In screenwriter Taylor's entertaining, if ephemeral, debut novel and B-movie takeoff, 14-year-old Toby Magill gets a summer job at the new Killer Pizza franchise in town (specialties include the "Fangtastic Hawaiian" and "Vampire Stakes"), where he hopes to hone his own cooking skills to fulfill his dream of becoming a famous chef. After a few enjoyable weeks, he and his fellow employees, the intelligent Annabel and the gruff Strobe, learn that Killer Pizza is a front for a secret organization that hunts monsters. The teens soon embark on a training course to become Monster Combat Officers, learning the ways of the strange creatures known as guttatas that are terrorizing their small town. Taylor keeps the action coming at a brisk pace, though there's never a real sense of true danger-even the teens mutated by the guttatas in the opening scenes are rescued. Older readers might question some plot holes (not to mention the idea of recruiting young kids to fight monsters), but most will find the book a fun diversion. Ages 10-14. (June)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Killer Pizzaby Greg Taylor
Pizza you'll die for!
Toby McGill dreams of becoming a world-famous chef, but up until now, his only experience has been watching the Food Network. When Toby lands a summer job at Killer Pizza, where pies like The Monstrosity and The Frankensausage are on the menu, things seem perfect. His coworkers, Annabel and Strobe, are cool, and Toby loves being part of/p>… See more details below
Pizza you'll die for!
Toby McGill dreams of becoming a world-famous chef, but up until now, his only experience has been watching the Food Network. When Toby lands a summer job at Killer Pizza, where pies like The Monstrosity and The Frankensausage are on the menu, things seem perfect. His coworkers, Annabel and Strobe, are cool, and Toby loves being part of a team. But none of them are prepared for what's really going on at Killer Pizza: It's a front for a monster-hunting organization!
Learning to cook pizzas is one thing, but killing hideously terrifying monsters? That's a whole other story. Still, if Toby quits Killer Pizza, will monsters take over his town?
Greg Taylor's Killer Pizza is a humorous and fast-paced read that R.L. Stine calls "a hot slice of horror that I couldn't put down!"
Read an Excerpt
By Greg Taylor
Feiwel and FriendsCopyright © 2009 Greg Taylor
All rights reserved.
Toby Magill had just sat down at his desk to boot up his computer when he heard his cell phone ring. Tossing aside the graphic novels and clothes strewn across his bedroom floor, Toby found the phone in a pair of cargo shorts and snapped it open.
"I'd like to speak to Toby Magill, please."
"This is Steve Rogers, from Killer Pizza."
"Oh, yeah. Hi."
"I have good news, Toby. We'd like you to wear Killer Pizza's distinctive black T-shirt with the red logo known around the world."
"Congratulations. The job is yours to lose. Come in tomorrow morning at eleven. By the end of the day you'll know how to make the best pizzas in the universe."
Steve Rogers hung up before Toby had a chance to say thank you. Staring at the phone, Toby wondered if he really heard what he thought he had just heard. After peppering at least a dozen local businesses with work applications over the past few weeks — and getting turned down by all of them — had this man actually offered him a job?
If so, Toby wanted to do more than just say thank you to Steve Rogers. He wanted to kiss the guy's foot! He felt like letting out a whoop of joy! But Toby — by nature a shy, introverted kind of kid — bypassed the whoop of joy and simply smiled at this wonderful news.
So long, summertime blues!
Only two weeks had ticked by since school let out, but Toby was already dealing with a mean case of the SBs. Sure, he had his graphic novels, computer, video games, and chores he was always forgetting to do. But step outside of his home and there was nothing to do in his Ohio suburban community of Hidden Hills. Nothing for Toby, anyway. His only real friend had left for California to spend the summer with his dad and stepmother. That had left Toby hangin' out in the wind. Alone.
But this was great! Toby was confident that Killer Pizza would kick-start what had so far been an incredibly dull summer.
"Guess what? I got a job," Toby announced at dinner that evening.
Toby's mother frowned, obviously not overjoyed at the prospect of her son finding employment. His sister, Stacey, looked like she didn't believe him. As for Mr. Magill, Toby's news of summer employment brought a smile to his face. "That's great, Toby. Where?"
"Killer Pizza. It's right down on Industrial Avenue."
"Weird spot for a pizza place," Stacey said.
Toby felt like giving his bratty twelve-year-old sister a swift kick under the table. To say the two had a combative relationship would be putting it mildly.
It didn't help that Stacey was so good at everything, from academics to learning the flute to being so naturally at ease with people.
By contrast, nothing had ever come easily to Toby. He struggled to keep a B average, had not been able to master any of the instruments he had tackled so far — including his battered secondhand guitar — and had always found it difficult to make friends, thanks to that shy streak of his.
Those weren't the only differences between brother and sister. Physically they were worlds apart, as well, Stacey being a small, petite kid — she took after her mom in that regard — compared to Toby, who was big for his age and close enough to being overweight that his mother was constantly reminding him to watch those sweets.
"Well, that's where it is," Toby told his sister, referring to the location of Killer Pizza. "Go look for yourself if you don't believe me."
"I still think you're too young to be working," Mrs. Magill said. Toby had turned fourteen just a few months before, which meant he had been able to apply for a work permit. "Especially at a place called Killer Pizza. What kind of name is that?" Mrs. Magill's expression looked like she had just eaten something very distasteful.
"It's 'Pizza to Die For.' If I'm lucky, no one will die from any of the pizzas I make."
"Toby! That's a terrible thing to say!"
"Just a little joke, Mom. Anyway ..." Toby gave his dad a smile as he got up from the table. "I start tomorrow morning." After placing his plate, silverware, and glass into the dishwasher, Toby walked from the room.
"Tell you one thing," Stacey yelled after her brother. "I'm not ordering a pizza from you, that's for sure!"
Stacey was actually right about Killer Pizza's address. It was an odd spot for a pizza place. Industrial Avenue wasn't an avenue at all. It was a dead-end side road lined with old, somewhat decaying industrial buildings that housed a hodgepodge of businesses, from Washabaugh Auto Body to a dog obedience school to Harr's Boat Covers.
Toby was nervous as he rode his bike past Harr's the following morning. "The job is yours to lose." That's what Steve Rogers had told him. When he got to the Killer Pizza shop — located in a crumbling, 1950s-era brick building that sported a certain kind of funky charm — he hesitated before entering, took a deep breath, then exhaled slowly.
Toby didn't want this job just to ward off the summertime blues. Fact was, he harbored a secret passion he hadn't revealed to anyone. Not to his family. Not to his best friend.
He religiously watched the Food Channel.
Yes, Toby thought it might be kind of cool to be a chef. And why not? Celebrity chefs were in, after all. They were stars. What they mostly weren't — from what Toby had seen on TV, anyway — were muscled, perfect-looking, athletic types, the kind who always brushed past him disdainfully in the hallways at school.
That gave Toby the license to dream about being a chef in a way that he could never dream about being one of the Popular Kids at school. Problem was, dreaming was all Toby had done, as far as being a chef was concerned. Cooking was still a secret ambition of his, which meant he had zilch experience in the kitchen.
So that's why Toby was so nervous as he stood on the sidewalk in front of Killer Pizza. This wasn't dreaming anymore, it was real life, a pretty scary thing for someone who was not exactly overloaded with self-confidence. After squelching a sudden impulse to turn and run, Toby squared his shoulders and nodded. Ready or not, it was time. Time to meet his destiny!
Or at least try to learn how to make a decent pizza pie.
When Toby pushed through the front door of the pizza shop, he was greeted by the sight of four people standing in the small area in front of the ordering counter. He tried not to stare at the beautiful girl with the ink-black hair.
This can't be right, Toby thought. That's Annabel Oshiro. What's she doing here?
