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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Crush, written by Gary Paulsen. Wendy Lamb Books, Random House. 2012. $14.99 ages 9 and up

"I wasn't about to promise anything. In fact, the more Goober spoke, the less I felt I could fix him up with anyone. I sent him away so I could think. A little Goober goes a long way, and I wasn't going to be able to sell him as a great date if I spend much more time with him."

Any middle grade readers who enjoyed Gary Paulsen's two previous books about Kevin are going to love this one. And if they read this, and haven't read the are set with two more titles, Liar, Liar and Flat Broke. They are quick to read and oh, so funny!

What a great voice and personality Gary Paulsen has created for our enjoyment. In his first attempt to attract Tina, Kevin tells one lie after another until he is virtually buried in them. He learns a few lessons along the way; not enough to keep him out of trouble. In the second he continues to deal with the repercussions of the lying; he has no allowance, no job and no money coming in from babysitting. He wants to take Tina to the dance. His schemes work about as well as most 'get rich quick' ideas. This time he needs her to know how much he really likes her.

In an attempt to find the best ways to woo her, he decides to make a scientific study of how love works. Adding to his general feeling of speechless wonder whenever he sees her. there is a new and hunky student at school who seems bent on making Tina his new conquest. Kevin is frantic to learn the tricks of the love trade and tell her how he really feels.

Is it romance she wants? To test that theory he does his best to set up a candlelight dinner for parents, then hides in a closet to watch their reaction. An accidental fire results and chaos reigns. Is it experience? He asks his aunt who has had numerous relationships; few that worked and gets no real advice from her. Is it having something in common? He attempts to set up his hockey playing brother and his teammates up with a group of female figure skaters. Then, sits back to see what happens. His observations are funny and lead to additional trouble for this heartsick young man. You cannot help but be amused. You will also be quite enamored of the outcome of his careful study...oh, Kevin!

There were times when I almost felt embarrassed for Kevin, but humor won out and I know that there will be many who will get a great kick out of his third foray at trying to impress his beautiful classmate and the love of his young life.

1 comment:

  1. This series is SOOOO popular with the boys in my school, and I thought it was hilarious. If you haven't read Mudshark, you should pick up that one, too. I don't know when I have laughed so much.