America's Wackiest Home Videos
If thirteen-year-old Buddy Love's life were a television show, ratings would be in the pits! Not that Buddy's life is so terrible; it's just terribly average. He has an average family, gets average grades, and is the type of guy who is, basically, average. Besides watching television--especially talk shows and sitcoms--and girl-watching, nothing has ever really grabbed him.
But one day, Buddy's father wins a camcorder in a raffle. And when Buddy decides to tape his family and friends for a school project, he learns some very surprising--even shocking--things. His soap-opera-loving grandmother was a World War II spy? His quiet librarian mother was once a Playboy Bunny? Through the camera's lens, Buddy starts to see his family and friends a lot more clearly--and begins to suspect that he himself may not be quite so average after all.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
Ilene Cooper is the author of over twenty books for young readers. Her latest from Morrow is The Dead Sea Scrolls, which introduces this fascinating subject to middlegrade and junior high readers. In 1947, a Bedouin teenager threw a rock into a cave near the Dead Sea. He was looking for treasure but instead found scrolls that came to be recognized as the greatest archaeological discovery of the twentieth century. These scrolls, and the other scrolls and scroll fragments that were found in the area later, are almost two thousand years old. They shed light on two of the world's greatest religions: Judaism, when it was changing, and Christianity, when it was being born.
Although she began her career with a biography of Susan B. Anthony, her return to nonfiction is a change of pace for Ms. Cooper. She is best known for her many fiction hooks, including the Kids from Kennedy middle school series (Morrow), which featured Choosing Sides, an IRA/CBC Children's Choice Book. In it, a sixth-grade boy is faced with a decision: Should he tough out the season with the school basketball team and become the star player his father hopes he'll be, or quit and follow his own interests? Other titles in the series include The Winning of Miss Lynn Ryan, Queen of the Sixth Grade, Mean Streah, and The New,Improved Gretchen Hubbard. Her other books include the Holiday Five series, about five girls who meet at camp and get together at holidays, and Buddy Love--Now on Video, about a boy whose life changes when he gets a video camera.
A Horn Book reviewer described Ms. Cooper as "an author who continues to prove herself particularly adept at writing popular, thoughtprovoking books about everyday school problems for middle-grade readers." And a reviewer from Kirkus Reviews wrote: "Cooper captures the dynamics of this vulnerable age-where peer pressure outweighs tender conscienceswith insight and precision."
Ilene Cooper has been a children's librarian and a consultant for ABC Afterschool Specials. She has also written for network television. Currently, Ms. Cooper is the children's book editor for Booklist magazine, the review journal for the American Library Association.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
There were not many things that Buddy Love did well. About this, his parents and teachers agreed.
His lack of achievement puzzled him too. When his mother and father questioned him about why his grades were so ... so average, he tried to explain. "Nothing has really grabbed me yet."
His father had informed him dryly, "Arranging produce in a grocery store every day doesn't exactly grab me either. It's my job. Yours is to get good grades. Otherwise, you're going to wind up slinging burgers or loading newspapers on a truck, and trust me, Buddy, that's not going to grab you either."
What Buddy didn't tell his father was that actually, there were two things that did interest him immensely--watching television and watching girls. But he didn't see fame and fortune coming from either of those two preoccupations.
Buddy had liked television before he had noticed girls. In fact, his first memories were of watching cartoons on television. He was ashamed to admit it now, but when he was little, he had actually thought that Daffy Duck and Popeye lived inside his television. He spent a lot of time thinking about what they did when he wasn't around.
Now, unlike some of the immature dorks at school, his television taste had traveled far beyond cartoons. Buddy watched everything now, although it was true he didn't watch anything for very long. If there was something that Buddy did do well, it was use the remote control. He was sure he could click faster than anyone else in Chicago.
Click. Click. Click.Usually, Buddy would race through the fifty-two channels on the cable system, then surf the channels once more, and finally linger over a show that caught his interest. Often, it was a talk show.
Talk shows were the stuff of life. Where else could you learn about family squabbles, the personal lives of celebrities, and, perhaps most important, what men thought about women and women thought about men? As an almost-man himself, Buddy had an insatiable curiosity about that topic.
Why just today, on an afternoon gabfest, three women--a leggy blonde, another blonde with too much hair, and a brunette with glasses--were discussing their boyfriends' bad habits and how they drove the women crazy.
Buddy leaned forward. This could be useful. He was sure he had many bad habits.
"Philip, Philip. Always with the television." His grandmother stood in front of the TV, her hands on her ample hips.
"Oh, Gram," Buddy groaned. "Could you move out of the way?"His grandmother scowled.
One of the many things that Buddy had learned from television was that grandmothers today didn't like to be thought of as old ladies. Some dressed in jogging suits, some actually jogged, others started their own businesses or dated men young enough to be their sons. just because women were over a certain age didn't mean they weren't still vibrant and in the Jell-O.
No one had told this to his grandmother, however. She stood blocking the television screen, wearing a shapeless dress similar to the many other faded housedresses hanging in the small closet in the bedroom she shared with his older sister, Sharon. Her socks, one heavy and black, the other a color that seemed to be brown, drooped into shoes so large and boxy that they looked as if they belonged to his dad. Unlike the older women on television, Buddy's grandmother did not wear makeup. Maybe that was a good choice for a face that had so many wrinkles where makeup could lodge. If he hadn't heard his gram yelling when Sharon started using lipstick and mascara, he would have guessed that she didn't even know what makeup was.
Whenever Buddy complained to his parents about his grandmother and her total weirdness, they explained that it was because she came from the Old Country. Since his gram had looked the same age for as long as he could remember, Buddy used to think she came from a country where everyone was old.
He knew now that country was the Soviet Union, at least what used to be the Soviet Union before it had broken up into little countries whose names you couldn't pronounce. They were studying it in Current Events. It hadn't grabbed him.
Behind his grandmother, the girls on Donahue were talking about how annoying it was when men left their clothes strewn about. His own mother was always yelling, "Buddy, pick up your stuff or it goes in the garbage can, and you along with it!"
It was interesting to know that women other than his mother found a mess annoying.
"Gram, could you move over, I'm trying to..."
"Go outside. Get fresh air."
Buddy lifted his nose and sniffed. "The air in here is okay." He suspected she was far less interested in his receiving the benefits of fresh air than she was concerned about her favorite character on General Hospital living through his surgery.
Buddy's grandmother liked two things on television-soap operas and wrestling. Often they watched wrestling together.
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Book Description HarperCollins. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0064407241 Unread, new book!. Bookseller Inventory # RJG-BOOKSW-1157471
Book Description HarperCollins, 1998. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0064407241
Book Description HarperCollins, 1998. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # SONG0064407241
Book Description Book Condition: Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 97800644072431.0