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THE FOURTH STALL: PART III by Chris Rylander

THE FOURTH STALL: PART III

By Chris Rylander

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: Feb. 5th, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-06-212005-2
Publisher: Walden Pond Press/HarperCollins

In the third and final installment of the Fourth Stall saga, Mac and Vince are pulled back into the world of organized crime at their middle school.

Life seemed simple for a while. Seventh grade had started, and Mac and Vince were no longer running their syndicate out of the fourth stall in the east-wing boys’ bathroom. Their service had been to help middle schoolers with their problems…for a price. But Jimmy Two-Tone moves in to reopen it, offering a 15-percent cut to Mac and Vince since they had built the business in the first place. “[R]isk-free money,” Mac thinks, until Jimmy’s operation gets out of hand, and Jimmy finds himself in over his head. All of a sudden a higher power makes a play, demanding a repayment of debts along with permanent records on every student at the school, including addresses, grades and disciplinary records, loaded onto a flash drive. The story becomes so diffuse, implausible and unpleasant that readers will find all characters unlikable by the end. A series that seemed promising in the first volume and improving in the second becomes muddled here, boding ill for the hint of future volumes when Mac gets to high school.

Readers of the previous installments will be eager to see how it all plays out, but they may well be disappointed. (Fiction. 8-12)