Out of Patience

Out of Patience

4.6 3
by Brian Meehl
     
 

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Some folks have skeletons in their closets. The Waters have toilets. Jake’s mortified by his dad’s dream to open the American Toilet Museum. Toilets have caused enough turmoil in Patience, Kansas. Patience has been cursed for 129 years, since Jeremiah Waters installed the first flush toilet. The Dolphin Deluge Wash-Down Water Closet caused a stink, and

Overview

Some folks have skeletons in their closets. The Waters have toilets. Jake’s mortified by his dad’s dream to open the American Toilet Museum. Toilets have caused enough turmoil in Patience, Kansas. Patience has been cursed for 129 years, since Jeremiah Waters installed the first flush toilet. The Dolphin Deluge Wash-Down Water Closet caused a stink, and since then Patience has been drying up like a cow pie in August. Jake wants out of Patience, especially when his dad gets a relic for his museum, triggering the curse’s last promise: “The day the Plunger of Destiny returns to Patience, the final destruction begins!” Can Jake save Patience by discovering what happened when Jeremiah last sat on the Dolphin Deluge Wash-Down Water Closet?


From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

VOYA
Twelve-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.
—Kevin Beach
Children's Literature - Barbara L. Talcroft
Patience is a dusty, fading town in Kansas. Twelve-year-old Jake and his plumber father are hanging on; Jim Waters hopes one day to open an American Toilet Museum and put Patience back on the map. Jake just wants to get out before a legendary curse destroys the town. This novel for middle readers has many strands: baseball rivalry among Jake and his friends, the history of the curse dating from 1877, the search for a treasure map, and attempts to conceal nitrates found in the town's well water. As these plots and subplots intertwine, moving from humor (toilet jokes) to terror (a frightening hailstorm and a devastating tornado), readers meet a variety of characters like Jake's lively Pakistani-American friend Cricket; Mr. Knight, owner of the town's only business, a fertilizer factory; eccentric Mrs. Bickers; and a sinister EPA inspector who nearly finishes off Jake and his friends. All this makes for a long novel, mostly entertaining, but sometimes confusing as to whether it is realism, fantasy, or a long tall tale. The ending ties up the strands neatly when the demise of Patience and the discovery of an unexpected treasure solve all problems. The picture of dusty, rural Kansas at the mercy of its weather and its memories is surprisingly well evoked by a creator living in Connecticut; the characters are engaging and often amusing, especially Jake, Jim, and Cricket. Readers who survive the toilet lore and overwhelming presence of manure at the fertilizer farm may find it a satisfying read.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-Toilets, tornadoes, buried treasure, and a curse play key roles in this enjoyable tale set in Patience, KS. Jake's father hopes to open a toilet museum, despite the objections of the townspeople and the embarrassment of his son. When his dad obtains the infamous "plunger of doom," the 12-year-old is convinced that it has triggered a curse that will destroy his town. As thunderstorms hit and heated conflicts between longtime neighbors arise, his worries increase. Ultimately these events lead to Jake and his friends solving an old mystery. This all sounds pretty melodramatic, but the story unfolds with a light touch throughout. Repeated references to Jake's dad's obsession with toilets and to the manure plant that stinks up the community offer some funny moments. Crisp dialogue and a playful narrative voice add more, with a nice balance between humor and suspense. Jake's strong belief that the curse will bring true disaster doesn't always seem totally credible, but the varied plot threads blend nicely and come together in a far-fetched, but satisfying, conclusion. Themes of friendship, responsibility, and family come through without overwhelming the plot. This could be a good title to recommend to fans of Louis Sachar's Holes (Farrar, 1998) and Carl Hiassen's novels for kids.-Steven Engelfried, Beaverton City Library, OR Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Meehl leads Holes fans into familiar territory with this tale of an everyteen whose intention to leave home ASAP is ultimately modified by events. Jake Waters has spent all his life in Patience, an isolated western town that has been dying ever since outlaw trouble in the 19th century resulted in a curse and a misplaced trove of buried treasure. (Sound familiar?) He has little on his mind beyond doing well in the town's World Series. Of the league's eight players, Jake is third best behind his rivalrous friends Howie (scion of the local fertilizer processing plant's owner) and Cricket (daughter of Pakistani parents), and making good on his vow to escape both Patience and the plans of his father, the town plumber, to open a museum of toilets. Matters come to a head (as it were) after the Plunger of Destiny, which had played a key role in the original curse, resurfaces, followed by a tornado that leaves Patience hip deep in its major industrial product, and the arrival of (more deja vu) a witchy government official determined to find the treasure. Featuring likeably human main characters, a colorful supporting cast, memorably offbeat set pieces and a credible small-town atmosphere, this debut should leave plenty of readers flushed with laughter. (Fiction. 11-13)
From the Publisher
“Includes well-drawn characters, page-turning action, and lively prose peppered with dry humor and potty history.”—The Bulletin, Recommended

“Featuring likeably human main characters, a colorful supporting cast, memorably off-beat set pieces and a credible small-town atmosphere, this debut should leave plenty of readers flushed with laughter.”—Kirkus Reviews

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307489234
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
02/04/2009
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
451,806
File size:
3 MB
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Brian Meehl was a Muppeteer on Sesame Street and has written many children’s television shows. This is his first novel. He lives in Redding, Connecticut.


From the Hardcover edition.

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Out of Patience 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
spottedstar More than 1 year ago
this book is thrilling i learn alot from it and it was hilarious i cant beleve how dad likes toilet stuff
Guest More than 1 year ago
When you're reading the book Out of Patience you really need some patience because at the beginning of the book it is very slow. However, when you get deeper in the book it gets better. The main characters are Jake, his dad Jim, Howie, his dad Mr. Knight , and Cricket. In this book there is a 7 baseball games and at the end of the 7th game someone will win. Mr. Knight has a soil company. Mr. Knight is also the coach of the team and at the 7th inning stretch a Knight Soil truck comes by. The kids on the team have a song for Knights soil here it is. ¿Take me out to the cloud buy me some cow pies and buff'lo chips, I don't care if I'm up to my hips. Let me root,root,root in the Knights soil It's a smell with a charm. For it's one,two,three whiffs your out at the old stink farm¿ It's suppose to be ¿Take me Out to the Ball game¿. In this book there is a curse and it has to do with ¿The Plunger of Destiny¿. It tells you a lot about the curse during the flash backs. The flash backs are kind of boring, but it will get better more towards the end. I f you like books that are kinda slow but are very exciting at the end this book is for you.