Teen Librarian Toolbox
Inside Teen Librarian Toolbox

The Things I Never Learned in Library School Badge Collection (Christie)

Confused about badges? Badges can be a cool thing- I am actually looking at trying my hand at designing some for my teen summer reading program using open sourceware and seeing if they fly with my teens. In addition to turning in their reading log, I’m hoping to be able to set it up so that they can earn badges for attending certain types of programs, or volunteering to help out with youth programs- tailoring it to the Collaborative Summer Reading Program‘s Spark a Reaction theme, of course.  

If you need a starting place for more information on badges, check out the presentation from Brett Bixler at the NJEdge conference in 2012. 

IN fact, I think we need a Things I Never Learned in Library School collection of Badges. This humorous post looks at all the badges we should be earning, but aren’t. They would include:

 I. Leadership and Professionalism

  • Drama Control: be able to deal with workplace drama and gossip
  • Networking: learn who the inner circles are within work spaces and organizations, and learn the hierarchies and work them to your advantage
  • Politics: learn how to discuss things in political two-speak to further your goals
  • Defusion: how to untangle angry patrons and calm situations before things get escalated
  • What Not To Wear: learning to read the dress code for work spaces, conferences and meetings through email, and having the appropriate clothes already in your closet
  • S.O.S.: squirreling away in your office/desk a small kit of emergency aids for surprise meetings with City Managers, Mayors, and other top level offices (may include deodorant, body spray, accessories, and other products)
  • Sanity Basics: knowing how much you can do without losing what sanity you had to begin with

 

II. Knowledge of Client Group
(Ninja Skills) 

  • Culture: knowing what is hot and what is old within the culture of your community and in the teen sphere at large (can be two entirely different things)
  • Clairvoyance: being able to predict what teens will be into 3-6 months in the future so you can plan programs accordingly
  • Adjust: be able to adjust your knowledge base and language abilities to your clientele on a moment’s notice
  • Invisibility: having gained the unique power to render everyone else on staff invisible to your teen so that you are the ONLY person that can serve their need, no matter how small it may be

 

III. Communication, Marketing and Outreach

  • Sarcasm: ability to converse to teens in native language
  • Profanity in Other Languages: the ability to detect and converse in profanity in other languages prevalent within the community at appropriate times, usually when teens think they are talking behind the teen librarian’s back
  • Captain Jack: Even if you don’t know what you are doing, do it with style and panache and complete confidence
  • Ranting: the art to expound on important subjects at length
  • DaVinci: the ability to create your own program fliers on the fly 
  • Early Adapter: being on all the important and new social media before ANYONE else and abandoning the old ones when they just start to be stale
  • GIBBS: the ability to GIBBS-smack a teen when they are misbehaving like you are their parent
  • Internal GPS: the ability to find your way back to your home library no matter what school or other outreach opportunity you have been booked at

 

(AKA, the devil is in the details)
  • Scheduling 101: using calendars and other tools to make sure that you don’t lose your Sanity Basics badge, as well as overbook yourself with programs and projects
  • Budgeting: knowing how to stretch your meager programming and materials budgets farther than anyone could think possible
  • Beggar: the ability to make you and your programs seem the neediest in the area in order to gain donations from local vendors repeatedly
  • Translation: the ability to take political double speak and translate it into what it really means for you and your programs and teens
  • Creativity: the ability to create amazing and interesting programs to teens out of three pipe cleaners and some leftover pom poms from the youth summer reading program
  • Photography: remembering to take pictures of all the programs that you have to to promote what you’re doing to your boss, your administration, your community, and to have visual record of programs that you have done for your portfolio
  • Pied Piper: the uncanny ability to draw tweens and teens to you in order to build a base for programming. Born in some, learned in others.
  • Juggling: being able to juggle desk time, planning time, implementation time, development time, meetings, and all other tasks in the amount of time you are actually paid for
  • Jackpot!: the ability to be paid for your conference registration and attendance, and possibly even room and board
  • Silver Tongue Devil: ability to have to never pay for anything you need for a program in a fiscal year, including bring things like tabletop or console games from home
  • Imminent Domain: having an actual office of your own, or having a department to call your own
  • WTFery: the ability to drop everything at a moment’s notice to jump through the latest hoops that they needed by yesterday

 

