Denouncing the grownups that have messed up the world and launching his campaign for the presidency, twelve-year-old Judson Moon enjoys unexpected success and wonders if he could win the election.
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Dan Gutman has written over a hundred books for young readers, such as The Homework Machine, the My Weird School series, the baseball card adventure series, and many others. He lives in Haddonfield, New Jersey with his wife Nina and their two children.
A 12-year-old is a candidate for US President in this novel by Gutman (Gymnastics, p. 602, etc.), a story with all the trappings of satire, but none of its substance. Affable but unambitious Judson Moon is judged the perfect candidate by his quick-witted, shrewd pal, Lane Brainard. No obstacle is too difficult for Lane: Soon Judson has the ideal running mate, an elderly black woman (``We're a perfect team. I'm young and she's old, I'm white and she's black''); contributions from his peers around the country add up to $20 million to finance the campaign; Congress abolishes the age requirement for executive office. One further suspension of disbelief is required, for Judson wins the election and resigns on the same night. Readers may find Judson's sense of humor more precocious than funny, and may recognize in him a nightmarish blend of glibness, mediocrity, and a touch of apathy--in other words, a politician. But Judson's character remains unchanged by the election, and his condemnation of adults at the climax rings hollow, offering no clarion call to rally his generation. The easy ending serves to highlight the book's main flaw of trading silly jokes and lukewarm repartee for biting commentary and resonant moments. Rather than allowing Judson to emerge a leader, Gutman settles the American public with just one more class clown. (Fiction. 9-13) -- Copyright ©1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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