Thursday, October 23, 2008

Knights of the Lunch Table by Frank Cammuso

When Artie King and his family move to a new town, that of course means a new school. Camelot Middle School. After missing the bus on the first day, his new science teacher, Mr. Merlyn, points him to a shortcut through the woods. There he hears the ominous howl of a mysterious sewer dwelling beast and meets his first new friend, Percival - just make sure to call him Percy.

Once at school, Artie is assigned locker #001XCL. It's the busted locker no one can open. A poem on the door even gives the combination and says that the one who opens the locker "a king to all the students be."

Sound familiar?

Okay, I can't resist one more. Artie meets the lunch ladies. There are three of them, and they speak in rhyme. When Artie first arrives: "Tomato soup ... bananas bunch ... who approaches the ladies' lunch?" After telling them his locker number: "Ham 'n cheese ... and onions ring ... 'tis the locker of the King." And in an effort to get Artie to sample that day's lunch: "True of heart a champion be ... drink of this ... the soup of pea."

Artie leaves quickly.

But your students will stick around. After making enemies with Joe Roman and his bully bunch, The Horde, Percy demands they settle it like creatively. Dodgeball. Except The Horde is the school's champion dodgeball team, and Percy only made the challenge because Artie lied to him saying he was a dodgeball legend at his old school.

Frank Cammuso, as described in his bio, is "a three-time recipient of the Wedgie. He has also received the prestigious Noogie and the Hurtz Donut." Knights of the Lunch Table: The Dodgeball Chronicles is full of similar humor. Students will love the graphic novel format and the potential for more books. As it says on the last page:

The End ... For Now.

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