V. Knowledge of Materials
  • Bodily Fluid Management: knowing how to identify and dispose of various bodily fluids on library furniture and floors that the general public wouldn’t normally associate within a public space (includes blood, vomit, feces, and sperm)
  • Osmosis: the ability absorb the knowledge of books through fingers, sleeping, and other means in order to keep up with all the new materials, series, anime, and magazines that teens read and want to discuss with you
  • Technology: the ability to instantly understand and work new technology that becomes available, including gadgets and social media
  • Conversion: the ability to share your love of a book/movie/genre to others
  • Upcycling: the ability to take ANY scrap leftover and turn it into a program in order to stretch your programming budget


VI. Access to Information
  • Ear to the Ground: knowing not only who is going out with who, but who likes who, who’s breaking up with who, and who’s causing trouble
  • Hrothbert of Brainbridge: encyclopedic knowledge of anything any teen would need to know at any time in order to impress them, no matter how insignificant.
  • Nudge Nudge Wink Wink You Know What I Mean?: the remarkable ability to fake knowledge of what a teen is talking about through an entire conversation, then look it up so that the next time they come in you can converse about it intelligently
  • Truthsayer: the ability to hear rumors and find out what is true and what is not, including teens and the workplace
  • Counseling: the knowledge of how to deal with teens who have broken up with a significant other. Usually involves large amounts of Kleenex, hand holding, and listening.
  • Can’t Stop the Signal Mal: Continue to advocate for what you and your teens need, even in the face of constant adversity

VII. Services
  •  
  • Tech Reset: the ability to reset the latest gadget that has been locked due to someone taking it and trying to “hack” it by entering the wrong password
  • Dear Librarian: the ability to listen to teens talk about everything that is good and bad in their life, and give advice without being like another weird “adult” in their life
  • Open Mindedness: being open to try whatever teens would like to do in a library setting within reason
  • Enthusiasm: bringing with you joy and enthusiasm to programs and ideas, and letting teens know that you are happy to be there with THEM
  • Feed Me, Seymour!: be it ever so humble, all programs are the BOMB with food
  • Babel Fish: the ability to understand instructions, from games to furniture, and be able to follow them within short amount of times
  • Don’t Panic: remembering that no matter what, everything will be OK as long as you know where your towel is

Reaper Review: Gina Damico’s Scorch and Croak

Lex Bartleby would be the first to admit that she has some ‘behavioral issues.’ When her violent tendencies and lack of impulse control finally push her parents over the edge, they ship this 16 year old miscreant off to spend the summer in the tiny town of Croak with her Uncle Mort. Despite the abundance of clues in nomenclature alone, Lex is surprised to learn that her uncle is not the mild-mannered farmer she has always thought, but a Grim Reaper. And so is Lex. It turns out that Grim Reaper is a job category restricted to individuals who are “one of a very select group of people who are endowed with the power to transport souls from this life to the next.” Lex’s Uncle Mort suspects that she has the same power as him. Individuals begin to show a certain ‘aptitude’ for the job in adolescence. The same aptitude that has been getting Lex into trouble at school – her uncontrollable and seemingly unfounded bouts of anger. 

While Lex is with her Uncle for the summer, she becomes an apprentice Reaper, training to become the real thing, complete with partner. You see, it actually takes two to harvest the soul of a dying individual. Lex’s partner is a real winner, the moody, taciturn, drumstick-weilding Driggs. Their rocky relationship continues to provide a major source of  humor in the novel, even as it turns from antagonistic to romantic.

It turns out that Lex has more than just an aptitude for being a Grim Reaper. She has an ability that hasn’t been seen in years. Unfortunately, this ability is matched by a growing desire to seek vengeance for the souls of the murder victims she is obliged to reap. And when some of these murderers begin to die, suspicion falls on Lex.

For a novel that relies heavily on snark and cliche, it is a surprisingly refreshing tale of adolescent angst and the search for self and place in the world. Complete with bad guys, mystery, intrigue, and cool weapons and supernatural powers.

Scorch picks up where Croak left off, and it’s a good thing, too, since Lex royally screws the pooch at the end of Croak. (I don’t want to give it away, but suffice it to say that instead of defeating the villain, she manages to donate her extra special powers to the villain’s cause. Whoops.) What follows is an epic road trip for Lex and her fellow apprentices as they try to catch the bad guy and prove to the other denizens of Croak that they aren’t, in fact, the evildoers themselves.

