From the Publisher
* "With a fresh voice, sensitivity, dead-pan humor and myriad odd facts that he weaves into the story, Seth is irresistible. Would that more of MacLeod's charm and humor crosses the ocean." --Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"Seth's deadpan delivery of sometimes screamingly funny, sometimes mildly witty, and sometimes thoughtful way-homer quips, observations, and anecdotes is the gas that makes this Australian story go." --Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"A prescription for comic relief, this book encourages teens to step back and laugh at their own situations." --Library Media Connection
Seth Parrot is having a rough life. His rather odd parents insist that building a house out of manure bricks is good for both insulation and the environment. His brother Jack looks like a model and has tons of girlfriends. Seth is going through an awkward phase, which is not going to help him attract the sort of girlfriend he wants, with big muscles. Then Seth meets Miranda. They are both at the local rec center when he sees her. He is taking a drama class, and she is in kickboxing (and has the requisite muscles). Miranda seems to be attracted to Seth in spite of his weird hair and the random facts he spouts when nervous. Things are definitely looking up, until Seth’s dad and the neighborhood environmental health officer start a fight and begin pulling mean pranks on each other. The turf war starts to affect the whole family. Seth’s mom wants her husband to stop the antagonism, and Seth discovers that the girl of his dreams is the daughter of his father’s arch-nemesis! Can Seth and Miranda have a successful relationship in spite of the bad feelings between their families? Even more concerning, will Seth’s parents’ marriage survive the stress of the turf war? Told in a refreshing, hilarious and quirky voice, readers will root for Seth Parrot all the way to the end. The author includes a note on Australian slang. Reviewer: Gwen Vanderhage
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up
This charmingly funny Australian comedy stars an offbeat teenage boy, his kooky hippie family, and other wacky small-town characters. Seth Parrot's family's feud with a straitlaced city environmental-health officer escalates while a romance burgeons between Seth and the man's muscular daughter, Miranda. Seth is an unassumingly innocent character whose lack of artifice brings a lighthearted humor to his voice and dialogue. The narration is well paced, keeping readers moving through the never-ending silliness of the boy-gets-girl plot and the many subplots. The Parrots' absurd behavior, such as the running gag of the dad peeing on the lemon tree in their yard or the little brother's overpowering vanity, never lets up. The rest of the town follows suit with their own stereotypes; only Miranda's character is fleshed out enough to stand on her own. Unfortunately, the hippie jokes and various plot contrivances will be funniest to those of a previous generation; the title, for example, refers to Seth's parents' enjoyment of Cat Stevens's 1971 classic song "Moonshadow." An enjoyable read, though, for general purchase.
Rhona CampbellCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
While not a girl-magnet like his melodramatic younger brother, budding playwright Seth Parrot, a 14-year-old Australian, leads a content life until his "alternative" parents build their dream home, literally, out of mud bricks. They "render" it with a coating of manure, bringing out the no-nonsense senior environmental-health officer and town councilor, Mr. Raven. Seth's father accidentally (although this is questionable) flicks manure at Mr. Raven, starting a bitter war between the families. Seth also worries about his overly amorous parents' sudden lack of interest in each other and that he'll never find a woman as fine as Opal Honey, the muscular Ms. Olympia bronze medalist. Then he meets the toned kickboxing student, Miranda, at the Shared Learning Center his mother runs. When the teen discovers that Miranda is Mr. Raven's daughter and Miranda's father discovers who his daughter is dating, the battle escalates until the star-crossed couple, a wacky band of concerned citizens and Seth's father intervene. With a fresh voice, sensitivity, dead-pan humor and myriad odd facts that he weaves into the story, Seth is irresistible. Would that more of MacLeod's charm and humor crosses the ocean. (Fiction. YA)