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WHEN CHARLIE MCBUTTON LOST POWER by Suzanne Collins

WHEN CHARLIE MCBUTTON LOST POWER

By Suzanne Collins (Author) , Mike Lester (Illustrator)

Age Range: 6 - 8

Pub Date: May 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-399-24000-4
Publisher: Putnam

A computer-game addict temporarily turns into a raving lunatic when a power failure shuts down his PC, and Lester is well up to the task of portraying his breakdown. He sends red-haired Charlie, pop-eyed features wildly distorted with panic, dashing after an old gameboy, then brutalizing his little sister Isabel Jane’s talking doll for a triple-A battery. When this behavior instantly relegates him to the Time-Out Chair, Charlie yells (captured in the art by a gross-looking spray of red and yellow) at Isabel Jane, which sends her away in tears—but then also causes him to reflect remorsefully on how much he actually enjoys her company. Once off the chair, he seeks her out for a game of hide-and-seek. Collins tells the tale in loosely written verse and leaves Charlie, as the house explodes with restored light, thinking that he might go play with his sibling some more before plugging in again. Unlikely to work as behavior modification, but young geeks may take a break from their screens to enjoy the over-the-top art. (Picture book. 6-8)