Friday, August 14, 2009
I Even Enjoyed the Football Scenes
Well, it turns out that Do the Funky Pickle is the third School Daze book by Jerry Spinelli, because Who Ran My Underwear Up the Flagpole? is the second. This one might be my favorite; I laughed out loud several times. Eddie's wimpiness is still a bit too slapstick, but that is concentrated in the first chapters. His crush on Sunny is developed here, but the meat of the story is Eddie's attempt to grow up by joining the football team, and Salem's spontaneous job as student manager of his team.
This time the kids grew and changed without any obvious moral lessons -- the coaches never complained about Salem's management techniques, Sunny was not traumatized by her expulsions from the cheerleading team and school mascot position. I even got to see inside Pickle's thoughts for a few minutes, to see that he isn't as all confident and knowing as he sometimes appears. He's just a good decent kid who likes to build stuff. Good, simple reading that has my fifth grader's seal of approval. A.