Fovea Munson’s mortification isn’t unfounded: Her parents are surgeons…who operate on dead people (“Sorry. Cadavers”).
Fovea, whose name means “eyeballs” in “medical lingo,” would rather spend the summer at “a chewed-gum landfill” or in “a yurt in Siberia” than set foot in the lab. However, the 12-year-old’s eternally cheerful, medical-wordplay–loving parents have other ideas: Fovea can replace their former receptionist for the summer. All Fovea has to do is clean up after lunch, keep out wily medical-device salespeople, and take delivery of body parts (bull urethras, anyone?). As long as she stays out of the lab, she’ll be fine. Right? Alone one afternoon, Fovea hears voices coming from the lab. When she investigates, she gets the shock of her very short life: heads talking to one another. As in medical specimens without bodies, defrosting on a table, and they need a favor. Shenanigans ensue as Fovea dodges a blackmailing cremator, searches for a missing biohazard, attempts to win back her former best friend, and hides her escapades from her parents and her Henry VIII–admiring Filipina grandmother. Fovea’s wry first-person narration (“I miss the good old days where I fell off horses all summer”) anchors the hilariously unbelievable action. Mixed-race Fovea’s non-Filipino heritage is unspecified, implying a white default.
Sure to tickle the most fickle funny bone. (Fantasy. 8-13)