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STINK CITY by Richard W. Jennings


by Richard W. Jennings

Age Range: 10 - 14

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-618-55248-0
Publisher: Walter Lorraine/Houghton Mifflin

What do you get when the heir to the biggest—and smelliest—catfish-bait company in America decides that fish feel pain? A fish tale the likes of which only Jennings, the master of Middle-American whimsy, could tell. Narrator and ninth-grader Leigh Ann Moore will admit to few frailties, but one of them is her fondness for neighbor Cade Carlsen, great-grandson of the inventor of Stink City catfish bait. It’s a weakness that has her riding Cade’s special private bus, put into service so the other students don’t have to put up with his unbearable odor, and working to thwart his inheritance-threatening involvement with a fish-rights organization, the founder of which realizes she’s hooked the big one when Cade joins. Despite Leigh Ann’s protestations that the story isn’t about her, readers will become intimately acquainted with her own foibles, opinions and sense of smell, which makes its Proustian mark upon the narrative. A leisurely musing on matters olfactory and romantic, this offering features Jennings’s trademark wit and offbeat characterization, lyricism alternating with humor to make its own unique literary perfume. (Fiction. 10-14)