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Thursday, October 2, 2014
I Have a Bad Feeling About This by Jeff Strand
When you stumble on a great comedy novel for teens, it should be one you have in the library because really, there isn't that much out there. And this is a GEM!
Henry is admittedly a geek, but he's a superstar geek. His story is on the big screen, he has a beautiful girl by his side and he survived Strongwoods Survival Camp. This is how it happened....
Henry's dad, after seeing a video on Youtube featuring Max (think screaming sergeant from any war movie you've ever seen) telling him he could make a man out of your son, tries to convince his son it would be a GREAT experience. Henry's not so much into it, until his nerdy friend Randy says he WANTS to go...it'll be great! So after spending the next 48 hours in gaming mode (to keep his reserves up) off they go.
Strongwoods Survival Camp looks as mean as Max does. Five boys meet for the first time and are
1. stripped away of all electronic devices
2. given barely edible and non-recognizable food to eat
3. given an outhouse, which may or may not contain a creature in the hole
It's going to be the longest two weeks of Henry's life. But even among those loooong days, some good things happen. He meets a girl in the woods. He actually shoots his arrow and makes a target, and he survives sleeping outside for the first time in his 16 years.
But then Mr. Grand shows up, and he wants to balance his fiscal statement from a sketchy deal made with the co-owner of Strongwoods Survival. Henry's game (as well as Randy's, Erik's, Jackie's and Stu's) just got real. Henry can no longer think like Katniss Everdeen, but needs to start thinking like a true hero - perhaps like Splat-Tastic, his favorite video game hero?
I'll admit, when reading this book, kids would give me the weirdest stares but I could NOT help but laugh all the way through this book! Strand captures the character of Henry so well, all the way from his video gaming fingers to his attempts at nerd bravery. And then you get to the Wilderness survival tips at the end of each chapter. Example: "In case of an avalanche, don't despair. You're doomed, but c'mon, how many people get to say they died in an avalanche?!? That's wicked cool." One of many tips you'll chuckle about along with the fishing expedition, catching wild game for food, and building shelters with whatever you can find in a forest. This book should be given to any reader, but has special appeal for guy readers and best of all? PERFECT for junior high to high school!