Kevin knows the buzzwords that will surely get him elected student-body president; it’s unfortunate that he’s running for the wrong reason.
Kevin’s gotten into trouble before (Crush, 2002, etc.). In this fourth, funny outing, he navigates the mostly self-created obstacles of eighth grade. This time, having achieved a first date with his new girlfriend, Tina, he realizes that a new student, good-looking Cash Devine, is running unopposed for student-body president—and capturing lots of attention in the process. That just doesn’t seem right to Kevin. After all, he’s the one with all of the natural leadership ability, and he knows, somehow, all of the ins and outs of campaigning. However, he might not know quite as much as Cash’s campaign manager, Kevin’s clever rival, Katie. The strength of this effort comes from the surfeit of hyperbole that Kevin effortlessly churns out in his rarely self-critical but frequently amusing first-person narration. Each chapter title offers yet another pithy rule for aspiring politicians: “The True Politician Deftly Sidesteps Problems That Might Arise from an Overabundance of Truth,” for example. Many of these “rules” seem unlikely to arise from the brain of an eighth-grader however, making this a little less credible than others in the series.
Still, especially for kids who have watched recent elections, Kevin’s brand of campaigning is readily recognizable. (Fiction. 10-14)