The Fourth Stall

( 126 )

Overview

The humor of Diary of a Wimpy Kid meets a Godfather-like tale of crime and betrayal in this first book in Chris Rylander's The Fourth Stall Saga.

Do you need something? Mac can get it for you. He and his best friend and business manager, Vince. Their methods might sometimes run afoul of the law, or at least the school code of conduct, but if you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can pay him, Mac is on your side. His office is located in the East Wing boy's ...

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The Fourth Stall

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Overview

The humor of Diary of a Wimpy Kid meets a Godfather-like tale of crime and betrayal in this first book in Chris Rylander's The Fourth Stall Saga.

Do you need something? Mac can get it for you. He and his best friend and business manager, Vince. Their methods might sometimes run afoul of the law, or at least the school code of conduct, but if you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can pay him, Mac is on your side. His office is located in the East Wing boy's bathroom, fourth stall from the high window. And business is booming. Or at least it was, until this particular Monday. Because this Monday is when Mac and Vince find out that the trouble with solving everyone else's problems is there's no one left to solve yours.

The school setting; fast-paced, cinematic, and funny story; and engaging voice make The Fourth Stall a perfect classroom read.

Supports the Common Core State Standards

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

This debut novel has won enthusiasts with its story about a likeable middle school problem solver who runs into some very formidable problems himself. With its God Father tribute cover, loathsome bullies, surprising plot twists, and can-do spirit hero, The Fourth Stall is an apt suggestion for readers eight thru 12.

Brian Monahan

Publishers Weekly
Debut novelist Rylander mines a substantial amount of humor and heart from this combination hard-boiled crime novel and middle-grade character piece. Sixth-graders Mac (the problem solver) and Vince (the financial adviser) have long run a fix-it business, helping kids get everything from loans to protection from bullies. When a third-grader named Fred claims he's being threatened by legendary dropout and crime boss Staples, Mac and his associates (including a group of oddball bullies that range from a third-grade "biter" to a skilled hacker) are drawn into a series of encounters that could lead to them getting beat up and losing the money they've made over the years. And since their beloved Cubs are about to make the World Series, losing that money means not being able to buy tickets. Rylander throws in some class issues—Mac and Vince met when living in a trailer park, but Mac's family now lives in a nicer house—and balances them with silliness (the title refers to the unused bathroom stall in which Mac's office is located). The resulting mix is a light and enjoyable caper. Ages 8–12. (Feb.)
Jon Scieszka
Here is an original-a story that really gets how guys are pals. It’s also funny, mysterious, and true to the heart of what really matters when you are in middle school. Do yourself a favor. Read it. Now.
ALA Booklist
Mac narrates the tale with the arch flatness of a 1940s satire of the noir detective genre…Excellent.
VOYA - Devin Burritt
Sixth grader Christian "Mac" Barrett can get you just about anything: whether it is tickets to an R-rated movie, or getting the local lunch money thugs to lay-off, he is the middle school student to make it happen. He operates out of the fourth stall in an unused school bathroom with his best friend and bookkeeper. Mac's business is running smoothly until Fred, a third-grade student, comes to him for protection from Staples, the ringleader of a new high school gambling outfit. Staples is taking bets, fixing the games, and then beating up the kids who cannot pay. Mac decides that in the interest of protecting Fred, and the whole school, he must take Staples down. The Fourth Stall makes good use of nonsequitur humor and a healthy dose of schoolyard violence to draw in even the most apprehensive young reader. Once he has the audience captivated, Ryland eloquently weaves in a story of economic class struggle, the pressure it can put on a friendship, and what it can drive a person to do. The result is a robust story rich in action, adventure, humor, and friendship. The noir fiction feel of the novel adds an interesting dimension to the story, but the author's repetition of some distinct phrases detracts from the overall flow. The Fourth Stall is a particularly good fit for reluctant readers trying to transition into young adult literature from juvenile fiction. Reviewer: Devin Burritt
School Library Journal
Gr 4–7—Sixth-grader Mac is a fixer, a problem solver. He runs a thriving business helping kids with everything from test answers to bullying. With his best friend and fellow Cubs fanatic, Vince, he makes a tidy profit greasing the skids for his classmates. Working out of a stall in an unused restroom, the buddies have amassed enough cash to buy tickets to a World Series game should the Cubs finally make it. But a seemingly simple job protecting a third grader from bullies brings a confrontation with Staples, a thugish dropout who Mac thought was only a legend. Staples is expanding his gambling ring into Mac's territory, threatening his business, and Mac will need all of his considerable talents to deal with the older and far more ruthless villain and his assortment of nasty henchmen. The writing is witty and there are some memorable characters, but the pace will not keep reluctant readers engaged. Vince's frequent nonsensical quotations from bizarre relatives and the boys' exchange of Cubs trivia can also be tiresome. However, the story does have some suspense and action, and middle schoolers will enjoy the younger kids standing up to older teens and operating under the noses of clueless adults.—Anthony C. Doyle, Livingston High School, CA
Kirkus Reviews

