cover image The Boy Who Had No Face

The Boy Who Had No Face

Louis Sachar. Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, $11.95 (198pp) ISBN 978-0-394-82863-3

Ever since his best friend Scott dropped him to join a popular group, David feels certain he's been cursed. He follows along when the group harasses kind, old Mrs. Bayfield, but afterward he is overcome with guilt. And that's when the curse strikes: David insults his mother, cracks a window and embarrasses himself in class. It's bad enough that Scott's group excludes and taunts David, but the worst moment is when Tori, a girl he likes, sees his pants fall down. Two new friends help David to stand up to Scott's devious friends, rid himself of the curse and find the courage to ask Tori out. The story culminates with a hilarious rumble and a poignant realization. Sachar captures awkward junior high school experiences with humor and sensitivity. Readers will empathize with David's troubles and cheer his triumphs in this delightful, funny book. Ages 10-14. (Oct.)