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How Lamar's Bad Prank Won a Bubba-Sized Trophy
     

How Lamar's Bad Prank Won a Bubba-Sized Trophy

4.0 9
by Crystal Allen, Muhammad Cunningham (Narrated by)
 

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Thirteen-year-old Lamar Washington is the maddest, baddest, most spectacular bowler at Striker's Bowling Paradise. But while Lamar's a whiz at rolling strikes, he always strikes out with girls. And Lamar's brother is no help—Xavier earns trophy after trophy on the basketball court and soaks up Dad's attention, leaving no room for Lamar's problems.

Then bad

Overview

Thirteen-year-old Lamar Washington is the maddest, baddest, most spectacular bowler at Striker's Bowling Paradise. But while Lamar's a whiz at rolling strikes, he always strikes out with girls. And Lamar's brother is no help—Xavier earns trophy after trophy on the basketball court and soaks up Dad's attention, leaving no room for Lamar's problems.

Then bad boy Billy Jenks convinces Lamar that hustling at the alley will help him win his dream girl, plus earn him enough money to buy an expensive pro ball and impress celebrity bowler Bubba Sanders. But when Billy's scheme goes awry, Lamar ends up ruining his brother's shot at college and damaging every relationship in his life. Can Lamar figure out how to mend his broken ties, no matter what the cost?

