The Right Hook of Devin Velma

Jake Burt. Feiwel and Friends, $16.99 (240p) ISBN 978-1-250-16862-7
Sixth-grader Addison Gerhardt suffers from anxiety, and when his best friend, Devin Velma, announces his intent to attract millions of Twitter followers by making a viral video with Addy’s help, Addy is uneasy about the plan. But Devin is trying to get famous so that he can earn enough money to help pay for his father’s heart surgery, which is not covered by insurance, so Addy agrees to assist. Devin’s initial attempts fail; after he comes up with a scheme to appear behind a famous couple on the kiss cam at a Clippers game and nearly falls to his death, Addy saves him. The video of the incident goes viral, but it’s Addy, not Devin, who rockets to fame, causing a rift between the boys. Addy’s anxiety is realistically portrayed (“It was as if my brain ripped in half”), as are both families’ financial concerns. Spot-on sixth-grade humor and sympathetic characters by Burt (Greetings from Witness Protection!) will hook readers as he explores fame and friendship in the age of social media. Ages 10–14. Agent: Rebecca Stead, the Book Group. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/10/2018
Release date: 09/04/2018
Compact Disc - 978-0-525-63388-4
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