The kids from South Orange River (S.O.R. Losers, 1984) are back, now in eighth grade and putting on a much-abridged, student-run, unintentionally slapstick version of Shakespeare's play. When their friends discover that Pete Saltz and Anabell Stackpoole are sweet on each other but too shy even to converse, they arrange a first kiss through the elaborate and thoroughly implausible device of putting on Romeo and Juliet and electing them to the title roles. Their school principal agrees to everything, including a performance date only two weeks away. Most of the book is taken up with the actual production, a junior version of Frayn's Noises Off in which everything that can go wrong deservedly does, and the original objective is achieved. This lighthearted farce achieves what must have been Avi's objective--a fast-moving, genuinely funny, enjoyable read. Kids won't be able to resist the humor, even if they miss the full import of the malapropisms; they may even absorb the message that Shakespeare can be approachable.