The third book in the series, Rogue, came out in September and will be top on my TBR pile once I have enough loose change to darken the doorway of my local bookselling establishment.

I highly recommend this series for ages 12 and up, especially where good storytelling with a heavy dose of snark is appreciated. Try it with some of your ‘I’m too cool to read’ patrons. They just might find, like Lex, that things are not always what they seem.

Book Review: A Really Awesome Mess by Trish Cook and Brendan Halpin

Just when you thought Egmont Week was over….. one more review from their fall catalog!

The writing pair behind Notes from the Blender, a great bit of realistic fiction about the complications and joys of becoming, through no effort of your own, part of a blended family during high school, is back for another novel with a shared narration.  Emmy and Justin alternate chapters, detailing the daily grind of life at Heartland Academy, a school and treatment facility for teens who are… well, a really awesome mess.

I really enjoyed Notes from the Blender and the interplay between Cook and Halpin’s voices and perspectives.  The same technique is used here, and though the book is definitely enjoyable, I didn’t feel the same “zing” as in their previous collaboration, perhaps because there’s less humor in the subject matter, and perhaps because both characters need to focus inward so much more because of their situations.

Emmy, adopted as a baby from China by a Caucasian American family (who had a biological child just a few months after the adoption was final) struggles with an eating disorder and her feelings of abandonment and otherness, in addition to her anger over an incident of cyberbullying and sexual harassment at her previous school.  Justin claims he wasn’t really trying to kill himself when he took a bunch of Tylenol, but in combination with some inappropriate sexual behavior, the cry for help was heard loud and clear and he lands in Heartland too.

As Emmy and Justin learn the ins and outs of institutional life and get to know their roommates and groupmates, they begin to let down their guard enough to accept help and friendship when it is offered them.  Each finally admits that they have some issues that they need to work on, and begins to see their life before Heartland in a different way.

The cast of supporting characters is certainly interesting, and as you might expect from a book whose peer group of focus is a therapy group, each has a backstory and complexity that is slowly revealed.  There’s a sideplot regarding a pig, which seemed a little contrived and stretched the walls of believability, but certainly broke this book away from the realm of predictable and lightened the mood significantly, buoying it on toward the happy conclusion.

The promise of hope and healing is strong here.  Put this on your list of books for teens with “issues”, recommend it to those who might like other books about teens struggling with mental health issues but might want something a little lighter.  This book is more about the process of understanding that a problem exists than delving deeply into the complexity of one specific disorder as is done in Wintergirls or Cut.  Keep in mind that though there’s lots of talk of sex, there isn’t actually much physical contact at all between the main characters, whose relationship builds slowly after many fits and starts, and progresses in a really mature way with self-awareness and good sense.

Booklist (July 1, 2013) says, “The bawdy, witty, and sarcastic style balances out the intense therapy discourse and the pensive self-reflection found elsewhere in this irreverent take on mental health, recovery, and wellness.” – Jones, Courtney.

A Really Awesome Mess by Tish Cook and Brendan Halpin.  Published July 23 by Egmont USA.  ISBN: 9781606843642.

More on Body Image and Eating Disorders in YA Lit at TLT
Body Image and Eating Disorders
Top 10 teen titles dealing with body image and eating disorders
The Girl in the Fiberglass Corset; a story about scoliosis and eating disorders
Sex Sells, but what are we selling?
Let’s Hear it for the Boys 
Pop Culture and Body Image Issues for Gay Teens, a guest post 
National Eating Disorders Awareness Week: True confessions from a recovering anorexic

Teen Obesity and Body Image:
Every Day by David Levithan, a book review
Butter by Erin Jade Lange, a book review
The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson, a book review
Skinny by Donna Conner, a review
A Second Opinion: Every Day by David Levithan
10 Titles that deal with Obesity and Body Image (with links to some good articles)
Today is Love Your Body Day
The Effects of Pop Culture on the Body Image of GLBT Teens
Body Image and Weight Loss 
Sex Sells, but what are we selling? Pop culture and body image issues in tweens and teens 
Take a Second Look: Books that encourage teens to look beyond body image 
Abercrombie and Fitch, Brave and Body Image: Part 1 and Part 2   

These are a few of my favorite reads: the 2012 Karen edition

Raindrops on roses and zombies eating kittens,
Bright copper boys and warm fuzzy kisses,
Page after page, turning with need
These are a few of my favorite reads . . .



