HARVEY THE BEER CAN KING by Jamie Gilson

HARVEY THE BEER CAN KING

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This is one of those fast-paced, lightweight stories which pretend that an occasion such as the local newspaper's SUPERKID contest would spur kids to single-minded campaigning, cutthroat competition, and general frenzy. The three rivals here are skate-boarder Eric Wagner who stays in the background and ends up in the hospital on the day of the voting; magic-trickster Quint Calkins, the sneering villain; and protagonist Harvey, who collects beer cans. Harvey, alas, lets Quint push him into ripping off his two third-grade followers in an uneven beer-can trade; he also comes across sounding boastful in the newspaper interview, and grows more and more ashamed of his own behavior as Quint's campaign gets dirtier and dirtier. Thus on the big day, with publisher, principal, and the whole sixth grade assembled for speeches and voting, and with Quint turning off the audience with his sheer nastiness, Harvey finds himself urging Eric's election. You'd think he'd learned something, but no--when he becomes famous after all for owning a very rare can, he's off again with dreams of glory (i.e., his own float in the 4th-of-July parade). Brisk, but as shallow as Harvey's fantasies.

Pub Date: April 11th, 1978
Publisher: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard