Jeremy Bender vs. the Cupcake Cadets
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Jeremy Bender vs. the Cupcake Cadets

3.3 3
by Eric Luper
     
 

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When eleven-year-old Jeremy Bender does major damage to his father's prized boat, he figures he has one way to avoid being grounded for life: Fix it before Dad finds out. But even if Jeremy and his best friend, Slater, combined their allowances for a year, they still wouldn't have enough money for the cost of repairs.

Inspiration strikes when the boys see an

Overview

When eleven-year-old Jeremy Bender does major damage to his father's prized boat, he figures he has one way to avoid being grounded for life: Fix it before Dad finds out. But even if Jeremy and his best friend, Slater, combined their allowances for a year, they still wouldn't have enough money for the cost of repairs.

Inspiration strikes when the boys see an ad for the Windjammer Whirl. Sponsored by the Cupcake Cadets, the model sailboat race pays five hundred dollars to the winner. There's just one problem: You must be a Cadet—and a girl—to compete.

Confident that it will be the easiest money they've ever made, Jeremy convinces Slater they should dress up like girls and infiltrate the troop. But as the boys proceed to botch everything from camping to field hockey, they realize that being a Cadet is no piece of cupcake.

Can Jeremy and Slater earn their badges and win the money? Or will their Cupcake careers be over faster than you can say "vanilla frosting"?

Editorial Reviews

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
“Jeremy and Slater are likable bumblers, and the situations they find themselves in are campy fun. Readers who enjoy over-the-top silliness that settles into credible camaraderie will appreciate the plot arc here. ”
Gordon Korman
“Hats (and tams) off to Jeremy Bender for a belly-laugh not even the densest cupcakes could hold down!”
Julia DeVillers
“This book has it all: a laugh on each page, outrageous plot, snappy dialogue, mega-wedgies, and of course, cupcakes. Perfect for boys and girls. ”
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Jeremy and Slater are likable bumblers, and the situations they find themselves in are campy fun. Readers who enjoy over-the-top silliness that settles into credible camaraderie will appreciate the plot arc here. ”
Booklist
Praise for SETH BAUMGARTNER’S LOVE MANFIESTO: “An entertaining summer read with heart and soul.”
The Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books
“Jeremy and Slater are likable bumblers, and the situations they find themselves in are campy fun. Readers who enjoy over-the-top silliness that settles into credible camaraderie will appreciate the plot arc here. ”
School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—Sixth grade isn't going well for Jeremy Bender. Three days into the school year, the class bully, Paul Vogler, pins him to the soccer field to force him to eat the turf. Quick thinking on his pal Slater's part has mixed results. Then, Jeremy's plan to show his dad how responsible he can be with his cherished boat goes horribly awry. Jeremy decides that he will fix the engine without letting his father know about the accident. How to raise the cash? When the boys spot an ad for a Windjammer Whirl with a $500 prize, they think they've found their solution—until they discover that the race is open only to Cupcake Cadets and the organization is a girls-only group. Undaunted, Jeremy convinces Slater to join the Cupcake Cadets. With boys dressing as girls and surprises like discovering that Vogler's mother is the cadet troop leader, this humorous romp will have equal appeal to boys and girls. While Jeremy and Slater frequently try to be funny, much of the humor comes from unintentional hilarity, such as when Jeremy tries to interview his older sister about being a girl or coax a terrified Slater to come out of the woods wearing a cadet uniform. Luper maintains a believable story line with a couple of clever plot twists and genuinely endearing main characters. The ending will leave readers satisfied, but possibly craving cupcakes.—Brenda Kahn, Tenakill Middle School, Closter, NJ
Kirkus Reviews

A not-so-lightweight tale rises above drag jokes to reveal surprising profundity.

At first bite, this lightly humorous novel about two sixth-grade boys infiltrating the Cupcake Cadets (think Girl Scouts) to win a $500 prize seems to be going for cringe comedy, heavy on the gag aspects of boys wearing girls' clothing.But once the guys actually join the troop and discover that they can pass, the story becomes a richer, more layered confection. Jeremy Bender loves boats and dreams of piloting his father's beloved Chris-Craft. But when he and his best friend, Slater Stevenson, accidentally ruin the engine, Jeremy has to come up with big bucks to fix it. That's when he gets his big, albeit crazy idea—join the Cupcake Cadets and win their Windjammer Whirl, a model sailboat race. It's a hubris-filled plan with multiple pitfalls, and Jeremy and Slater fall into every one. Life lessons are learned, as the disasters prompt not only a renewed determination in our heroes, but also better planning and forethought, which are largely seen as female virtues. A subplot about a school bully who just happens to be the troop leader's son adds flavor, as does a determined, hardworking Cadet's discovery of their not-so-little secret.

Although amusing, this story never quite reaches the level of funny, but it's well-meaning and enjoyable. (Fiction. 8-12)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062015129
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
05/03/2011
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
456,960
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.00(d)
Lexile:
720L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

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What People are saying about this

Gordon Korman
“Hats (and tams) off to Jeremy Bender for a belly-laugh not even the densest cupcakes could hold down!”
Julia DeVillers
“This book has it all: a laugh on each page, outrageous plot, snappy dialogue, mega-wedgies, and of course, cupcakes. Perfect for boys and girls. ”

Meet the Author

Although Eric Luper never masqueraded as a girl to enter a competition, he did enter a lot of contests, some of which he actually won! Eric is the author of the teen novels Seth Baumgartner's Love Manifesto, Bug Boy, and Big Slick. This is his first novel for middle-grade readers.

Eric lives in upstate New York with his family.

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Jeremy Bender vs. the Cupcake Cadets 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Funniest book ever
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is awesome:-), but i've read better:-( :-) / :-(
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Y