THE TOP 10 WAYS TO RUIN THE FIRST DAY OF 5TH GRADE by Ken Derby

THE TOP 10 WAYS TO RUIN THE FIRST DAY OF 5TH GRADE

Age Range: 8 - 12
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Fifth-grader Anthony “Tony Baloney” Madison’s greatest desire is to be on the Late Show with David Letterman. He writes Letterman about his adventures and suggests Top Ten Lists. Tony devises a stupid human trick: jumping rope while standing on a toilet. He gets his foot stuck, and the rescue squad has to come free him. He devises a stupid pet trick involving his dog Meatball, a blindfold, and a trampoline. Meatball ends up in the fish tank. Tony mimics every crazy stunt he sees Letterman’s guests pull until he finally grabs national attention by disrupting a Colts/Jets game while dressed in a bear suit. The resulting trip to New York to meet his idol goes wackily awry. While Tony’s exploits might sound entertaining, their extent and their results, as well as the mild reactions of his friends and parents, will strain the most forgiving reader’s credulity. Readers will wonder why he wasn’t expelled for his first stunt, let alone the third or fourth. In a school where students have nicknames that rhyme their first names with their main character traits—e.g., Crazy Daisy and Mean Dean—Tony Baloney lives up to his name: He and his story are nonsense. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-8234-1851-0
Page count: 164pp
Publisher: Holiday House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2004