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NASTYBOOK by Barry Yourgrau


by Barry Yourgrau

Age Range: 10 - 13

Pub Date: May 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-06-057978-1
Publisher: HarperCollins

Continuing the format but toning down the raunchiness of several earlier efforts for adult readers, Yourgrau offers about 50 deliciously macabre sketches and fragments, most of them ideal for reading aloud. Along with episodes featuring skateboarding ghosts, an imaginary bear who makes a short-lived break for freedom and a psychopathic octopus who kills librarians, he offers such gems as one cautionary tale on the wormy hazards of nosepicking and another about a hunky movie star who drinks something at a party that turns him into a gerbil. Set into its cover upside down (in order to make observers wonder), it includes any number of arresting opening lines: “Playful Fenton tickles his girlfriend and she laughs so hard, she explodes with a bang into little pieces.” Fans of the likes of David Lubar’s Witch’s Monkey and Other Tales (1997) or Paul Jennings’s twisted short fiction will be rolling in the aisles. (Short stories. 10-13)