Booker Jones is an aspiring novelist, having already completed several works including Worms from the Planet Spaghetti and Moon Mummy. But since his ailing grandfather moved in and took over his room, Booker has had to live and work under the dining room table. As he works on his latest opus, Space Cows, Booker has to deal with an obnoxious sister, frazzled mother, absent father, writer's block, and a plan to change the school mascot from the Wolf Pack to the Fighting Pickles, against which he has been drafted to write a speech. Duffey (How to be Cool in the Third Grade, 1993, etc.) has rolled two books in one. At the core is a wonderful and touching story of a boy who finds unexpected inspiration in and compassion for the plight of his stricken grandfather. Around it is a humorous tale of a boy in love with words who turns everything in his life into ridiculous stories. Liberally spiced with references to famous children's writers and books, quotes from Booker's realistically childish narratives, letters to publishers, and thoughts on writing, this adroit novel about a gifted and eccentric boy will appeal to other young bookworms and would-be writers.