Saturday, June 07, 2008

48 Hour Book Challenge--Book Eight

Well, folks, I ran out of books of short stories and the one book of essays (my secondary theme for this weekend) I found looked way too long and dull for me to finish before my time is up. So I took a chance on The Quikpick Adventure Society by Sam Riddleburger, which I sprang for a few weeks ago since it wasn't turning up in any libraries around here.

It's too bad it isn't in the local libraries, because it's really good. And different. In a good way.

I had been anxious about reading it because its author stops by my blog occasionally, and I was worried I wasn't going to like his book. I'd heard that the word "poop" appears numerous times in this story of three kids who head out on a quest to visit a sewage treatment plant on Christmas Day. I have no objection to the concept of poop, but I find the word, itself, way too cute. As I've been pointing out to friends and family for years, I am not a woman who does cute.

Well, the word doesn't appear all that often when you consider what a large place sewage has in the story.

Don't think for a minute that this is a tale that panders to young peoples' taste for toilet humor. On the contrary, it's a charming and funny story about three kids who are old enough to be out from under their parents' watchful eyes but still young enough to get psyched over the prospect of free soda. The first person narrator has a wonderful voice. It's the voice of innocence, I decided. His little asides in his report on the Society's adventures are his way of making sure all the truth gets out, and truth sometimes is funny.

So are the poop haiku. None of those short stories I read this weekend made me laugh the way those things did.

There's a lot more going on in this book than just excrement jokes. Riddleburger hits on some of the same things other kids' authors have been covering--friendship, attraction to girls, fitting in--he just makes you feel as if you're not reading the same old, same old. The fact that he can write about WalMart without getting all high and mighty suggests that this man has a future in literature.

I can't wait to pass this book on to BDT for his classroom library.

Reading Time: 1 and 1/4 hours

Number of Pages: 127

Blogging Time: 25 minutes

It's 11 PM. My 48 hours will be over at 7 tomorrow morning. I think it's time for me to call this a weekend. I'll total up my reading and blogging times tomorrow.

1 comment:

Gail Gauthier said...

I think it's a little gem. But I have to admit that I have a relative who designs septic systems (residential and commercial, not municipal), and my tolerance for sewage talk may be far, far greater than some peoples'.