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Author: Moskowitz, Hannah
Two best friends and junior high students attempt to break into the high school prom so that one of them can confess his love for the adorable bass player of the prom band.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG+
Reading Level: 3.90
Points: 6.0 Quiz: 159265
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 4.20
Points: 13.0 Quiz: 73595
Kirkus Reviews (-) (02/01/13)
School Library Journal (03/01/13)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (03/13)
Full Text Reviews:
Bulletin for the Center... - 03/01/2013 Despite their many differences, Stephen and Marco have been best pals all through middle school. In fact, last year they headed up an amateur sleuthing operation, which provided harmless fun—until one of their investigations uncovered Stephen’s father’s adultery. Now it’s the last day of eighth grade, and Stephen reluctantly agrees to get back to business, looking into not one, but two epic mysteries: does Benji, the super-hot exchange student and Marco’s longtime crush, return Marco’s feelings, and secondly, who is leaving threatening homophobic notes in Marco’s locker? It seems like a simple, straightforward premise, but Moskowitz (Zombie Tag, BCCB 1/12; Teeth, BCCB 2/13) has a unique way of mapping the emotional lives of boys, and here she offers a complex and layered examination of a peculiar but deeply entrenched friendship. The boys initially appear to be utter opposites: the quiet kid from an oversized family, Stephen is quick to fall into only-child Marco’s larger-than-life shadow, and at first glance, Stephen’s narration makes the relationship seem terribly one-sided. As the story goes on, however, readers hear more from Marco and begin to realize that Stephen’s perceptions are often colored by his own insecurities and frustrations. A climactic confrontation between the two is honest and raw without being overly dramatic, and Moskowitz lays bare the pitfalls of being vulnerable in relationships even as she tacitly applauds it. Supporting characters are delightfully funny, and touches of humor in the plot serve to lighten up the book’s more serious elements. KQG - Copyright 2013 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
Booklist - 03/01/2013 Now that eighth grade is finished, so is 13-year-old BFFs Stephen and Marco’s sideline of solving minor schoolyard mysteries. Marco is heading off to Clinton Prepatory Academy, and maybe they’re getting too old for it anyway. But don’t hang up those fedoras just yet. Marco is determined to sneak into tonight’s high-school prom so he can jump onstage and declare his love to longtime crush Benji. And Stephen? Well, Stephen just sort of goes along with the loud, bossy, melodramatic Marco. Also, for the first time, Stephen has his own case to solve: do recent anti-gay hate crimes mean that someone is about to target Marco? Despite the zany one-crazy-night concept, Moskowitz’s second midde-grade novel possesses a decidedly un-zany mood. Scenes play out casually with an abundance of dialogue and ancillary characters; the swift characterizations of Stephen’s countless siblings have a tumbling, affectionate, Spielbergian feel. True, those seeking exciting case-busting will be thwarted. But those looking for an observant take on a growing, bending relationship will soon be bopping their heads to this idiosyncratic tune. - Copyright 2013 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 03/01/2013 Gr 6–8—Eighth-graders Stephen and Marco, who came out in the seventh grade, have been best friends and co-schemers in elaborate "heists" since elementary school. As they inch toward high school, when Marco will take off for a private school, a new weight is placed on their friendship. When Marco proposes an elaborate plan to sneak into the high-school prom and proclaim his love for British student Benji, a rocker who is heading back to London in a matter of days, it seems the perfect way to have one last adventure before the boys go their separate ways. An imperfect plan and some tense and very real confrontations with a school bully bring out issues in the boys' friendship that have been simmering below the surface. The knock-'em-out resolution, in which the good guy not only defeats the bully, but also wins a kiss from his dream boy, will make readers pump their fists with excitement, and the strain in Stephen and Marco's friendship exemplifies the growing pains that many will be able to relate to. Moskowitz's novel, which plays out in a matter of two days, successfully portrays the world of middle school both as it is and as it might be-one in which parents are faulty, but the boy gets the boy and the school bully gets it square in the nose.—Joanna Sondheim, Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School, New York City - Copyright 2013 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.