cover image The Twinkie Squad

The Twinkie Squad

Gordon Korman. Scholastic, $13.95 (194pp) ISBN 978-0-590-45249-6

In this slapstick comedy, Gordon Korman introduces Douglas Fairchild, ambassador's son and private school flunkee. From his Pefkakian ancestry to sending memos to the bus driver and creating the ultimate school stench with squid, Douglas's antics baffle his myopic parents, teachers and administrators at his new school. It comes as no surprise that the boy is recommended to the Twinkie Squad, an after-school counseling group. Formerly stigmatized as a bunch of ``weirdos,'' the Squad bonds together under Douglas's daring leadership and forms an unlikely alliance that unwittingly turns them into the school's most fashionable secret club. The broad humor that runs through this farcical story seems occasionally farfetched and contrived; similarly, the characters remain stereotypes, their personalities never fully developed. In spite of these drawbacks, middle readers may well take to the members of this eccentric squad--and to their kid-pleasing antics. Korman's fans may also be reassured by the fact that Douglas and his cohorts find a place for themselves and prove that fitting in is an overrated idea. Ages 8-12. (Oct.)