THE CANNIBALS: Starring Tiffany Spratt

Cynthia D. Grant, Author . Millbrook/Roaring Brook $15.95 (160p) ISBN 978-0-7613-1642-8

Grant (Mary Wolf) takes a breather from her sobering YA fiction to serve up a trenchant satire. Set a decade or two in the future, the story is breathlessly narrated by headstrong 17-year-old Tiffany Spratt, who is videotaping her journal for a school assignment—and for posterity, because she is certain she'll be famous. Right away she falls for a handsome new student whose name, Campbell, she mistakes for Cannibal, which she instantly decides to call her clique at Hiram Johnson High ("They should make a show about our school," she enthuses. "They could call it Hi High and it would be all about me and The Girls and our exciting adventures as cheerleaders, and Cannibal could play my boyfriend... and [my boyfriend] Wally will just have to get used to it"). Tiffany's attempts to lure the ultra cool, highly principled Campbell into a "real" kiss run alongside her campaign to persuade the school board to allow a teen vampire film to be shot at her school—she just knows it will be her big break. Grant points the finger at all sorts of "cannibals" in a culture of consumption, from commercial sponsors of school equipment to the totally outré (e.g., the Jerry Springer–style talk show host is a former U.S. president) as she keeps Tiffany's slyly skewed platitudes flowing ("I know what it's like to feel hopeless... but every cloud has a silver lining, and it's always darkest before the storm"). A solid comedy with bite. Ages 12-up. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 08/26/2002
Release date: 09/01/2002
Genre: Children's
Hardcover - 133 pages - 978-0-330-42044-0
Hardcover - 148 pages - 978-0-7613-2759-2
Prebound-Sewn - 978-1-4176-2820-9
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