Dustin Grubbs: One-Man Show

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Dustin Grubbs: One-Man Show

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Dustin wants to be an actor when he grows up. He gets his chance when the school principal allows the first play of the decade to be performed by Dustin's sixth grade class. With their teacher as the director and Dustin as assistant director, nothing can go wrong. Or can it? On the premiere day, one actor freezes onstage. Then disaster strikes when the stage props fall apart and the school's piano is broken. The principal blames Dustin and wants retribution in form of payment for piano repair. Dustin's hero, Jeremy Jason Wilder, is suddenly enrolled in the school in April after his television show is cancelled. Dustin fears he will not be the sixth grade comic anymore, but Jeremy seems like a nice guy. Lying to his friend Wallace, Dustin invites Jeremy to his grandmother's birthday party. But Dustin does not have as much fun as he thought he would, and Wallace refuses to speak to him anymore. Posters are planted everywhere, featuring Jeremy as the play's newest addition, so the play is back in production. Jeremy steals Dustin's part as court jester. Dustin discovers some very interesting facts about the school's newest addition when the principal accosts Dustin and accuses him of stealing the school's money box. The author includes hilarious characters, such as Dustin's grandmother, and surprises his readers with the talents of Dustin's skinny neighbor, LMNOP. Mr. Bonk was formerly a singer, musical comedian, and tap dancer. This is his debut novel. 2005, Little Brown and Company, Ages 10 to 14.
—Debbie West
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-Poor Dustin wants to be a professional actor when he grows up, but his sixth-grade class can't seem to get through a single performance of their play, The Castle of the Crooked Crowns, without the fire alarm going off or parts of the scenery crashing down. Dustin's life is further complicated by the fact that his father has run off to be a traveling stand-up comedian. If his mother finds out that there's another performer in the family, it may break her heart. When the child star of Dustin's favorite TV series moves to town, it could solve everyone's problems. Then again, that would be too easy. In the end, Dustin must rely on his own charm, talent, and chutzpah to extricate himself from his various crises and ultimately save the day. Bonk's novel is so lighthearted and uproarious that its serious underlying themes-the nature of true friendship, integrity, and trust-almost slip by unnoticed. Dustin is an eminently likable narrator. He is sarcastic and funny, but always comes across as a genuine 11-year-old boy with all of the insecurities and hopes that go along with early adolescence. Though some of the other characters are slightly overdrawn, most of them are recognizable caricatures of the eccentric grandmothers and hapless principals whom kids have encountered. The fast pace and good-natured humor will appeal to a wide range of readers.-Rachael Vilmar, Atlanta Fulton Public Library, GA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316154086
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 9/6/2006
  • Pages: 272
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 730L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 7.62 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Meet the Author

John Bonk's former life was devoted to musical comedy, working in New York and in Summerstock programs around the country. Dustin Grubbs is his first novel.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 28, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Cana Rensberger for TeensReadToo.com

    If you are looking for a fun read that will make you laugh, then DUSTIN GRUBBS: ONE-MAN SHOW by John J. Bonk is an act you shouldn't miss. <BR/><BR/>Dustin is a sixth grade thespian (actor) who has comedy and a thirst for performing in his blood. But don't tell his mom, since she says his dad's dream of being on stage is what caused the divorce nearly three years ago. One night he left for a gig, and Dustin hasn't heard from him since. <BR/><BR/>Dustin is not only the director of the school play, but has also landed the lead role. Performance day arrives and everything that can go wrong does, including major damage to the school's baby grand piano. The principal is holding Dustin and his favorite teacher, Miss Honeywell, responsible for finding a way to raise funds to repair the damage. <BR/><BR/>When Jeremy Jason Wilder, a famous teen actor, moves to his school, casting him in a small part seems to be the perfect solution to their financial dilemma. They could charge for the play and Dustin would have his moment in the spotlight performing to a full house. But Jeremy has his own secret that could stop the show. His arrival sets events in motion that could even cost Dustin his best friend, Wally. <BR/><BR/>John J. Bonk's amazing wit drives this book, from naming characters Pepper and LMNOP, to referring to ice water as "Adam's Ale, extra hale." Mr. Bonk creates the most amazing scenarios. This is a feel-good book that will have you laughing even after the last page is turned.

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