MY BUDDY, THE KING by Bill Brittain


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Because he has just used the Heimlich maneuver to save the life of the teen-aged King of Makobway (who was choking on a hotdog in the local Slurp Shoppe), Timothy Quilt, 14, is drafted by Uncle Sam as spy/protector/friend to the King for the rest of his stay in the US. Tokab, king of a tiny oil-producing country that ""practically no one has ever heard of,"" is so grateful that Tim becomes the ideal recruit to the secret US Intelligence agency ""SIS-BOOM-BAH."" Here are enough ingredients for an adventurous romp: a foreign government, treachery, and wisecracking teen-agers; but, unfortunately, the story never quite rises to its farcical possibilities. Tim's older sister is humorless, one-dimensional, and stereotypically self-absorbed. His two best friends--Eighty-Eight Russsell (a piano-playing rapper) and Noel the Coward--are merely foils to Tim, whose narration sounds alternately naive or smug. Stilted dialogue, a hackneyed plot, and caricatures for characters make this a disappointing effort from the author of The Wish Giver (Newbery Honor Book, 1984).

Pub Date: Oct. 15th, 1989
Page count: 135pp
Publisher: Harper & Row