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September 05, 2012

Belly Laughs

Written by Susan Marston

I do NOT recommend reading A Bad Day for Voodoo by Jeff Strand (PBH, October 2012) in a quiet room with other people. The reason? Your frequent laughter is likely to make you feel self-conscious. You’ll grab whoever is nearby to share a passage and get into one of those situations where you are laughing too hard to speak clearly. I was almost in tears by page ix, which is part of the hilarious Q&A that precedes the novel. I’m tempted to copy great swaths of the book so you can start enjoying it right away, but I’ll limit myself. Here’s just one of the questions and responses:

Q: Is any material in this book inappropriate for teenagers or those who wish to become teenagers someday?

A: Oh yeah. All of it. Teenagers, don’t let any responsible adults catch you reading this, because they will absolutely freak. They’ll flap their arms around and shout, “This is going to destroy society! Kids copy everything bad they read in books! All is lost, all is lost!”

(Note to librarians: I’m only kidding. It’s not that bad. I mean, it’s gorier than Winnie the Pooh, and the word “crap” is used fifteen times, but none of the major curse words are represented, and nobody gets nekkid.)

(Note to teenagers: Or DO they. . .?)

Also, find a most enjoyable interview over here at SLJ:


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Susan Marston

Susan Marston

Susan Marston is our Editorial Director in New York. Susan has been selecting books for Junior Library Guild for a few years shy of half her life and even after all this time, finds that the work never grows old. She likens finding the perfect book for each slot on the JLG list to solving a tricky and very satisfying puzzle and enjoys the privilege of reading—and falling in love with—great books long before they capture the public imagination.

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