LOSING JOE'S PLACE by Gordon Korman


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Once again the author of The Zucchini Warriors (1988) whips up a madcap, crowd-pleasing confection. The prospect of a summer of car- and apartment-sitting for his big brother Joe, far from prying parents and with two buddies to share the rent, has Jason Cardone (16) rubbing his hands in anticipation; he even has a summer job lined up. Alas, the ointment is strewn with flies: the apartment's in a shabby neighborhood; the landlord is a model of greedy irascibility; Joe's huge, colorful friend Rootbeer Racinette (""half man, half Bigfoot"") descends as a permanent guest; a police computer glitch causes Joe's car to be repeatedly impounded; and the job evaporates. While coping with these disasters, Jason finds himself stuck in the apartment cooking and cleaning for his feckless roommates, who are both chasing luscious--but equally feckless--Jessica. Though many of these misadventures are excruciatingly contrived, the story continues to gather comic momentum with Rootbeer's ridiculous feats and with Jason's conversion of a greasy spoon into a trendy new restaurant. Korman manages to leave everyone happy, including Jason--who ends the summer with money in his pocket and the girl; readers are sure to devour this antic belly-bomb with relish.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1990
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Scholastic