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*Rotten School #7: Dude, the School is Haunted!* by R.L. Stine, illustrated by Trip Park - tweens/young readers book review
Also by R.L. Stine:

Rotten School #6: The Heinie Prize



Rotten School #6: The Heinie Prize
by R.L. Stine, illustrated by Luis Rey
Ages 9-12 128 pages HarperCollins April 2006 Paperback    

All the fourth graders at Rotten School have their eyes on the Heinie Prize, but it can only go to one special kid. Sherman Oaks is expected to win simply because heís rich enough to bribe the judge, but he may have some serious competition from a boy named Belzer. Although most of the school thinks Belzer is lower than a loser, Bernie Bridges manages a stiff campaign to earn him the prized trophy. No, Bernie isnít doing this out of the goodness of his heart; his only intention is to keep Belzer as his loyal and faithful slave.

Author R.L. Stine combines his wacky wit with his ingenious imagination to create a story that connects solidly with this age group. Okay, the humor is offbeat, slightly disgusting, and will have parents squirming in their seats, but to young readers, it rocks! And thatís the point. This book is fun, which encourages children to keep those pages turning. An added bonus is an important message about friendship, which slips in between the giggles but will making a lasting impression.

By using the school as the setting and filling it with characters bordering on the edge of reality, the author surrounds young readers with an atmosphere of familiarity. Certain traits of these students are exaggerated, making them larger than life, but the fast-paced story line brings them down to a more manageable size. The classic stereotypes of every classroom are shown in all their humanity, thereby making their real-life counterparts seem a lot less threatening.

Clever cartoon-like drawings add a vivid visual presence, but itís the action of the characters that will rivet readers to their seats. Amidst a gassy bulldog, Pooper Pond, and the shine of the Heinie Prize comes a tale from an author who truly understands this world.

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