Oggie Cooder

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Overview

From the author of So B. It, a super charming middle-grade Napoleon Dynamite with heart - the tale of a very average boy who's put in his school's spotlight when his averageness appeals to a TV show.

Oggie Cooder has a talent -- he can charve better than anyone else in Truman Elementary School. (Charving, for the uninitiated, is the carving of a piece of cheese with one's teeth.) Oggie doesn't think this is anything special -- but his whole school will soon be disagreeing with ...

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Overview

From the author of So B. It, a super charming middle-grade Napoleon Dynamite with heart - the tale of a very average boy who's put in his school's spotlight when his averageness appeals to a TV show.

Oggie Cooder has a talent -- he can charve better than anyone else in Truman Elementary School. (Charving, for the uninitiated, is the carving of a piece of cheese with one's teeth.) Oggie doesn't think this is anything special -- but his whole school will soon be disagreeing with him. Because after he inadvertantly charves during a nationwide hunt for unusual talents, his charving puts him on the path to fame and forture. Suddenly, he's the star of the school . . . but he's not sure that he wants to shine that way.
This is Sarah Weeks at her best -- funny, clever, and kid-friendly.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Jennifer Wood
Oggie Cooder has a talent every bit as unique as his name. He charves cheese, preferably sliced not-quite room-temperature cheese. For the uninitiated, charving is a cross between chewing and carving, or rather, it is carving by chewing—a talent Oggie's friend Amy Schneider discovers. The two were sitting at lunch when she noticed he had accidentally nibbled a piece of cheese into a perfect replica of Florida, and Oggie grew his repertoire from that humble beginning. When a kid's unusual talent show comes to town looking for fresh stars to put on television, Oggie's classmate Donnica Perfecto convinces him to teach her how to charve. Fortunately for Oggie, she is not very good at charving but is very secretive, so on the day of her audition, even Donnica's mother needs Oggie's help finding the aspiring star. They find her at the park, mangling her charving audition, and once the producers see Oggie trying to give her pointers, they offer him the slot on the show instead. As word spreads of Oggie's forthcoming television appearance, he finds himself more accepted, but Donnica refuses to be upstaged and instead finagles herself into position as Oggie's manager. Her re-invention of Oggie goes too far, even by his docile standards, and Oggie takes a stand. Oggie's conflict between fitting in and finding himself is very relatable, and this wonderfully offbeat main character is sure to appeal to many kids. Even bossy Donnica and awkward Amy are enjoyable, and it is also refreshing to read a story with such a wholesome home life for the main character. The book would fit well with a unit about outsiders or the American Dream and lends itself well to an exploration or discussion of otherpeople's unusual talents. Reviewer: Jennifer Wood
School Library Journal

Gr 3-5- While Oggie's teachers have described him as "quirky" and "one-of-a-kind," his peers are less than complimentary about his hand-crocheted shoelaces and wardrobe from his parents' secondhand store. It is easy to see that the fourth grader is destined to become famous for some offbeat skill. Oggie's talent happens to be "charving" cheese slices, which is a cross between chewing and carving. His ability to charve the outlines of different states could land him on an "American Idol"-like television program called "Hidden Talents," but before the audition, he captures the interest of Donnica Perfecto, who has great ambition but no claim to fame. She decides to steal her classmate's unusual talent; when that doesn't work, she takes over as his manager. Pushed to the limit, Oggie finally makes some decisions about what's important to him. The protagonist's endearing cluelessness and spoiled Donnic's over-the-top conceitedness are well described, making this a fun, high-interest read.-Kathleen Meulen, Blakely Elementary School, Bainbridge Island, WA

Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Quirky fourth-grader Oggie Cooder has a unique talent. When bored or nervous, he chews processed cheese slices into the shape of states; he calls it "charving." Accidentally, this cheese chewing gets him chosen for the TV show Hidden Talents. Suddenly, he is the most famous fourth-grader in Wauwatosa, Wis. Donnica Perfecto, an ambitious classmate, becomes his manager, kids all over are imitating his odd clothing and crocheted shoelaces and, best of all, the boys in his class invite him to play basketball and even help him improve his game. But fame has its downside. As Donnica and the TV people attempt to change him, Oggie resists, realizing that that Hollywood is Donnica's dream, not his. Many characters will be familiar to young readers: the tight group of overprivileged girls, the jocks and the slightly dorky boy oblivious to sarcasm and social cues. What is refreshing is that Oggie doesn't have to change his nature to change his social status. Gentle humor with a satisfying message for middle-grade readers. (Fiction. 7-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780439927918
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/1/2008
  • Pages: 176
  • Age range: 7 - 10 Years
  • Lexile: 880L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 7.60 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Born in Ann Arbor Michigan, Sarah Weeks tried to become a champion charver in order to write this story, but she found that she wasn’t quite as good at it as Oggie Cooder. Luckily she does not depend on her charving skills to make a living. Instead, she writes widely acclaimed books, including So B. It, the Guy series (Regular Guy; Guy Time; My Guy; and Guy Wire), and the Boyds Will Be Boyds series (Beware of Mad Dog; Get Well Soon, Or Else!; Danger! Boys Dancing; and Fink’s Funk). She lives in New York City, and can be found on the Web at www.sarahweeks.com.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Oggie Cooder

    Oggie Cooder is a very good story! As you can see i have rated this book pretty high in the rating chart, I want to say all of that rating is true!
    in this story Oggie is a very corkey little boy. I'll read you the summary! Oggie Cooder has a talent. he chews and carves pieces of cheese into ant shape he wants then to be. this is called charving. Oggie dosen't think his charving is anything special. I fact, most of the kids in his school think it's alittle weird. but then a big tv show comes to town, looking for people who have weird talents. Suddenly< Oggie is Mr. Popular...especialy with Donnica Perfecto, the girl across the stree who wants to be famous, no matter what. will Oggie be able to charve his way to the top? Is he ready to be a Big Cheese? Get ready for a fun. hilarios story about a charving chapion you'll never forget!! so that sums up the story!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 31, 2009

    hooray for the underdog

    this book is a feel good book. it teaches how rich spoiled brats try to manipulate the less fortunate and this one the underdog wins and makes friends in the process, great book.my 9 year old loves it!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2008

    Cheese Charver

    I would rate Oggie Cooder outstanding!!! Oggie Cooder is a fun loving energetic book! The first time I read it, I was laughing my head off! The book is filled with adventure, a little mystery and sneakyness! I think that the book will be great for everyone 7 and up.

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

    Posted February 2, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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