Buddy Love--Now on Video

Overview

America's Wackiest Home Videos

If thirteen-year-old Buddy Love's life were a television show, ratings would be in the pits! Not that Buddy's life is so terrible; it's just terribly average. He has an average family, gets average grades, and is the type of guy who is, basically, average. Besides watching television—especially talk shows and sitcoms—and girl-watching, nothing has ever really grabbed him.

But one day, Buddy's father wins a ...

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Overview

America's Wackiest Home Videos

If thirteen-year-old Buddy Love's life were a television show, ratings would be in the pits! Not that Buddy's life is so terrible; it's just terribly average. He has an average family, gets average grades, and is the type of guy who is, basically, average. Besides watching television—especially talk shows and sitcoms—and girl-watching, nothing has ever really grabbed him.

But one day, Buddy's father wins a camcorder in a raffle. And when Buddy decides to tape his family and friends for a school project, he learns some very surprising—even shocking—things. His soap-opera-loving grandmother was a World War II spy? His quiet librarian mother was once a Playboy Bunny? Through the camera's lens, Buddy starts to see his family and friends a lot more clearly—and begins to suspect that he himself may not be quite so average after all.

When Buddy interviews family and friends on videotape, he learns surprising things about his family and himself.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Kathleen Karr
Buddy has a problem with being average and unmotivated. He's also tired of having his friends lead him by the nose. The situation changes when his father wins a camcorder and Buddy embarks on a taped family history for his social studies class. From his immigrant grandmother on down to his usually snarly older sister Buddy gains insights on his background and himself that cause him to make the first steps toward improving his self-image. This is a fast read filled with television-oriented adolescent problems.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-7Philip Love, 13, nicknamed Buddy after a character in an old Jerry Lewis movie, The Nutty Professor, is interested only in watching television and watching girls until a social-studies project requires him to explore his own history. Armed with a video camera, he finds out some surprising things about his relatives, and realizes that they are as interesting as the characters on TV. Like the nerdy, nutty professor from the movie, Buddy learns to like himself in the course of the novel. He even decides to go as himself to the Halloween Dance, an act that requires finally standing up to one friend and defending another. Friendship, family, and self-acceptance are the dominant themes in Cooper's breezy, humorous, and insightful look at contemporary adolescence.Connie Tyrrell Burns, Mahoney Middle School, South Portland, ME
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780064407243
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/30/1998
  • Edition description: 1ST HARPER
  • Pages: 192
  • Age range: 10 years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

There were not many things that Buddy Love did well. About this, his parents and teachers agreed.

His lack of achievement puzzled him too. When his mother and father questioned him about why his grades were so ... so average, he tried to explain. "Nothing has really grabbed me yet."

His father had informed him dryly, "Arranging produce in a grocery store every day doesn't exactly grab me either. It's my job. Yours is to get good grades. Otherwise, you're going to wind up slinging burgers or loading newspapers on a truck, and trust me, Buddy, that's not going to grab you either."

What Buddy didn't tell his father was that actually, there were two things that did interest him immensely—watching television and watching girls. But he didn't see fame and fortune coming from either of those two preoccupations.

Buddy had liked television before he had noticed girls. In fact, his first memories were of watching cartoons on television. He was ashamed to admit it now, but when he was little, he had actually thought that Daffy Duck and Popeye lived inside his television. He spent a lot of time thinking about what they did when he wasn't around.

Now, unlike some of the immature dorks at school, his television taste had traveled far beyond cartoons. Buddy watched everything now, although it was true he didn't watch anything for very long. If there was something that Buddy did do well, it was use the remote control. He was sure he could click faster than anyone else in Chicago.

Click. Click. Click.Usually, Buddy would race through the fifty-two channels on the cable system, then surf the channels once more,and finally linger over a show that caught his interest. Often, it was a talk show.

Talk shows were the stuff of life. Where else could you learn about family squabbles, the personal lives of celebrities, and, perhaps most important, what men thought about women and women thought about men? As an almost-man himself, Buddy had an insatiable curiosity about that topic.

Why just today, on an afternoon gabfest, three women—a leggy blonde, another blonde with too much hair, and a brunette with glasses—were discussing their boyfriends' bad habits and how they drove the women crazy.

Buddy leaned forward. This could be useful. He was sure he had many bad habits.

"Philip, Philip. Always with the television." His grandmother stood in front of the TV, her hands on her ample hips.

"Oh, Gram," Buddy groaned. "Could you move out of the way?"His grandmother scowled.

One of the many things that Buddy had learned from television was that grandmothers today didn't like to be thought of as old ladies. Some dressed in jogging suits, some actually jogged, others started their own businesses or dated men young enough to be their sons. just because women were over a certain age didn't mean they weren't still vibrant and in the Jell-O.

No one had told this to his grandmother, however. She stood blocking the television screen, wearing a shapeless dress similar to the many other faded housedresses hanging in the small closet in the bedroom she shared with his older sister, Sharon. Her socks, one heavy and black, the other a color that seemed to be brown, drooped into shoes so large and boxy that they looked as if they belonged to his dad. Unlike the older women on television, Buddy's grandmother did not wear makeup. Maybe that was a good choice for a face that had so many wrinkles where makeup could lodge. If he hadn't heard his gram yelling when Sharon started using lipstick and mascara, he would have guessed that she didn't even know what makeup was.

Whenever Buddy complained to his parents about his grandmother and her total weirdness, they explained that it was because she came from the Old Country. Since his gram had looked the same age for as long as he could remember, Buddy used to think she came from a country where everyone was old.

He knew now that country was the Soviet Union, at least what used to be the Soviet Union before it had broken up into little countries whose names you couldn't pronounce. They were studying it in Current Events. It hadn't grabbed him.

Behind his grandmother, the girls on Donahue were talking about how annoying it was when men left their clothes strewn about. His own mother was always yelling, "Buddy, pick up your stuff or it goes in the garbage can, and you along with it!"

It was interesting to know that women other than his mother found a mess annoying.

"Gram, could you move over, I'm trying to..."

"Go outside. Get fresh air."

Buddy lifted his nose and sniffed. "The air in here is okay." He suspected she was far less interested in his receiving the benefits of fresh air than she was concerned about her favorite character on General Hospital living through his surgery.

Buddy's grandmother liked two things on television-soap operas and wrestling. Often they watched wrestling together.

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