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BEL-AIR BAMBI AND THE MALL RATS by Richard Peck

BEL-AIR BAMBI AND THE MALL RATS

By Richard Peck

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-385-30823-X
Publisher: Delacorte

A merry spoof of everything from L.A. and TV pilots to beauty salons: Buffie explains how she and the rest of the Babcock family find themselves run out of Hollywood and on their way to the place that has inspired their father's increasingly alarming bouts of nostalgia--his hometown, where his fond memories and the bombed-out look of Hickory Fork don't mesh. Citizens are fearful of a teenage gang ("the Mall Rats") that's trashed the local shopping center, runs the school, and regularly shakes down other students. Buffie's older sister Bambi, not impressed, seeks to strip the M.R.'s of their status. The Babcocks put on a show worthy of Andy Hardy, get Hickory Fork back on the straight and narrow, then return to the top of the TV heap. Meeting characters with names like Tanya Hyde and Bob Wire, readers won't mistake Peck's pack for one where realism reigns. A honey of a funny ride through small-town America gone horribly awry, in a place where family values means Grandma totes a shotgun in the name of a good night's sleep. The sendup of Tinseltown is just as comic; the whole story's a tonic. (Fiction. 12+)