Sixth-grader Peter Lee, in a desperate attempt to regain the popularity he had in elementary school, discovers that serving detention can win him important friends, much to the dismay of his over-achieving eighth-grade sister, Sunny.
When Peter starts middle school, he and his best friend Drew discover they have become losers-turns out that collecting mica and talking in robot voices is "so fifth grade." The one bright spot for Peter is a class for gifted kids focused on creating inventions. But when he steals chemicals from science class to work on a prototype, he ends up with a month of detention-right alongside the school bullies, the Sweet brothers. Yoo's (Stop Me If You've Heard This One Before) plot meanders somewhat, but Peter and Drew's antics will keep readers laughing (during a talent show magic act, Peter tries escaping from a straitjacket, but ends up passed out "hanging upside down from the rafters"). After earning the Sweet brothers' respect, Peter begins to resurrect his reputation, but when his classmates suspect he's responsible for a rash of thefts at school, he and Drew make an elaborate plan to prove his innocence. Even readers who guess the thief's identity early on will be entertained by the boys' hijinks and empathize with their desire to fit in. Ages 10-up. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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Balzer + Bray
June 20, 2011
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