Author: Crystal Allen
Publisher: Blazer + Bray
Publication Date: February 22, 2011
Reading copy via local library
I started reading Lamar's Bad Prank during the summer but got distracted by, you know, life. But I'm glad I picked up Lamar's story again because it's a flat-out great read.
Lamar is a 13-year-old bowling fanatic living in a working class neighborhood in Indiana. His older brother Xavier is a basketball phenom and in his basketball crazy town, Lamar doesn't get any respect for being the King of Striker's, the local bowling alley. But Bubba Sanders, Lamar's bowling hero, is coming to Striker's on the Fourth of July and Lamar is planning on having the best summer ever.
Of course it all goes horribly wrong. Lamar's history with pulling pranks hinders his wooing of a local girl. Lamar begins hanging out with Billy Jenks, a decidedly bad influence who soon has Lamar hustling bowling games. And that leaves Lamar's best friend, Sergio, high and dry.
Lamar's home life isn't so great, either. Since his mom died, he and Xavier are always at odds and their working-two-jobs dad doesn't realize how out of control it can get until it's too late. Because by then, Lamar pulls the biggest prank EVER to get back at Xavier. A prank so big the whole town ends up hating on Lamar.
Crystal Allen's writing is both hilarious and touching. Her characters zing, especially Lamar, whose voice is dead-on perfect. The ending wraps up nicely, without being forced or sentimental.
Lamar's Bad Prank would make a great recommendation to anyone looking for a boy's book, a humor book, or a sports book.