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—Lamar, 13, wants nothing more than an idyllic summer hanging out at Striker's Bowling Paradise, girl watching, and eating. The trouble is, his reputation as a prankster has left him without a girlfriend, and problems at home have made him feel empty and confused. His brother's basketball skills have earned him the nickname "Xavier the Basketball Savior." Lamar feels that since his mother's death, his father has pinned all of his hopes and dreams on Xavier. Things intensify when Lamar sees a poster advertising a contest sponsored by pro bowler Bubba Sanders to win a "Pro Thunder" bowling ball. Billy Jenks, the school troublemaker, convinces Lamar that by hustling bowling games he can earn the money to buy his own ball and impress Bubba. Listeners will be eager to find out if Lamar's conscience kicks in before he gets into big trouble. Crystal Allen's debut novel (Balzer + Bray, 2011) is a fresh and clever story involving the themes of peer pressure and family problems. Allen has an uncanny ability to see into the hearts of teenage boys, while narrator Muhammed Cunningham speaks from their souls. He has impressive range as he handles Lamar's trash-talking, Midwestern corny humor and teen angst with equal aplomb. Fans of Jeff Kinney's The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series will love this brilliant and sometimes humorous snapshot of life in many inner city communities and the pressures facing teens living there.—Lisa Hubler, Charles F. Brush High School, Lyndhurst, OH
Publishers Weekly
Cocky, sharp-tongued, and a known prankster, 13-year-old Lamar Washington is a protagonist readers won't soon forget. Lamar lives for bowling, the sport his mother helped him discover before she died of cancer. Hoping to earn some money—both to court "superfine" Makeda Phillips and to buy a "Pro Thunder" ball before his bowling idol, Bubba Sanders, comes to town—Lamar starts hustling games with a local bad boy. Lamar's father lavishes much of his attention on Lamar's older brother, "Xavier the Basketball Savior," and after Xavier, who has stopped taking his anger medication, beats up Lamar, Lamar retaliates by pulling the fire alarm at Xavier's big game. The fallout from this prank is extensive, and Lamar digs deep into himself to make reparations to those he's hurt. Debut author Allen gives Lamar a singular (and often comically misguided) way with words ("Girl, you look like a big piece of Bubblicious," he tells Makeda, who is less than impressed by the compliment). Under all the braggadocio is a boy with a big heart, and from the first sentence Lamar will have readers hooked. Ages 8–12. (Mar.)
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"The powerful mix of sibling rivalry, revenge, and hard-won redemption strengthens the perennial appeal of the naïve-underdog-makes-good plot; readers will come for the laughs and stay for the laughs."
Neal Shusterman
“Crystal Allen has the rare ability to make you laugh out loud one minute and swell with tears the next. The tween book world has a new hero—Lamar Washington —as well as a brilliant new author who’s bound to win a Bubba-sized trophy herself!”
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“The powerful mix of sibling rivalry, revenge, and hard-won redemption strengthens the perennial appeal of the naïve-underdog-makes-good plot; readers will come for the laughs and stay for the laughs.”
The Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books
“The powerful mix of sibling rivalry, revenge, and hard-won redemption strengthens the perennial appeal of the naïve-underdog-makes-good plot; readers will come for the laughs and stay for the laughs.”
Children's Literature - Michele C. Hughes
From the opening line, "Since Saturday, I've fried Sergio like catfish, mashed him like potatoes, and creamed his corn in ten straight games of bowling..." Lamar's self-aggrandizing narration is fresh, funny and intriguing, and the distinctly African American cadences of his speech make his character seem authentic. This asthmatic bowler takes swagger to the nth degree with such charisma as he recounts the challenges he encounters in dealing with his basketball superstar brother, his reluctant girlfriend, and his shady bowling partner. It is summer, and fourteen-year-old Lamar aims to bowl the days away and strut his stuff. Enter Makeda, a formerly unattractive school acquaintance who has, seemingly overnight, grown into a fine-looking girl. Lamar charms her into a relationship and learns to navigate the waters of romance. Meanwhile, a troubled boy persuades Lamar to hustle bowling to earn them both big money, much to the disapproval of Lamar's best pal, Sergio. As Lamar teeters at the precipice of success—he's got the girl and he's got the cash—a regrettable prank sends him crashing down. The resolution is difficult for Lamar to bear, but it rings with truth and justice. Themes of sibling rivalry, the loss of a mother, knowing one's limitations, peer pressure and greed are woven throughout the story, resulting in a more mature character than the trash-talking big shot from the beginning. Humorous supporting characters, such as the old women who mother Lamar from their porches as he walks by, are written with heart and add a believable texture to Lamar's story. Reviewer: Michele C. Hughes
VOYA - Angie Hammond
Everything is finally looking up for Lamar—he has got some money in his pocket and a fine new girlfriend, and his game has never been better. But then things start to unravel. Hustling at the bowling alley with his new friend, Billy, is just plain wrong, and it is starting to eat at him. But Billy does know about life, and when Lamar's brother beats him senseless for no reason, Billy has the perfect plan for revenge. Hit him where it hurts: pull the fire alarm at X's biggest basketball game of the season. Finding out that Billy was just using him as a cover to steal computers does not hold a candle to the pain of dealing with the fallout for getting caught—the loss of respect from practically everyone in town, including himself. As Lamar works to make restitution to his family, his friends, the gym, and the community, he learns some strong lessons about what it means to be a man. The story line is engaging and believable, and although the overuse of slang is annoying to this adult reviewer, every teen that previewed the first page agreed that it is fun and attention getting. Recommend it to young teens who enjoy light reading, as well as reluctant readers. Reviewer: Angie Hammond

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781456135652
Publisher:
Recorded Books, LLC
Publication date:
04/19/2011

What People are Saying About This

Neal Shusterman
“Crystal Allen has the rare ability to make you laugh out loud one minute and swell with tears the next. The tween book world has a new hero—Lamar Washington —as well as a brilliant new author who’s bound to win a Bubba-sized trophy herself!”

Meet the Author

Crystal Allen is the author of How Lamar's Bad Prank Won a Bubba-Sized Trophy, which received a Florida Sunshine State Award Master List nomination and was a Junior Library Guild selection. The Laura Line is her second novel. She currently lives in Sugar Land, Texas, with her husband, Reggie, and two sons, Phillip and Joshua.

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How Lamar's Bad Prank Won a Bubba-Sized Trophy 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is ok and funny
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was so funny!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the best book ever
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is so awsome and I liked it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am reading this book in my real livrary and it is awsome this is one of me favprte books of all times
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book just ok Ages 9-14
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its book it very funny and nasty and fun .read it its a good book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm still reading this book and in to it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The author came to our school and is really funny and nice. She helped us make up a story, which was fun!! I am going to buy this book in hard copy and get her to sign it