Need something? Test answers, a hall pass, a doctor's note or a video game? Mac can get it for you. Just come to his office—the fourth stall from the high window in the East Wing boys' bathroom. He's only a sixth grader, but he owns his school—at least until legendary bad guy Staples shows up with his henchman, the Collector. Then, a turf war ensues, and people start getting hurt. Rylander's debut, billed as "Diary of a Wimpy KidmeetsThe Sopranos," demonstrates the dangers for those caught in the middle when bullies run the school. Mac's story may center on his office in the fourth stall (and sport a graphically terrific cover), but it is hardly flush with excitement, as it slowly delineates the chesslike match between schoolboy godfathers, setting up the final confrontation move by move. Although it will likely shed readers along the way, it implies a sequel at the end, and those who make it to the final pages will look forward to it.(Fiction. 9-13)

Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)
Draws in even the most apprehensive young reader… A robust story rich in action, adventure, humor, and friendship.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061994968
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/8/2011
  • Pages: 314
  • Sales rank: 705,477
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 760L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 5.76 (h) x 1.06 (d)

Meet the Author

Chris Rylander is the author of the Fourth Stall saga. A fan of chocolate, chips, and chocolate chips, he lives in Chicago.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 126 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(103)

4 Star

(15)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 126 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2012

    H

    Do you hate school? Then hit yes if u agree!

    42 out of 84 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2011

    Great middle school level book

    The Fourth Stall is an engaging story with themes for middle school age children in dealing with bullying, solving problem, and developin their own creative ingenuity. Fun read, my students loved it.

    27 out of 30 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 1, 2011

    Highly Recommended

    Even though the book was aimed for a young audience, I loved it as an adult. I am a bit prejudiced; the author is my nephew. The plot is plausible and fun. The verbage is simple enough for young readers, but still delights adult readers. Characters are believable and the setting is realistic. I recognized local names and places from the author's hometown. The dialogue sounds like elementary kids speaking. The moral of the tale is: be loyal to your friends.

    15 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2012

    The best of all! Juji

    It is so interesting and it always keeps you on the egde of your seat.

    13 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2012

    Haha

    HILARIOUS im a girl and i think girls can read it even though it was aimed for boys but it was so funny cant wait to reaad the next one

    11 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 11, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    good read - recommend to anyone

    loved this book! it was easy reading and funny. the characters are unique and surprising, and there is an interesting twists on how to handle bullies that i loved. the plot has awsome twists and keeps you wanting more. has a lot to teach about trust, friendship and money budgets lol...this book is great for anyone of any age. like it says, "do yourself a favor, read it", i personally can't wait for book 2!

    10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2012

    Anonymous

    Awesome book. Read it in 2 days. Very interesting and it is a great book

    9 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 16, 2011

    Should i buy

    ?i dont know if i should buy, is it good for girls,& ME?

    7 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2012

    Yay!

    Putting it simply, this book was freaking awesome.

    6 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2012

    Definitely Recommend

    I bought this for my 10 year old grandson for Christmaws along with several other books. He decided to read this book first and he made it a point to call and tell me how much he is enjoying it. He said it is funny and he is really glad I got it for him.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2013

    One of my favorites

    Very well written and interesting. it kept me at the edge of my seat the whole time. There is a second one andbthe third is coming out on febuary 5 2012 im defenitly gonna get it!!!!!!!!!!!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2012

    Idk

    I loved this book at the start but then it got BORING with all this stuff about staples a bullies and buisiness stuff would not reccomend but the beginning is SO FUNNY

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2013

    The Fourth Stall

    This book is about a boy named Mac and his best friend Vince. They own a bussiness in the bathroom. Thier office is in the fourth stall from the big window. Mac and Vince are running a good bussiness untill a third-grade boy comes in and gives Mac and Vinve a problem they might not be able to solve! Will the boys give up on the child, or will they try and compelte one of the most dangerous "missions" ever? Also, if you are a Cubs fan, you will LOVE this book!!!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2013

    Mob meets Middle School

    I would recommend this book as summer reading for middle grade students. When a third grader shows up to Mac's and Vince's business seeking help for owing a large sum of money to a school gambling ring, the two protagonists wrap themselves into a problem that one could label 'The Mob meets Middle School' when they hire a group of bullies as strongmen and tie themselves up in a turf war. The story centers on themes such as friendship, trust, problem solving, bullying, and materialism and uses lots of slapstick and mystery tropes in lieu of preaching. There are a host of secondary characters that are two-dimensional, but endearing. None of the characters are flawless in their virtues, which keeps the reader from taking sides with Mac and Vince, and forces the reader to ask, 'Would I do the same thing?'

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2012

    MoonSpirit127

    I have heard great things about this book, but only from boys. Could girls read it?

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2014

    Anonymous

    One of next years BOB books if your entering middle school. Currently reading it this book is amazing.

    PS did you know theres a 2 & 3 one too.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2013

    Fourth stall

    This book could teach kids not to gamble

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2013

    Great BOOK

    THIS BOOK IS A BOOK I COULD READ OVER AND OVER AGAIN AND NOT GET TIRED OF IT I GIVE IT FIVE FLIPIN' STARS!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2013

    Fantastic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Read it please!!!!!!!!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2013

    The fourth stall

    This book is filpin awsome this is the type of book that u can read over and over and not get tired of it lol ttyl

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 126 Customer Reviews

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