by David Lubar
Category: Fiction / Fantasy
224 pages; ISBN: 0765342650
Rating: 9/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner
When it comes to adult authority. junior high school student Martin Anderson cannot keep his mouth shut as he rejects the constant advice with smart answers and insults. He has been expelled from six schools, the boy scouts, and the little league. He rides the bus to his final destination the prison-like Edgeview Alternative School, an institution used to lock up the violent and other losers (where is Pink Floyd when you need them?)
Martin realizes he must be on the cutting edge to survive the ready fists of bully Bloodbath and the shock therapy of Warden, (make that Principal) Davis. On the plus side Martin meets four fellow weirdoes with special psychic powers. Torchy lights fires without matches or lighters; Cheater copies test answers from anyone sitting anywhere; Lucky steals anything; and Trash trashes stuff. Martin believes his only power is what adults label acerbic while he would say satirical tongue. The five losers band together as Martin discovers his HIDDEN TALENTS and try to stop a plot to shut the school of last resort down.
Though the climax seems out of character for the magnificent five, the Harry Potter crowd will enjoy their misadventures. The quintet is at their diabolical best when they interrelate with one another. Although much of the key secondary cast seems stereotypical, readers will enjoy sharing a pizza with Martin’s beleaguered parents as they and the young audience will wonder what will he do or say next.
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