And yet it was Annabel Oshiro. A bona fide member of the Cool Kids Clique at Toby's school, Annabel was also a Rich Kid, her family being one of the wealthiest in the community. Impressive social credentials, to be sure, but the really impressive thing about Annabel — as far as Toby was concerned — was how down-to-earth she was. With her outgoing personality and winning smile, Annabel managed the rare feat of actually being nice to everyone, no matter where they were on the social scale.
Thrilled as Toby was at the prospect of working with Annabel, he couldn't help but wonder ... why she was here, at Killer Pizza, standing in front of the large, colorful poster that advertised the various KP pizza choices. Certainly she had better, more exciting things to do than slave away in the hot kitchen of a take-out pizza chain all summer long.
"Mr. Magill?" Steve Rogers, with his crew cut, glasses, and pressed T-shirt, was the classic small-shop manager type. His eyes, magnified behind his glasses, were staring at Toby. "I'd like you to meet your fellow Killer Pizza staff."
Toby nodded, eager to get on with things.
Annabel smiled as she stepped toward Toby, holding out her hand. "You're Toby, right?"
"Yes," Toby said, surprised that Annabel knew his name.
"We had English and geometry together last year."
"Yes," Toby said again. He knew from taking those classes with Annabel that she was really smart, a serious student. So, let's see, in addition to being great-looking, popular, and one of the Rich Kids, Annabel was also a brainiac. Not a bad resume.
"This should be fun," Annabel said, looking like she meant it.
"Yes," Toby said. Better come up with a few more words in this conversation or this girl's gonna think you're an idiot!
A tall guy with a lean but muscular build was the next one to shake Toby's hand. "Strobe," he said simply. Strobe had really intense green eyes, Toby noticed, eyes that seemed to take him in and size him up in a quick glance. Unlike Annabel's warm greeting, Strobe's was cool, abrupt. Toby didn't recognize him. Strobe — whatever kind of name that was — looked older to Toby. Which would explain his unfamiliarity. He probably went to Triple H (Hidden Hills High), the intimidating fortress that Toby would begin attending in the fall.
"And, last but not least, this is Doug," Steve said, indicating a teenager who looked like he wanted to be anywhere else but in the front reception area of Killer Pizza. Doug did not respond to Toby's effort to shake hands. After holding out his hand awkwardly for a moment, Toby withdrew it. Okay, this kid is kinda strange.
"You four are the first employees of the Hidden Hills franchise of Killer Pizza," Steve announced. Toby thought Steve might tear up, he looked so emotional. "Wear the colors proud."
With that, Steve distributed four Killer Pizza T-shirts and four Killer Pizza baseball-style caps. The T-shirts were black with KILLER PIZZA on the front pocket in small, red letters. On the back of the tee — also in red — was a large, smiling, Godzilla-like creature holding up a steaming pizza pie. Beneath this variation on the Italian chef holding up a pizza was the KP logo ...
PIZZA TO DIE FOR.
"What do you say, people?" Steve said, his eyes glinting with excitement. "Let's learn how to make pizzas!"
Toby fell backward onto his bed that evening and smiled up at the ceiling. Yes! He had passed the first test!
True, he had no idea how he would react under fire, during the busy dinner hours when he would have to choose from more than two dozen toppings and three different types of dough as he quickly constructed one of five different sizes of specialty pizzas after another (example: the Creature Double Feature — two mediumsize pizzas, choice of any three toppings). But so far, so good.
Toby had absolutely loved the feel of the dough between his hands as he began making his first pizza. He loved the challenge of sprinkling just the right amount of ingredients onto the round pie. (They were all instructed to make a Monstrosity — an extra large with everything.)
Finally, there was the nervous — but somehow wonderful — anticipation as he waited for his pie to come out of the wood-burning oven. When it did, Steve tasted Toby's first Killer Pizza. He had criticized all the others for one reason or another. "Too much pepperoni" (Strobe's). "Too doughy" (Annabel's). "This is a total disaster!" (Doug's).
So Toby had waited to see what was wrong with his pizza. He knew something had to be wrong with it. But then Steve, his eyes closed for what seemed like a long time after tasting Toby's pizza, looked at him and said, "This pizza ... is killer!"
