cover image Eyeballs for Breakfast: Eyeballs for Breakfast

Eyeballs for Breakfast: Eyeballs for Breakfast

M. M. Ragz, Ragz. Aladdin Paperbacks, $3.5 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-671-68567-6

At first, Murphy, almost 11, admires Ashley, a pretty but snobbish new pupil and fellow member of the class's ``gifted group.'' After correcting the unfavorable impression he's given her, Murphy learns that Ashley has a crush on him. This wasn't Murphy's intention, and Ashley, stung, reacts accordingly. She pesters the boy at school and sets out to beat him in a ``cooperation contest.'' But when Murphy instills some confidence in two classmates sorely lacking in self-esteem, even Ashley realizes who the rightful winner is. Given the yolkless eggs Murphy is served at breakfast and the corn that passes for dialogue, the book could be more appetizing. But Ragz does a laudable job of dramatizing the point that every child is special. The laggardly paced story might easily have been condensed, but Murphy, a refreshing protagonist, is an asset. He sidesteps the usual stereotypes attached to gifted students, and a devilish quality lurks just below his genuine kindness. Youngsters may want more; a sequel is already in the works. Ages 8-12. (Aug.)