Bucking the Sarge (Readers Circle (Prebound))

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9780756966164: Bucking the Sarge (Readers Circle (Prebound))
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Luther T. Farrell has got to get out of Flint, Michigan.
As his best friend Sparky says, Flint's nothing but the Titanic.
And his mother, a.k.a. the Sarge, says, Take my advice and stay off the sucker path.
The Sarge milked the system to build an empire of slum housing and group homes. Luther's just one of the many people trapped in the Sarge's Evil Empire--but he's about to bust out.
If Luther wins the science fair this year, he'll be on track for college and a future as America's best-known and best-loved philosopher. All he's got to do is beat his arch rival Shayla Patrick, the beautiful daughter of Flint's finest undertaker--and the love of Luther's life.
Sparky's escape plans involve a pit bull named Poofy and the world's scariest rat. Oh, and Luther. Add to the mix Chester X., Luther's mysterious roommate; Dontay Gaddy, a lawyer whose phone number is 1-800-SUE'M ALL; and Darnell Dixon, the Sarge's go-to guy who knows how to break all the rules.
Bucking the Sarge is a story that only Christopher Paul Curtis could tell. Once again the Newbery Award-winning author of Bud, Not Buddy and The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963 gives us a whole new angle on life and a world full of unforgettable and hilarious characters. Readers will root for Luther and Sparky every step of the way.
Praise for The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963:
An exceptional first novel.--Publishers Weekly, Starred
Ribald humor . . . and a totally believable child's view of the world will make this book an instant hit.--School Library
Journal, Starred
Praise for Bud, Not Buddy:
Curtis has given a fresh, new look to a traditional orphan-finds-a-homestory that would be a crackerjack read-aloud.
--School Library Journal, Starred From the Hardcover edition.

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Review:

Fifteen-year-old wannabe philosopher Luther T. Farrell knows a few things about life. He knows the Sarge (his rich, shrewd, slumlord mom) is tougher than nails and that he better not cross her. He knows his chances of using Chauncey, the ancient condom in his wallet, are slim to none. And, he knows that despite his goal to attend Harvard, he may end up stuck in Flint, Michigan, cleaning toilets in his mom's loathsome empire. Luther spends much of his time helping the Sarge run "Happy Neighbor Group Homes" around the city, including shaving and bathing elderly men and driving residents around with an illegal license. In spare moments he tries to win first place in the science fair at school and hang out with his best friend Sparky, all the while fantasizing mightily about his one true love, the beautiful Shayla.

Readers will be moved as Luther, a thoroughly decent if sometimes naive boy, rails against his mother's cold, ruthless notions of what it takes to get ahead in the world. Up-to-the-minute slang and pop culture references will resonate with teen readers, as will the funny, first-person narrative; crisp, often hilarious dialogue; and wonderfully vivid characters. Christopher Paul Curtis, winner of the Newbery Medal for Bud Not Buddy tells a warm, witty, heart wrenching story where the good guy gets his due. (Ages 12 and older) --Karin Snelson

About the Author:

Christopher Paul Curtis is the author of The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963, one of the most highly acclaimed first novels for young readers in recent years. It was singled out for many awards, among them a Newbery Honor and a Coretta Scott King Honor, and has been a bestseller in hardcover and paperback. Christopher grew up in Flint, Michigan. After high school he began working on the assembly line at the Fisher Body Flint Plant No. 1 while attending the Flint branch of the University of Michigan. He is now a full-time writer. He lives with his family in Detroit.

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