|Fried Clams and Lobster|
For some reason most of the books I have read this summer have a New England setting. It has been way too many years since I have been there. Recently I even read that Anchovies is still a great neighborhood place. I remember when that was our big night out! So, Cheesie Mack is Not a Genius or Anything by Steve Cotler didn’t help with the homesick. If anything it made it worst because the setting is Gloucester Mass. I lived in Boston, but it so close to Crane’s Beach and Essex, home
of the world’s best-fried fish. The story had me so close to Woodman’s yet so far!
Two best friends, Ronald “Cheesie” Mack and Georgie Sinkoff, are approaching the end of an era and the beginning of a frightening one. Yes, the end of elementary school and the upcoming entrance to middle school. As any normal fifth grade boy they plan the perfect event to make sure their “graduation” is memorable. The principal makes sure it is normal like all the ones before.
Luckily the boys have summer camp to look forward. Unfortunately, Georgie finds out his dad can’t afford it. In solidarity Cheesie declares he will not go if Georgie cannot go. On the way to figuring out what to do for the summer, they make a new friend and discover the true meaning of integrity.
I really enjoyed this book. It was wicked funny. I liked the voice and the first person narration. The drifting off topic made me laugh. The first time I had to re-read the previous page before I figured out that at times Cheesie would insert an idea for another story. It will be a great book to put in the hands of kids this fall.