The Rotten Adventures of Zachary Ruthless

Allan Woodrow, Author, Aaron Blecha, Illustrator
Allan Woodrow, illus. by Aaron Blecha. Harper, $5.99 mass market (160p) ISBN 978-0-06-200587-8
Reviewed on: 03/14/2011
Release date: 04/01/2011
Ebook - 176 pages - 978-0-06-211446-4
Ebook - 176 pages - 978-0-06-207718-9
Prebound-Glued - 139 pages - 978-0-606-23031-5
Paperback - 160 pages - 978-0-06-200588-5
Ebook - 192 pages - 978-0-06-210205-8
Paperback - 978-0-06-200589-2
Prebound-Glued - 160 pages - 978-0-606-23560-0
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If it's true that everyone loves a bad boy, Zachary should attract a sizable fan base. In this series launch by newcomer Woodrow, the 10-year-old is determined to snag the sole opening in the Society of Utterly Rotten, Beastly, and Loathsome Lawbreaking Scoundrels—aka SOURBALLS. This entails impressing the society's evildoers with his "most horrible deed." After recruiting his neighbor Newt as his "henchman," he purchases a "Box of Rotten," which is all he can afford on a Web site hawking gear for villains. Zachary attempts to use one of the box's "evil goodies," a pair of hypnotizing glasses, to turn the mayor into a zombie in order to take over the town. But the boys discover that the mayor (and his lieutenant mayor) have their own evil plots in place, hoping to join SOURBALLS. Boll weevils, a rubber cockroach, zucchini-flavored gum, and a girl wielding a squirt jar of mustard all help thwart Zachary's rivals' schemes. Blecha's high-energy cartoons add extra absurdity to this pun-studded slice of frivolity, which is likely to snare reluctant readers with a fondness for slapstick. Ages 8–12. (May)
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