THE STUPENDOUS DODGEBALL FIASCO by Janice Repka

THE STUPENDOUS DODGEBALL FIASCO

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 10 - 12
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Good intentions, a clever premise, and fun facts about circus life can’t compensate for a flawed presentation in this anti-bullying message thinly disguised as a middle-grade novel. Unhappy with circus life, Phillip Stanislaw just wants to run away, even though that means leaving his parents (a clown and the fat lady) behind. Sent to live with his Aunt Veola, Phillip finds that things haven’t really improved. Targeted during the weekly dodgeball games at his middle school, Phillip becomes determined to fight back. How Phillip wins a lawsuit, settles an old score for his mom, and finds a way to use his minimal circus skills to feel at home in Hardingtown isn’t especially believable, but it will please readers who are rooting for him. Unfortunately, it’s hard to imagine just who that might be. Phillip’s first-person narration isn’t especially convincing, secondary characters are caricatures at best, the small-town setting fails to come alive, and the plodding action drags on far too long for the slight plot. Well-meant but not ultimately successful. (Fiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-525-47346-7
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2004




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