MG Reads, approved by my tween
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead
Wonder by R J Palacio
The Cavendish Home for Boys &Girls by Claire Legrand
Whatever After: Fairest of All by Sarah Mlynowski
(the complete top 10 post is here)

Heartwarming Reads
Guitar Notes by Mary Amato
The Sweetest Thing by Christina Mandelski
Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
Wonder by R J Palacio

The Books That Make You Go Hmmm (aka Thoughtful Reads)
Ask the Passengers by A. S. King
Perfect Escape by Jennifer Brown
The Downside of Being Charlie by Jenny Torres Sanchez
The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna
Speechless by Hannah Harrington

Mindbending Reads (aka What the Heck is Happening Here?)
The Wonder Show by Hannah Barnaby
Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross
Every Day by David Levithan
BZRK by Michael Grant
Through to You by Emily Hainsworth

Sci Fi Awesomeness
The Future We Left Behind by Mike A. Lancaster
BZRK by Michael Grant
Crewel by Gennifer Albin
Insignia by S J Kincaid
Across the Universe/A Million Suns by Beth Revis

Dystopian Worlds I Wouldn’t Want to Live In, But Love to Read About
Delirium/Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
Starters by Lissa Price
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin
Unwind/Unwholly by Neal Shusterman

Grrr, Arrr . . . Brains . . . Nom, Nom (Zombie Reads)
Rot & Ruin series by Jonathan Maberry
This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers
Ashes/Shadows by Ilsa J. Bick
Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter

Reality Bites, But These Books Rock
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Pretty Amy by Lisa Burstein
Speechless by Hannah Harrington
Skinny by Donna Cooner

Literary Masterpieces
Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson
Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama

Riddle Me This, Batman (Mysteries)
I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga
The Butterfly Clues by Kate Ellison
Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock

Fantastic Fantasies
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

These Girls Kick Ass
Ashes/Shadows by Ilsa J. Bick
Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
Stormdancer (The Lots War Book One) by Jay Kristoff

These Guys Do Too
Hold Me Closer, Necromancer/Necromancing the Stone by Lish McBride
Quarantine, book 1: The Loners by Lex Thomas
Tap Out by Eric Devine
Dodger by Terry Pratchett

Books That Can Make Even Me Like History
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
The Diviners by Libba Bray

Pop Spewing Reads (aka Dude, I think I just peed myself aka Book That are Side Splitting Funny)
Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan
A Bad Day for Voodoo by Jeff Strand
The Necromancer series by Lish McBride
Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

Best Road Trips of the Year
In Honor by Jessi Kirby
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

Just Pure Aweseomeness (My top 5 of the Year – today)
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
The Diviners by Libba Bray
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Ask the Passengers by A. S. King
Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Book Review: Necromancing the Stone by Lish McBride

The Brief Review:

I love this book hardcore and if you don’t read it minions will die and dragons will torch the Earth.  It will be all your fault.  Plus, you will be missing one of the most laugh out loud reading experiences you will ever have.  People will sit around at dinner parties talking about it, rolling in laughter, and you will feel left out and wonder what you are missing.  And what you are missing is awesomesauce!

The Real Review:

Necromancing the Stone is the sequel to Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride, a title that appears on my Top 10 Reads for Buffy Fans.  That is your first clue that this is a good series.  The question you are asking yourself is this: Why? Here are 5 reasons.

Synopsis: With the defeat of the evil Douglas behind him, Sam LaCroix is getting used to his new life. Okay, so he hadn’t exactly planned on being a powerful necromancer with a seat on the local magical council and a capricious werewolf sort-of-girlfriend, but things are going fine, right?

Well . . . not really. He’s pretty tired of getting beat up by everyone and their mother, for one thing, and he can’t help but feel that his new house hates him. His best friend is a werebear, someone is threatening his sister, and while Sam realizes that he himself has a lot of power at his fingertips, he’s not exactly sure how to use it. Which, he has to admit, is a bit disconcerting.

