Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Bucking the Sarge

Bucking the Sarge

Fall 2004 Fiction
Ages: 10 & Up
Author: Christopher Paul Curtis
ISBN: 0-385-32307-7
Hardcover Price: $17.99
Luther T. Farrell's work at Whittier Middle School in Flint is a piece of cake compared to his work outside of school. At school, he is trying very hard to be the only student to win the science fair for the third in a row. At home, he is embroiled in the extensive moneymaking schemes of his brilliant, hard-nosed, hardhearted mother - "The Sarge." Among his many jobs, Luther both lives with and cares for the old men ensconced in his mother's "Happy Neighbor Group Home for Men." When his mother puts a seemingly senile eighty-year-old man, Chester X Stoddard, in Luther's bedroom, her son has no recourse but to accept him. Luther also has a friend, Sparky, who has moneymaking ideas of his own.

Told in the first person by the compassionate and humorously perceptive Luther, he is accompanied by a parade of colorful characters, not the least of which are the denizens of the group home. Luther and company careen through a truly funny story with a most satisfying end. The villainess is a doozy, but the author also manages to humanize "The Sarge."

Kemie Nix   ©2004 Parents' Choice
Kemie Nix is Chairman of Children's Literature for Children (CLC), a non-profit, tax-exempt, educational organization dedicated to bringing children and books together. Mrs. Nix, a senior book editor for Parents' Choice, has a remarkable sense of selecting books children love to read.

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