cover image The Prize Winners of Piedmont Place

The Prize Winners of Piedmont Place

Bill Doyle, illus. by Colin Jack. Random House, $15.99 (192p) ISBN 978-0-553-52177-1

In this fun series opener from Doyle (Attack of the Shark-Headed Zombie), fifth-grader Cal Talaska is determined to win the Wish Shoppe Great Grab contest, a multifamily competition involving puzzle solving, physical feats, and more. Winners get to keep anything they can grab from the megastore’s shelves in 20 minutes, and Cal believes that coming out on top will earn his quirky, financially shaky family the respect it deserves. The Talaskas, however, are not interested in participating, especially since Cal’s father’s boss, Mr. Wylot, is determined to win the contest by any means necessary. Cal’s classmate Leslie Wylot isn’t helping matters, either. “It’s not personal,” she tells Cal. “People just have to know their place in life, that’s all. There are the winners and there are the losers.” As the Wylots leverage their power and employ devious methods to control the contest, Cal and his family rely on their wits and courage to stand up for themselves and salvage their chance to win. Cal’s fortitude in the face of adversity may inspire readers to do the same. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 8–12. (July)