Harry N. Abrams, 2014. 978-1419704253
Synopsis: This is the true record of the first adventure of the Quikpick Adventure Society. Society might be stretching it, since there are only three of us, but adventure is definitely stretching it. All we wanted to do was investigate the poop fountain at the local sanitation plant based on this article I found for a school assignment. The other option was opening the mysterious barrel of Banana Puree behind the empty old Kroger store. And what we found, well, you’ll have to read the report to find out.
Why I picked it up: I love, love, love the Origami Yoda books and the title reminded me of Dickens’ The Pickwick Papers.
Why I finished it: This book has just the right balance of adventure, mystery, and the completely disgusting. Since Lyle and his friends Marilla and Dave don’t have anything to do on Christmas Day, they decide to sneak into the local sanitation plant to see the mythical poop fountain. Because they can’t just sit around at the local Quikpick all day while Lyle’s parents work. That would be way too boring. Plus, it’s Christmas, so the plant is closed anyway, and it’s not like there’s anyone around to bust them for sneaking onto private property. It makes me nostalgic for the days when my parents were too busy to wonder what I was up to…which was never, but readers can dream, can’t they? The report, as discovered by Angleberger, is a story about kids like us that are in search of a cure from the everyday. They want to be able to go out and do something fun in a town that’s, well, boring. Especially when you’ve pretty much done everything that is worth doing. I like Lyle as a narrator because we can relate to him: we remember how hard it is to make friends, we remember how it is to compete with someone over a crush, we remember wanting to discover something awesome about which we could never ever tell our parents. Complete with Polaroid pictures and unofficial personal notes from Lyle, the first volume of the Quikpick Papers is guaranteed to delight fans of Angleberger’s other works and bring other fans into the fold. Plus, it’s a quick read that inspires us to discover something unexpected about the places in which we live.
Other related materials: Origami Yoda books by Tom Angleberger; Star Wars: Jedi Academy books by Jeffrey Brown; How to Eat Fried Worms by Judy Blume; Freckle Juice by Judy Blume; Diary of a Sixth-Grade Ninja books by Marcus Emerson; The Ninja Librarians books by Jen Swann Downey; The Creature from My Closet books by Obert Skye; Diary of a Wimpy Kid books by Jeff Kinney; Guys Read books edited by Jon Scieszka; The Lemonade War series by Jacqueline Davies