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VOYATwelve-year-old Jake has had just about all he can take. His hometown of Patience, Kansas, is known for one thing-a fertilizer farm that stinks mightily. His father is a plumber so fascinated with his craft that he plans to open a toilet museum to display his prized collectibles. After all, he does have the first indoor flush toilet installed west of the Mississippi, a relic from his family's past. Even Jake's last name is Waters. Topping it all, there is a curse in the town, due in part to a peculiar occurrence back in 1877 at the Waters homestead. Embarrassed, Jake yearns for the normalcy of playing baseball and swimming at the quarry, but he learns a terrible secret about his father. He has brought back to town the terrible artifact that according to legend will bring about the end to Patience. Coincidentally an ominous storm is brewing on the horizon and people have been getting sick all over town. Is the curse real? This first novel is delightfully tongue-in-cheek, with more plot twists than one can shake a plunger at. The characters are well developed and lively, particularly Jake's friend Sira, a young Pakistani girl who loves to recite Kansas trivia. She is a crucial element in a drama that will not play out until a coded message, a treasure chest, the "Plunger of Destiny," and a long-lost relative reveal themselves. Teen readers should love this odd mixture of mystery and potty humor. VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P M J (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2006, Delacorte, 304p., and PLB Ages 11 to 15.