Sequel to Swim the Fly so you know the territory you are entering. This time Cooper Redmond and his two compatriots are aiming to get to first base, second base, third base, and touch home plate with a girl before the end of their sophomore year. Cooper is a guy with a one track mind and that track pretty much just heads toward one thing and it starts with s and ends with x and has three letters. He has a sister for goodness sakes but he can only see girls with one goal in mind. Now his teacher has just handed his reputation a huge setback or at least his reputation as he experiences it. Picking names out of a jar Mrs. Turris is assigning projects to teams of students and Coop has been partnered with the one and only Helen Harriwick, Hot Dog Helen, as she is known, to do a project on safe sex. Helen's social status is at an all time low and Cooper fears his association with her will reduce his own cool factor. So, he decides to even the odds by entering himself and his two buddies, Matt and Sean, as a band in the Battle of the Bands contest about to be held at their school. If they are seen as rock stars, how can they be any where close to the bottom feeding land of Helen Harriwick? With plenty of references to female body parts, a raunchy scene in the library filled with gaseous bombardment and a fair amount of language, this story paints a vivid picture of just how low a guy will go. Is there any hope for this guy? Interestingly enough, I think the guys who would find this hilarious and might not even see any character flaws here, will be jolted a bit by the story arc. Cooper is about to get a lesson in truth and trust and what matters in the world. Takes him a while to get there but reluctant readers will be highly entertained along the way. 390 pages Ages 14 and up
Beat the Band
Candlewick, September 2010
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