5 wonderful chocolate chips cookies dunked in milk.
Cover Love:Yes. It fits the books well!
Why I Wanted to Read This:I ADORED Jack's first book The Big Splash. It was an awesome slice of noir set in a middle school. Couldn't wait for this one! Here's the synopsis from GoodReads:
In this much-anticipated sequel, junior high detective Matt Stevens is back on the case, bringing us another hilarious middle school noir. When the star of the basketball team is blackmailed, it’s up to Matt, the lone voice for justice in a morass of middle school corruption, to figure out who’s behind the scheme. Is it eighth-grade crime lord Vinny “Mr. Biggs” Biggio, who has made his name peddling forged hall passes and leading a crew of social assassins who send enemies to the Outs with a humiliating squirt-gun blast below the belt? Or is it his lieutenant and Matt’s former best friend, Kevin? Or a pair of scheming twins who sell Pixy Stix to sugar-addicted classmates? One thing’s for sure: there won’t be a quick fix for the trouble at this middle school.
Romance?: A little bit.
My Thoughts:This book opens with a femme fatale. Right on the first page. One of the most beautiful girls in the school leaning against Matt's locker. Just as if she was walking into a private eye's office. Perfect start to this story!
There is also a "bar" where the middle school kids can go to drown their sorrows or celebrate their victories--they drink root beer and cream soda. When Matt describes the bar he lets us know there are "only two rules: no fighting and no fighting." Again, pitch perfect.
And then there is a set of creepy twins who peddle "designer Pixie Stix." The kind that cheerleaders use right before a game and many a middle schooler is addicted to the sugar high.
We've also got a picked on nerd who rises to the top of the MS heirarchy by controlling the candy flow, stolen tests answers and gambling and who has a ruthless way of getting rid of people who cross him--he sends them to the Outs. (This is described in the first book in detail)
I love that every kid has a backstory, some of them hard luck.
There is a squirt gun shoot out in the school hallway.
I adored Max's description of school, "It was the main source of thrills and dread in every student's life. We never wanted to be there, but we didn't want to not be there and miss something."
The awesomeness of this book and this author explodes out of every page. I just cannot recommend it enough. If you have never read The Big Splash, start there. You will not want the fun to end!
To Sum Up: I know that these books are not for everyone, but I think a teacher who can read aloud this book getting the humor and maybe using a few voices would attract any kid. I am buying this one for my library and will be booktalking both of them a lot this year!