Hicks must really dwell inside the skulls of pre-adolescent boys!
What else would explain how well she can describe and empathize with
them? In her newest release even the chapter titles are hilarious.
Boys, as well as parents who have raised boys, will find parts of
this book making them chuckle out loud.
The central character, 12-year-old
Stuart Ellis, is busted! Again! Grounded -- no computer games, no
television, no phone calls and no soccer. He just cannot seem to
keep on his mother's good side no matter what!
His best friend, Mack, a wiser
15-year-old, tries to convince him that if his single,
super-obsessive mother had a boyfriend, she would have less time to
over-supervise Stuart's activities. Against Stuart's better judgment
they set the plan in motion. However, Stuart decides his soccer
coach would be a better prospect than Mack's balding Uncle Joe.
The plan seems to work for a while.
Then things start to go wrong… very wrong. Stuart realizes that a
whole new set of problems begin with his soccer teammates thinking
Coach is giving him special privileges, and he has a fight with Mack
that leaves him without the support of his best friend. When his
mother mistakenly gets the idea that Stuart and Coach cooked up the
whole scheme to keep him on the soccer team, everything becomes a
[to top of second column in
"Busted!" deals with so many issues
that preteens and teens face in their daily lives: friendships that
are difficult to understand, jealousy, peer pressure, what they view
as parental over-supervision, emotions that are only beginning to
surface and a growing realization that the world does not center
As adults we know that most of these
issues will sort themselves out. We may call them "growing pains"
and tend to give them little or no weight. To this age group,
however, they are issues that define who they are and their place in
the world. These issues are the center of their lives and deserve to
be treated with dignity -- and perhaps a touch of humor.
Hicks does not allow the seriousness
of the issues to bog down her story. "Busted!" is a lighthearted,
fast read that leaves the reader feeling good and hopeful that life
has a strange way of working out.
For this book and others that would
be great to read on a cool spring night, come by the library at 725
Pekin St. and let us help you find one that is just right for you!
[Louella Moreland, youth