Bender, cupcakes, cross dressing, boats, and more from Eric Luper
Eric Luper's newest (it pubbed May 3) JEREMY BENDER VS. THE CUPCAKE CADETS (Balzer and Bray 2011) is a perfect middle grade novel especially for boys who might be a little reluctant and for all readers looking for a FUNNY book. Jeremy Bender somehow manages (with the help of his best friend Slater, to avoid eating a grass sandwich at the hands of the school bully Paul). While the two friends are chilling in their hangout (basically a storage shed filled with Dad's boat and tons of boxes of stuff the family cannot part with), Jeremy begins fiddling with the motor of his father's beloved Chris Craft. Of course, tragedy ensues. But that tragedy leads to more than anyone might expect as Jeremy and Slater go undercover as Cupcake Cadets to raise the funds to repair Dad's boat.
What could devolve into a farce rather easily instead has great heart and soul mostly due to the carefully controlled humor and the well-crafted characters which veer just this side of stereotypes (well, a couple do cross the line form time to time for effect). Readers who loved all of the Gordon Korman books set at MacDonald Hall will enjoy the antics of Jeremy and Slater and their family and friends and the Cupcake Cadets, too. <216>