Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 07/01/2017 *Starred Review* Jack-of-all-genres Hautman turns to the mouthwatering, madcap world of competitive eating. Narrator David admires the greats: Joey Chestnut, who can down 70 dogs in 10 minutes; Takeru Kobayashi, a Guinness Record-holding lightweight; and his personal favorite, Jooky Garofalo—who legendarily lost a Nathan’s Famous championship by one single half dog. David can’t believe when Jooky’s unfinished dog appears on auction site BuyBuy.com. And he’s floored when his bid for the “piece of history” wins. Unfortunately, one mistyped decimal point means BuyBuy just charged $2,000—not $20—to his mother’s credit card. David may be able to inhale a single pizza in under five minutes, but to win the Super Pigorino Bowl’s $5,000 grand prize—and repay his mom—he’ll have to train like never before. More than a story of stomach-shattering determination, this is also an unflinching exploration of David’s bond with little brother Mal, who, though their mother forbids the label, has been diagnosed with autism. With crystalline prose, delectable detail, rip-roaring humor, and larger-than-life characters, Hautman gracefully examines what it means to be a friend, a family member, and, through it all, a kid trying to do the right thing. Readers will race to devour it, but like Papa Pigorino’s colossal BDT pizzas, this infectious tale is a thing to be savored. - Copyright 2017 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 07/01/2017 Gr 5–8—David meant to bid $20, not $2,000, on the half-eaten hot dog of his favorite competitive eater. But it happened, and he won, and he sort of used his mom's credit card to place the bid. To make up the money, David realizes it's time to turn his interest into cash and compete in a local pizza eating contest. He can eat an entire pizza in under five minutes, but he'll have to train to do better than that and win the competition. When he's not stretching his stomach by eating disgusting amounts of raw cabbage, David hangs out with his two best friends, Cyn and HeyMan. He also watches his little brother, who has autism, Mal, and rolls his eyes at his overachieving older sister and her annoying new boyfriend. David feels caught in the middle when it comes to his family and whatever is happening between Cyn and HeyMan. This novel is laugh-out-loud funny and genuinely sweet. Though the premise of scarfing down pizzas seems silly, this is ultimately a meaningful book with insight into having a sibling with special needs and the general ups and downs that come with being a teenager. VERDICT A fantastically funny, relatable book that will be an easy sell and a rewarding read for most middle graders.—Emily Moore, Camden County Library System, NJ - Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.