Lately I've been a little disappointed in the new book selections I've brought home from the library. It's not often I leave a book unfinished, but, sadly, it's happened twice in the last few weeks. I don't know if it's simply been my mood, or the writing, or something else, but the books just didn't hold my interest.
That was not the case, however, with Magic Delivery by Clete Barrett Smith. This book is a jewel, and I can highly recommend it to anyone of any age who loves to laugh and go on an adventure that is pretty much unique.
The cover art caught my attention right away. The colors swirling across the front makes me think of candy for some reason. Perhaps cotton candy, or Jolly Ranchers. Sounds weird, I know, but that's how it affected me. But then I noticed the bear squashed into the driver's seat of the big truck, headed down the middle of the highway toward two kids on bicycles, and my interest was definitely piqued.
This is a tale with a premise I've yet to come across, although in some ways it reminded me a little bit of The Mask. But just a smidgen. It's much more involved and creative than that.
Two best friends, both from the poor side of town, and both with definite issues, are nearly killed when a large truck comes barreling out of nowhere straight into the boys' path as they ride their bikes home from school. An accident is avoided when the truck goes over the edge of a cliff and falls to the forest below, but the boys feel obligated to check on the driver to see if he's okay. Even though the driver did look suspiciously like a huge grizzly bear.
I'm not going to tell you what they find when they arrive at the scene of the accident. It's just so much fun that you need to read it for yourself.
This book made me laugh - alot. It also made me cringe because it isn't all fun and games. There are bullies involved, and class clashes, and underhanded dealings, and resentments, and danger. It's quite a roller-coaster ride emotionally, but it's all done in a style that is lighthearted and that makes perfect sense and makes it all believable. Even though the preposterousness of the situation is totally unbelievable. I'm not sure if preposterousness is even a word, but it fits in this situation.
I can highly recommend this book to MG readers who love a rousing adventure and who like to root for the underdog. It is a clean read, but there is some crude humor involved from time to time. If you read, or have read, this one, I'd love to hear your thoughts on it.