folks’ minor rebellions. Float it toward tweener sitcom fans. (Fiction. 12-15)