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MAXX COMEDY by Gordon Korman


The Funniest Kid in America

by Gordon Korman

Age Range: 10 - 12

Pub Date: June 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-7868-0746-6
Publisher: Hyperion

A lighter-than-air tale features Max Carmody, a sixth-grader with a mania (if not, from the evidence at each chapter’s head, a talent) for standup, whose attempt to compete in a national comedy contest hits all sorts of snags. Korman surrounds his Seinfeld wannabe with semi-dysfunctional friends, and propels him through a series of efforts, first, to record a demo CD, then to find a live audience on which to practice his routine, and finally to make the audition despite parental resistance, bad weather, wrong turns and mechanical breakdown. After all that, he arrives too late to show his stuff—but his CD, recorded with a canned laugh track that turns out to be a tape of a cow giving birth, makes even the national news and earns him a triumphal gig at a local comedy club. Max’s lame or fragmentary jokes won’t come close to bringing the house down, but some of the more farcical set pieces here might, and the author artfully injects family and friendship issues that bulk the tale up without weighing it down. A rib-tickling followup performance to Sachar’s Dogs Don’t Tell Jokes (1991) or Levy’s My Life as a Fifth Grade Comedian (1997). (Fiction. 10-12)