But when everything starts falling apart, he decides it’s time to step up and take control. His attempts to do so just bring up more questions, though, the most important of which is more than a little alarming: Is Douglas really dead? (from the Goodreads page)


The Snark is Strong with This One

Sam is a likable guy as a main character.  An “average Joe” really who doesn’t really know what to do with his skateboarding, fast food life until FATE takes over and we learn that Sam was never really average because he is a necromancer.  I will save you the trip to dictionary.com and tell you that a necromancer is someone who can raise and control the dead.  And Sam does all of this while punning away and providing snarktacular quips as asides.

 
“I know you’re frustrated, Sam, but the reality is you’re in a world now where the majority of the people you run into will be able to snap you like a twig.”

“My world was like that before.”
Lish McBride, Necromancing the Stone

 
“Slow down and explain to us plebeians. If you have to, use sock puppets.”
Lish McBride, Necromancing the Stone

Don’t Let the Snark Fool You, There is Depth

Many people get up in arms when magic and witchcraft and zombies appear in a book, and they definitely have a right to their personal opinions.  But here is the deal: Sam is an incredibly moral young man thrown into a bizarre world with incredible power that could absolutely corrupt him and he struggles immensely with making sure he uses that power responsibly.  He lives in a world where people murder people – even animals – without a second thought and yet Sam has second, third and fourth thoughts and makes some profoundly difficult and moral decisions.  And he is a vegetarian; again another personal lifestyle choice, but another example of how he regards the sanctity of life and his moral character.  A lot of paranormal fiction I read (and I read a lot) has some shady ethics and puts some admittedly despicable characters on a pedestal.  Seriously, sometimes the heroine in paranormal falls in love with a guy that you wouldn’t want your worst enemy dating in real life.  For example, although I love many things about Masque of the Red Death and feel it is an excellent book, one of the 2 male sides of the love triangle just squicks me out – he would not be a real life option for anyone other than those type of girls that write letters to serial killers in prison.  But I digress, my point is this:  Sam is likable, relateable, commendable, funny and thoughtful.  I don’t mean thoughtful like he’ll bring you flowers and open doors on a date, but thoughtful in that he thinks about this world he has been thrust into and what it all means and who he wants to be as a part of it.  He uses both his heart and his noggin to navigate the landscape.  Bottom line: Readers will like Sam and root for him.

 
“Life is a series of calculated risks, James. I happen to think that this one is worth it.”
Lish McBride, Necromancing the Stone
 
“Sometimes life offers you up that kind of dichotomy, that soul-shearing rift of two very different things happening at once.”
Lish McBride, Necromancing the Stone
 
“Fear, left unchecked, can spread like a virus.”
Lish McBride, Necromancing the Stone

The Joss Whedon Family Effect

I believe the underlying meme of the Whedonverse is that we are broken people and we build our own families.  And is this not the quest of the teenage years to find your pack (or hive or group or whatever)?  And the reality is, friends and family sometimes fail us – we can forgive or wake up one day as old cranky people yelling at the neighbors to stay off of our lawn.  Sam’s story is one about finding family, choosing to love and forgive, and accepting the weirdness that comes when your best friend can turn into a grizzly bear.  What?  Oh, did I not mention there were a lot of cool fantasy elements and characters?  My bad.  There are.  It is fun.  There are dragons.  I want a dragon.

“And maybe I was a fool, but I wanted to believe – I needed to believe – that James had started to see us all as friend. As family.”
– Lish McBride, Necromancing the Stone

Bonus Points for Strong Women

I am a huge fan of Brooke.  And Brid.  This is our Brid: “I’m sorry, did you just try to order me around?” (p. 297).  Sam and Brid have some serious bumps in their relationships here; although to be fair, they did meet while being held hostage in a cage together in book one.  Plus, Brid is surrounded by a pack of alpha males that she is supposed to lead, which is no doubt challenging.  And she doesn’t really have an easy time of it here in book 2.  McBride puts her characters through some unkind challenges, because even in the midst of paranormal worlds, real life still happens.  That’s the beauty of it – the characters and heartbreak are relatable even if you won’t find yourself surrounded by magical creatures and such.  But I am holding out hope for Sam and Brid.

Name That Tune

As with Hold Me Closer, Necromancer, every chapter title is a song lyric.  I wondered if McBride would go with movie titles given the nod to Romancing the Stone as the title, but it’s song lyrics.  Right there you have a fun built in contest or way to use your social media page with teens – have them find out what song the lyrics are from.  You will want to as you read.  (Okay so I just went and looked it up, there is a song called Romancing the Stone by Eddy Grant.  The universe is once again in synergy.)

