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Lubar, David.
Clarion Books, 2002
ISBN 061819455X

(2 booktalks)

#Booktalk #1

A book about a guy wanting to be a Bozo clown doesn't really sound like the best book in the world – but if you've ever wanted to look at things from a different point of view, try getting in a dunk tank, hurling insults at people, and experiencing life as a Bozo.   Chad wants to be that witty and, yes, sometimes cruel guy that can say whatever he wants without any consequences. When he meets the new tenant upstairs in his home, he discovers he's the man behind the makeup - the bozo in the tank.   Chad takes lessons from him and starts to master the skills of wit.   Chad wants to prove to the world and himself that he won't end up a loser like his dad, who left his mom and him when he was young. So he'll use his sharp tongue to mask his hurt. When Chad's friend, Jason, acquires a life-threatening illness, Chad has a theory that laughter is the best medicine and puts his newly acquired skills to good use.

Prepared by: Tas Anjarwalla  for South Carolina Young Adult Book Award Nominees 2005

Booktalk #2

“ ‘Hey!’ the Bozo shouted at a guy near the front of the small crowd, ‘Where’d you get that wig? You scalp it off a poodle?’ 

The crowd laughed and the guy’s face turned the color of a bad sunburn. His right hand jerked up toward his head , as if he wanted to adjust the fake hair that was there. 

‘Yeah, you,’ the Bozo shouted, pointing straight at the guy, turning himself into a nightmare version of an Uncle Sam poster. “What’s the matter? Did you get glue in your ears when you pasted on that wig?’”

Chad is out of school for summer break and he lives on the Jersey shore. As usual, the tourist season is about to crank up on the boardwalk with its extreme rides, beach volleyball tournaments and carnival attractions. Chad has set his sites on becoming the wisecracking Bozo at the dunk tank, ready to hurl insults at his vic (or victim) so they’ll part with their money to dunk him. Chad is ready to let loose…he’s angry at his father who left his mother and he’s angry at the cops who blame him for everything that goes wrong even though he is innocent.

Dunk is a fascinating story of insults, bravery and unusual friendships.  (Melissa Bowman,, Armstrong Middle School,  Lone Star Book Award nominee, 2003-2004)

SUBJECTS:     Amusement parks -- Fiction.
                        Clowns -- Fiction.
                        Interpersonal relations -- Fiction.
                        Sick -- Fiction.
                        Beaches -- Fiction.
                        New Jersey -- Fiction.


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