Toby smiled, thinking of that moment. It was a moment he had a hard time believing had really happened. But it had. It really had. Heck, who knew, could be he was a natural at this. Could be he was too good for Killer Pizza. Of course, he'd work there for a while, get some experience, but then ... he'd strike out on his own! Open his own pizza shop! Write a bestselling pizza cookbook! Have his own show on the FC!
"How bad was your first day, on a scale of one to ten?" Toby hadn't noticed Stacey, arms crossed, smug smile, leaning against the jamb in his open bedroom doorway. Toby felt so good he didn't even mind that Stacey had interrupted his delicious pizza dreams. He calmly got up from his bed and walked toward his sister.
"On a scale of one to ten, ten being best? It was an eleven!" Toby slammed the door in Stacey's face, then smiled when he heard her run off down the hall, calling out for her mom as though she were a five-year-old. Turning away from the door, Toby walked over to his open window.
The view didn't look as tired as it did the day before. The hills of Hidden Hills now seemed to glow brightly in the amber light of the setting sun. Toby leaned on the sill and breathed in the warm, humid evening air. Incredible how things could change so quickly. From dreading the summer to suddenly welcoming it with open arms!
Wait, what was that?
Toby frowned as he scanned the line of trees that bordered the backyard of his house. He had just seen something move through those trees. A large upright shape of some sort, too large to have been human.
What was that? Toby wondered. A bear? Is that what I just saw? Toby wasn't even sure if there were bears anywhere around Hidden Hills. Besides that, he was pretty sure they didn't jog around on two legs.
A sudden breeze blew through the trees. The movement of the leaves shimmering in the dying summer light caused Toby to snap back to reality. The shape in the woods was probably nothing. Probably just a trick of lighting.
Turning away from the window, Toby plopped himself back onto his bed. He was anxious to get back to his Killer Pizza dreams.
Still, as Toby lay on his bed, he couldn't quite shake the image of the shape in the woods. Had it been a trick of lighting? Or simply leaves moving in a summer breeze?
Yeah, of course it was, Toby convinced himself. Then, starting with when he rode his bike up to Killer Pizza at eleven o'clock, Toby ran through the events of his wonderful day one more time.CHAPTER 2
Several hours after Toby was distracted by the mysterious shape outside his house, a young employee of Hidden Hills Echo 8-Plex movie theater exited the rear doors of the theater and walked toward his '92 Corolla. It was well past midnight and he had just finished his least favorite chore, cleaning up the mess left behind in the theaters after another long summer day of cinematic fun. The kid pulled his keys out of his pocket and was about to open his car door when he felt a sharp sting of pain at the back of his thigh.
Dropping his keys as he spun around, the kid was so startled at what he saw behind him that he froze on the spot, mouth open in astonishment.
"What the ..."
A streetlamp shone brightly behind the figure standing a few feet away, obscuring its features but sharply defining its tall, monstrous shape. If the kid had any impulse to run away from the thing, he wasn't able to act on it. He staggered suddenly from the effects of the bite, tried to stay upright, but fell backward and landed on his butt. He slowly looked up at the creature that had taken a step toward him, his expression registering confusion and disbelief.
"What is this, a joke?"
The thing — whatever it was — did not reply to the question. The kid did a kind of slow-motion tilt — his eyes never leaving the incredible sight in front of him — then collapsed onto his side. He seemed to be trying to say something, but his voice was low and slurred.
The creature remained standing a few feet away, silently studying its prey. It only took a few more moments for the kid's eyes to close, then he lay still on the concrete.CHAPTER 3
On Killer Pizza's opening day, Toby woke up long before he needed to. Actually, he felt like he hadn't slept more than a few minutes the entire night, he was so excited.
And nervous. He had spent the past few days with Annabel, Strobe, and Doug training at the shop, honing his pizza-making skills and learning everything from the right words to say when answering the phone to the proper way to clean up shop.