Sample chapter titles:
Hello darkness, my old friend
Our house, was our castle and our keep
Hello, is it me you’re looking for?
Summertime, and the living is easy

I obviously like and recommend this series.  It gets bonus points because I think teen guys will read and love it and Sam.  I am always looking for good guy reads, it is my quest.  Pair this series with A Bad Day for Voodoo by Jeff Strand and Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan.  Necromancing the Stone by Lish McBride is nominated for the 2012 Cybils in the Teen Science Fiction/Fantasy category.  It was published in 2012 by Henry Holt. ISBN: 978-0-805-09099-4. 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Top 10 Reads for Buffy fans
Book Review: A Bad Day for Voodoo by Jeff Strand
Book Review: Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

Book Review: A Bad Day for Voodoo by Jeff Strand

“When your best friend is just a tiny bit psychotic, you should NEVER actually believe him when he says, ‘Trust me, this is gonna be awesome.'” – Back cover blurb

A Bad Day for Voodoo is a gloriously absurd book full of laugh out loud moments that are split your sides funny.  I read it in one night and I kept reading parts of it out loud to The Mr. because something this funny simply must be shared.  I am going to date myself here, but this is Adventures in Babysitting meets The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, but with voodoo dolls, zombies and the Chosen One who will protect us all from Hobgoblins. Wait, what?

It all begins when Mr. Click gives Tyler an F on a test.  Adam comes up with the ultimate plan for revenge: a voodoo doll.  Tyler is sure that voodoo dolls don’t really work, so no one is more surprised then him when he sticks a pin in the doll’s leg and Mr. Click’s leg goes flying off right in the front of class.  Adam, afraid that Tyler will go to the police (because the police will totally believe in the whole voodoo doll thing), then gets a voodoo doll made of Tyler – because nothing says BFFs like a little voodoo doll threatening:

“So you sat there, digging through the bathroom garbage in search of my toenails, and still thought this whole thing was a good idea.?”
Adam shrugged.
“Our friendship is over.”
“I figured.” – Jeff Strand, Bad Day for Voodoo pages 48 and 49

The only reasonable thing to do is to take the doll back to the voodoo maker and ask them to unvoodoo it.  If only it were that easy.  On their way Adam, Tyler and Kelley (Kelley is Tyler’s girlfriend, brought into the whole situation because they need at least one person with a brain involved), are car jacked, they catch a cab to try and pursue the carjackers and well, things just get crazier and crazier as the night goes on.  As I mentioned, there are zombies.  Well, a zombie.

A Bad Day for Voodoo takes place over the course of a night.  It is jam packed with (mis)adventure, hilarity and enough snark to make even the Grinchiest of hearts crack a smile.  It is definitely a tour de force, at one point the publisher breaks in and announces that a chapter has been lost.  At other times Tyler breaks character and tells us that he is not an unreliable narrator because it really did happen this way.  This book isn’t full of substance and themes, it is simply a joyful, wild ride through an absurd adventure that leaves you an imminently satisfied reader.  Unless you have a Grinch sized heard, but remember – this book would even make him crack a smile.

Super highly recommended.  My warning to you, don’t drink Coke when you read it.  There will be spewing.  At least don’t read it while holding your cell or sitting my your laptop.  Technology doesn’t take well to spewage.  One final note: this is a fun read for guys and reluctant readers.

A Bad Day for Voodoo by Jeff Strand.  Published by Sourcebooks Fire. ISBN 978-104022-6680-5.

Some other funny reads with a unique voice:
Unspoken by Sara Rees Brennan
You Killed Wesley Payne by Sean Beaudoin
Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride

From the FAQ:
Q: Is any material in this book inappropriate to teenagers or those who wish to become teenagers someday?

A: Oh yeah. All of it.  Teenagers, don’t let any responsible adults catch you reading this, because they will absolutely freak. They’ll flap their arms around and shout, “This is going to destroy society! ids copy everything they read in books! All is lost, all is lost!”

(Note to librarians: I’m only kidding. It’s not that bad.  I mean it’s gorier than Winnie the Pooh, and the word ‘crap’ is used fifteen times, but none of the major curse words are represented, and nobody gets nekkid.)

(Note to teenagers: Or DO they . .  . ?)