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DONUTHEART by Sue Stauffacher

DONUTHEART

By Sue Stauffacher

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: Oct. 10th, 2006
ISBN: 0-375-83275-0
Publisher: Knopf

If Franklin Delano Donuthead thought fifth grade was hard, he’s just about defeated by middle school. For one thing, he has to use a public bathroom, a situation that’s almost crippling to his shy bladder. With the help of his indomitable classmate, Sarah Kervick, and Gloria Nelots, his telephone contact at the National Safety Department, he struggles to navigate the complicated social and hormonal waters of Pelican View Middle School, it’s tough. Franklin’s fastidious voice is hilarious as he yearns for the nearly perfect Glynnis Powell, grapples with raising a flour baby (named “Keds”) for health class and continues his quest to avoid germs of all kinds. The laughs are balanced by genuine pathos, in the form of Sarah’s marginal life with her brutish father and of Donuthead’s own desire for the kind of affection and attention his mother gives to Sarah. When the chips are down, though, Donuthead—much to his own surprise—essays a rescue that tests all of his limits and assumptions. Funny and marvelously humane, it’s a worthy follow-up to his debut, Donuthead (2003). (Fiction. 8-12)