Prankster Russell Sprowt bites off considerably more than he can chew in a bid to get him and his friends off his ultramean principal’s “manure list.”
Cazet, a former school librarian, really has the ax and grindstone out. There’s been a spate of disappearances at Russell’s school, most notably fave teacher Miss Mabel Butters, suddenly replaced by Jim Beam–sucking sub “Smiling Sally.” Against this backdrop, the theft of a prized Mud Wrestling Champion of the Century trophy prompts hulking principal Ms. Krunchensnap (formerly Big Mama the Eye Popper) to extort vows from Russell, her favorite victim, not only to find the trophy, but to expedite a rematch with retired rival Torpedo the Atomic Midget. Fortunately, Russell has a loyal and resourceful posse with a valuable new member in Lou, a weirdly flexible drainpipe and sewer dweller. Unfortunately, the young detectives have a short deadline, storm drain monsters, and a pair of requisite bullies, Butch and Slow Eddie, to cope with. Nonetheless, highlighted by gloriously mucky bouts of mud wrestling, all comes round right. Though too small to determine his oddball characters’ ethnicities, the author’s chapter head vignettes provide amusing peeks at upcoming incidents.
Worst. Principal. Ever. And plenty of potty humor, dialed up to 11. (Fiction. 10-13)