Reviews for Hold the Pickles
Booklist Reviews 2012 March #1
Desperate to make some money so that he can do something about his scrawny physique, Dan Hogg, 15, agrees to work for his uncle handing out samples at the Food Fantasia Fun Fair, even though the job involves dressing up in foam as a high-fiber hot dog, "Frank Lee Better, the Healthy Hottie." Using garbage bags and toilet paper, Dan tries to disguise who he is from local bullies and gorgeous Brooke, but the bullies do come after him, someone takes his money (who is the thief?), and Frank ends up in his tight underwear in the bathroom: "a newborn earthworm would be more attractive." Filled with gross-out details of snot and slime, as well as simple wordplay, this short novel in the Orca Currents series for reluctant readers combines everyday scenarios with a clever mystery that ends with a surprising revelation about the identity of the pickpocket. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2012 Fall
Fifteen-year-old Dan takes a job that requires him to wear a humiliating hot dog costume, handing out samples at a food fair. The slapstick plot that unfolds features warring food mascots, a security officer looking for pickpockets, and two pretty girls who use Dan as a foil for their thievery. Light if predictable fare aimed at reluctant teen readers.
Library Media Connection Reviews 2012 August/September
Dan agrees to dress as a mascot promoting nutritious food sold at his uncle's hotdog counter. He wants to earn enough money to hire a personal trainer in order to develop a more attractive physique. While in costume, he meets a girl who borrows his "uniform," but then disaster strikes. Dan is chased by a security guard while wrapped in toilet paper that dissolves, leaving him running through the mall dressed only in his underwear. The plot is engaging and the action is fast-paced; students will identify with the characters and issues. Grant effectively uses a less complex sentence structure and vocabulary to explore a contemporary topic in an entertaining, yet thought-provoking style. The book's small size and limited number of pages will definitely appeal to reluctant readers. Cynthia D. Schulz, Ph.D., Teacher Librarian, Cedarcrest Middle School, Marysville, Washington [Editor's Note: Also available in hardcover.] RECOMMENDED Copyright 2012 Linworth Publishing, Inc.
School Library Journal Reviews 2012 May
Gr 5-10--In the first hi/lo book, Don Hogg's uncle offers $10 an hour to help hand out samples of his new fiber-rich hot dogs at a food fair, and the 15-year-old can't wait to sign up. His dream of popularity becomes endangered, however, when he realizes that he must wear an ugly hot-dog costume. When a beautiful girl named Brooke comes to him for help in getting away from a stalker, Don can't wait to jump in and save the day. Then a ring of pickpockets starts targeting people, and he can't help but wonder if Brooke's problem and the pickpockets are somehow connected. The characters are well developed, and the interesting plot has a lot of twists and turns that are easy to follow. This short, funny story will appeal to reluctant readers. The second book focuses on Max, who loves to play hockey, particularly with his dad. It was their passion, their bonding time, and their stress reliever. Now his dad is dead, and his distant mother won't even talk about his father. Every time he mentions playing with his team again, she makes some vague excuse about why it won't work. Forced to look after his special-needs brother after school, Max wonders if he'll ever be able to play hockey again. Although Max's character is a little one-dimensional, and the singular plot is a little drawn out in places, the boy's relationship with his family will hold readers' attention. This book would make a good purchase for large libraries or those that have heavily used reluctant-reader collections.--Kira Moody, Whitmore Public Library, Salt Lake City, UT [Page 104]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.