Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Middle School fun reading

Title: You’re It
Author: Marc J Loranger
ISBN Numbers: 978-1-4327-1862-6
Publisher: Outskirts Press, Inc.
Genre and Target Market: Young adult fiction
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 97
Reviewer: Barbara Milbourn of Writers in the Sky.

In You’re It, the second volume in his James Adventure Series, author Marc Loranger cranks out magic, mystery, and mayhem in the summer heat of Crabtree, Louisiana.

James and Corey are in middle school; friends since they were five in Connecticut. They’ve been reunited by an odd set of circumstances in this sleepy small town and are musing over the southern drawl of their third wheel, Jed. “His full name was Jedadiah Jacob Glunk to be exact . . . Jed was a scrawny looking kid with thick glasses and early signs of spotted acne . . .” writes Loranger.

The author has given Corey a penchant for spy games and one afternoon he and James lure Jed into a little harmless adventure. The game takes a turn when Jed discovers and retrieves a small briefcase floating in a creek. Its contents match those unwittingly picked up earlier by James who does not discover their magic powers until a little later in the book. About that time, Corey’s gone missing and very much needs James and Jed to come to his rescue.

Loranger gives us full throttle through the eyes of the uncritical-reading young adult. He keeps the action flowing and punctuates things to the max. The icky people have icky names like Wilbur and Lucifer; when the food’s bad, it’s the worst—sauerkraut, hog dogs, and Brussels sprouts; little sisters are a royal pain to put it nicely; the villains are ultra-eerie and the circumstances they create are the scariest! Boys are boys feeling time stand totally still on the last day of school; seeing that girls are pretty but as yet that’s about all; never having enough money and getting shooed by grumpy storekeepers; referring to anyone over forty as old lady this or old man that.

Reading You’re It made me feel like a kid again. I recalled breaking popsicles in half before peeling off the paper; my brother’s agitation at me, the little sister; the envy I felt about the games he played with his pals. Marc Loranger brings this special time alive once again. It’s pure fun.

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