BANANA BLITZ by Florence Parry Heide


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You can close Heide's Banana Twist, which ends with obnoxious new neighbor Goober's acceptance to the very boarding school narrator Jonah hopes to attend, and slide right into Banana Blitz, where Jonah, looking forward to the promised TV and refrigerator in every room, walks into his room to find Goober already installed. Pimply, sanctimonious Goober, who looks like ""something from under a rock"" when Jonah wakes up to his white-ointment face, stinks up Jonah's junk food with the fish he keeps in the fridge and assaults his ears with mnemonic devices for rote learning. Alas for Goober, he mixes up his ""i before e"" sentence with his ""Boston Tea Party"" ditty on the surprise history quiz, whereas Jonah remembers Goober's ditty and gets an ""A."" And all the time that Goober is studying and pontificating, Jonah is watching banana commercials, hoping to win a thousand-dollar contest by counting the number of times the word ""banana"" is used. And just when he thinks he has missed the last program, it turns out that Goober, ""rearranging his priorities,"" has cut class, caught the commercial, and completed Jonah's chart to win him the contest. This last news comes to their room in the form of a man-sized banana (a messenger from the Banana Institute) that Jonah is sure must be the hallucination Goober accuses him of having. Which makes a hilarious end to a story that snaps and crackles with kid-sized wit.

Pub Date: March 15th, 1983
Publisher: Holiday House