Desmond’s monster magic pranks are excellent—but they might get him expelled.
Sixth-grader Desmond Pucket loves to pull special-effects pranks: fake blood in the PTO’s coffee cake, a goblin in the teacher’s-lounge toilet, wiggling worms in the cafeteria mashed potatoes. However, Mr. Needles, head of the Cloverfield Memorial Junior High disciplinary office, has had enough. If Desmond doesn’t participate successfully in one extracurricular activity, then Desmond is out. Getting expelled means missing the field trip to Crab Shell Amusement Pier and the chance to finally ride the awesome Mountain Full of Monsters thrill ride. Desmond finds just cleaning up his act won’t cut it because someone’s trying to frame him; can he find out who without losing his ticket to the amusement park? Tatulli’s entry into the comics/fiction–hybrid market is one of the best. Desmond’s discovery of the importance of being himself adds just the right amount of realism and depth to his tale…of course, “himself” is a prankster and troublemaker, so grown-ups might not appreciate this particular epiphany. Neither will they love the special-effects-prank instructions in the backmatter. The target audience will snap this up and beg for more.
Colored illustrations and comics plus the whacked, gross humor and glow-in-the-dark cover make this a must. Sequel promised. (Graphic/fiction hybrid. 9-12)