A computer game becomes a little too interactive for Jiggy McCue and buds in this all-out, innuendo-laden farce. Jiggy and neighbor Angie discover the down side of playing “Toilet of Life” on the Web when they wake the next morning with switched bodies. No need to imagine the possibilities for comedy, Lawrence (The Killer Underpants, p. 503, etc.) covers most of them, putting Jiggy-as-Angie through a range of indignities, including having to face spinach lasagna (Angie’s favorite), and the unwanted attentions of classmate Ralph “Eejit” Atkins. Angie-as-Jiggy gets not only a “free extra attachment” to cope with, but a new hormonal mix that amplifies the effects of her already-bad temper. With no opportunity for pranks or double entendres lost, this will have readers rolling on the floor from Jiggy’s opening discovery of a mountainous facial pimple (“ . . . the one bright spot of my day”) to the final twist, in which Angie and Jiggy recover their own corpora, only to discover that Angie’s stepbrother Pete has switched with aptly named Stallone the cat. Fans of Mary Rodgers’s Freaky Friday (1972) and Summer Switch (1982), as well as readers who find those classics a bit creaky in the joints, won’t be able to put this down. (Fiction. 12-15)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2002

ISBN: 0-525-46983-4

Page Count: 228

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2002

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From the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series , Vol. 1

Edgar Award–winning Riordan leaves the adult world of mystery to begin a fantasy series for younger readers. Twelve-year-old Percy (full name, Perseus) Jackson has attended six schools in six years. Officially diagnosed with ADHD, his lack of self-control gets him in trouble again and again. What if it isn’t his fault? What if all the outrageous incidents that get him kicked out of school are the result of his being a “half-blood,” the product of a relationship between a human and a Greek god? Could it be true that his math teacher Mrs. Dodds transformed into a shriveled hag with bat wings, a Fury, and was trying to kill him? Did he really vanquish her with a pen that turned into a sword? One need not be an expert in Greek mythology to enjoy Percy’s journey to retrieve Zeus’s master bolt from the Underworld, but those who are familiar with the deities and demi-gods will have many an ah-ha moment. Along the way, Percy and his cohort run into Medusa, Cerberus and Pan, among others. The sardonic tone of the narrator’s voice lends a refreshing air of realism to this riotously paced quest tale of heroism that questions the realities of our world, family, friendship and loyalty. (Fantasy. 12-15)

Pub Date: July 1, 2005

ISBN: 0-7868-5629-7

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2005

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In this riveting futuristic novel, Spaz, a teenage boy with epilepsy, makes a dangerous journey in the company of an old man and a young boy. The old man, Ryter, one of the few people remaining who can read and write, has dedicated his life to recording stories. Ryter feels a kinship with Spaz, who unlike his contemporaries has a strong memory; because of his epilepsy, Spaz cannot use the mind probes that deliver entertainment straight to the brain and rot it in the process. Nearly everyone around him uses probes to escape their life of ruin and poverty, the result of an earthquake that devastated the world decades earlier. Only the “proovs,” genetically improved people, have grass, trees, and blue skies in their aptly named Eden, inaccessible to the “normals” in the Urb. When Spaz sets out to reach his dying younger sister, he and his companions must cross three treacherous zones ruled by powerful bosses. Moving from one peril to the next, they survive only with help from a proov woman. Enriched by Ryter’s allusions to nearly lost literature and full of intriguing, invented slang, the skillful writing paints two pictures of what the world could look like in the future—the burned-out Urb and the pristine Eden—then shows the limits and strengths of each. Philbrick, author of Freak the Mighty (1993) has again created a compelling set of characters that engage the reader with their courage and kindness in a painful world that offers hope, if no happy endings. (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-439-08758-9

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Blue Sky/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2000

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