When the time came for Toby to hop onto his bike and pedal down the street to Industrial Avenue, he checked himself out in the mirror one last time. The uniforms kids were forced to wear for their summer jobs were usually pretty embarrassing. But Killer Pizza's black tee and baseball cap — complemented with blue jeans and black Converse sneakers — wasn't the least bit embarrassing. It was downright cool, Toby thought. He nodded at his image in the mirror, sucked in his gut — yeah, that was better — then headed off to his first day at work, saying a silent prayer that everything would go smoothly.
"Stop it, you two!"
Toby and Strobe interrupted their argument as soon as they heard Annabel's command. However Toby had imagined what day one might be like, this particular scenario had never crossed his mind. He and Strobe had been butting heads in the kitchen from the moment Killer Pizza opened.
Excerpted from Killer Pizza by Greg Taylor. Copyright © 2009 Greg Taylor. Excerpted by permission of Feiwel and Friends.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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This is a book that i will read several times over. It is a fun book with mystery, adventure, myth and serealism. I recomend this book to readers of all ages
Very good! I bought this for my 12 year old grand daughter but I started reading it first and only put it down under duress. The characters are so normal, you feel like you know them personally. A great self discovery and coming of age story, the book was humorous but did not sacrifice excitement to make a joke. I passed it on to my 87 year old mother, an avid reader and am anxious to know what she thought of it. Great job!!
This book is amazing it is one of the best books i have ever read
Killer Pizza This book was very action packed! It wasn't predictable at all,and it absolutely had everything in a horror book that I wouldn't expect! The characters went great with the plot. Toby should have been more brave than he was though, because he was the main character. I can't even describe how much I adored everything about this book! I couldn't put it down. I even had a nightmare about having to kill the Alpha Guttata alone!! Annabel and Strobe were amazing characters,and very well thought out. Harvey and Steve were great crime fighting partners.There were some characters though, that I feel were just random. A lot of them weren't even described well,like the blue eyed women. What was her purpose? I don't even think I caught what her name was. The Alpha Guttata was a very scary,shady character, which I liked. The plot line and the speed of the events were good! The next thing that happened was just so unexpected which was a great attention grabber!The last part with the Alpha Guttata was pretty self-explanatory though.I would have liked it better if Toby,Strobe,and Isabel went to go watch the fight and accidently got pulled into it. The Killer Pizza headquarters were amazing!They were so undercover and secretive.I couldn't imagine the basement though.The way that the training room was described wasnt easy enough for me to understand,which was dissapointing.The dead hanging Guttata was a really creepy addition for the type of setting.It was funny how Strobe named it,and when he hit it Toby got creeped out!
This book was extremely suspenseful i couldnt put it down MUST READ.NOW!
I recomend this book to anyone. Great use of action and makes you think.
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I love this book because its super weird cool i havent really read it all so i dont know what the scary part is but i know killer pizza is a great book and if you dont like my post you can kiss it so i can diss it if you like my comment then good for you a least someone appriciates my critictivity i thank all of my fans i thank you my freinds i love you belive in your dream make pizzas keep reading its adveturous and art in the whole word believe in youtsellf and do what you do best thank you from true belivers not justin beiber related amd i dont sing bad its just cuz my voice gets soar specific markasia madison im talkin to u
My 8yr old son loves it. My 7yr old daughter just started reading ir and is enjoying it so far.
Great bok for project
I love this book!
Dont be fooled by Killer Pizza having to do with pizza. It is actually a monster fighting agency. The begining is the best part of the book. You dont have to read the end. If you like people fighting monsters then this is the right book for you. If you are interested in pizza, not monsters, then dont read this book. The book starts off at the pizza shop then gets to the monster fighting part.
Better than the first one! The dekayi are cooler than the guttata!!! Calanthe is now my fave character. Ihope greg makes another kp book!!!!!!!!!
I never read this book but it must be awesome!!! I can't wait till i have this book on my nook! Im going to do a book report on this hopping it will be a really neat so i won't get bored by this just like in the begining of Killer Pizza until i had to start reading it!!!!
I can't belive this im going to read the slice next its awesome!!!!!
The perfect combition of horror,reality,and a boy's dreams that come with a catch.