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DOGS DON'T TELL JOKES by Louis Sachar

DOGS DON'T TELL JOKES

By Louis Sachar

Age Range: 9 - 11

Pub Date: Sept. 15th, 1991
ISBN: 0679833722
Publisher: Knopf

Gary "Goon" Boone tells jokes instead of having conversations; almost everyone--parents, teachers, schoolmates--is tired of him. When a talent show with a $100 prize is announced at school, Gary decides to make his stand-up debut memorable. His parents promise him another $100 if he stops telling jokes for three weeks. For Gary this is a minor struggle; he tries to understand why other boys his age collect baseball cards, and he gains gradual acceptance in their friendly football games. Their practical joke on Gary. does help launch his career as a comedian, but it is his hard work and practice that lead to his overwhelming success at the show. Readers themselves may feel benumbed by the endless litany of bad jokes; even Sachar's talent for creating humorous situations (There's a Boy in the Girls' Bathroom, 1987; Sideways Stories from Wayside School, 1985--which gets a plug in this book) can't Shine through the too-familiar riddles. Still, Gary is a likable, completely good-hearted boy who turns out to be refreshingly frank about his own shortcomings. (Fiction. 9-11)