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The Big Bazoohley

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Overview

Sam Kellow's family is stuck in the middle of a blizzard in a hotel room that costs $453 a night, but they are down to their last $40. Sam's father believes in the Big Bazoohley--the "Big Prize, the Jackpot"--that will come along just in time to save the family from ruin. But waiting around isn't good enough for Sam as comedy, adventure and fantasy unite in this highly acclaimed novel.

When his family runs low on funds while on a trip to Toronto, nine-year-old Sam ...

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USA 1996 Paperback New Puffin 1996.

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USA 1996 Paperback New Puffin 1996.

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Overview

Sam Kellow's family is stuck in the middle of a blizzard in a hotel room that costs $453 a night, but they are down to their last $40. Sam's father believes in the Big Bazoohley--the "Big Prize, the Jackpot"--that will come along just in time to save the family from ruin. But waiting around isn't good enough for Sam as comedy, adventure and fantasy unite in this highly acclaimed novel.

When his family runs low on funds while on a trip to Toronto, nine-year-old Sam allows himself to be "borrowed" and entered in a contest to find the Perfecto Kiddo, hoping to win $10,000.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A mansion that can be entered only from a disguised door on a subway platform; impossibly detailed paintings that can fit inside a matchbox; an opulent hotel filled with snooty guests; a squadron of fiendishly well-kempt children competing for the title of Perfecto Kiddo-the Booker Prize-winning author of Oscar and Lucinda stuffs his first children's book with a lavish complement of elements that, while improbable, are so enticing or so funny that readers will wish they were true. At the center of this outlandish world is one Sam Kellow, an Everyboy whose sheer normalcy provides ample ballast for the eccentricities of the plot. He and his parents have flown to Toronto on a mission: Sam's artist mother will deliver one of the aforesaid miniatures to a tycoon at the aforesaid mansion and collect her pay-what Sam's high-rolling father calls ``the Big Bazoohley'' (``which meant the Big Win, the Big Prize, the Jackpot''). But the Kellows can't find the entrance, and they are down to their last few dollars. Seeking a way to raise some quick money, Sam is essentially kidnapped by the lunatic parents of a kid with chicken pox, who groom Sam within an inch of his life and enter him under their son's name in the Perfecto Kiddo contest (grand prize: $10,000). They plan to pocket the winnings; Sam, of course, has his own ideas. Carey combines daring exaggeration with cozily wrought details for an exquisitely balanced comedy. He lampoons the familiar and dreams up delectable satires. One of the Perfecto Kiddo contest events, for example, involves eating four-foot-long strands of spaghetti in tomato sauce; points are deducted for every drop that gets splattered. We know all along that Sam will win the contest and get the loot, and that his parents will hook up with the missing zillionaire-the urgency here is generated not by suspense about the outcome but by the strength of the reader's desire for a happy ending. This novel is so full of pleasures that readers, along with the characters, receive a swell payoff-start to finish, it's one Big Bazoohley of a book. Ages 9-12. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Deborah Zink Roffino
In the style and whimsy of Roald Dahl characters, Sam Kellow, son of starving artist parents, finds himself in the hallway of a hotel that leads to another world where marvelous possibilities exist. Suddenly, Sam is empowered to help his nearly indigent parents by winning major prize money. That catch is that things are not what they seem and getting back to his real world with his wits and his winnings is tricky.
School Library Journal
Gr 3-5-Nine-year-old Sam Kellow is off in search of the Big Bazoohley-the grand prize that his gambler father promises will come along when they need it the most. Since the buyer for his mother's latest painting has disappeared, his father has no immediate prospects for making money, and Sam knows that they are down to their last $53.20, the boy slips out of their swank Toronto hotel room to find a solution. He hasn't gotten very far when he is kidnapped by a very strange couple who decide to groom him as an emergency substitute for their own son, who is in bed with chicken pox just when he's due to enter, and hopefully win, the Perfect Kiddo contest, for a part in a commercial and a check for $10,000. Sam is a very clever youngster, and it doesn't take him long to figure out how to turn the situation into the solution he was hoping to find. Along the way there are plenty of laughs and surprises and an ending that pulls it all together. This is a breezy contemporary adventure with a touch of fantasy. Readers will delight in Sam's adventures, empathize with his difficult situations, and cheer for his triumphs.-Susan L. Rogers, Chestnut Hill Academy, PA
From the Publisher
"This novel is so full of pleasures that readers, along with the characters, receive a swell payoff—start to finish, it’s one Big Bazoohley of a book." —Publishers Weekly, starred review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780698114203
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/9/1996
  • Series: Storybridge Series
  • Pages: 144
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.78 (w) x 5.00 (h) x 0.37 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Carey
One of our most acclaimed authors, two-time Booker Prize winner Peter Carey’s novels temper feats of imagination and language with a solid grounding in history and literature. Through his novels, many of which re-imagine the peopling and history of his native Australia, Carey has garnered renown as a novelist who can write about important subjects in a voice both readable and distinctly challenging.

Biography

"My fictional project has always been the invention or discovery of my own country," the prizewinning Australian author Peter Carey has said. This postcolonial undertaking has sometimes led Carey to wrestle with the great works of English literature: The Unusual Life of Tristan Smith (1994) draws on Laurence Sterne's Tristram Shandy, while in Jack Maggs (1997), a version of Dickens's Great Expectations, is told from the perspective of the convict who returns to England from Australia.

But although Carey went to what he calls "a particularly posh" Australian boarding school, he claims he didn't discover literature until he was out of school. He studied chemistry at Monash University for just a year before leaving to work in advertising. There, surrounded by readers and would-be writers, he discovered the great literature of the 20th century, including authors like Joyce, Faulkner and Beckett. "To read Faulkner for the first time was for me like discovering another planet," Carey said in an interview with The Guardian. "The pleasure of that language, the politics of giving voice to the voiceless."

Publishers rejected Carey's first three novels, so he began writing short stories. These, he later said, "felt like the first authentic things I had done." He was still working for an advertising agency when his first collection of short stories appeared in 1973, and he kept the part-time job after moving to an "alternative community" in Queensland. His first published novel, Bliss (1981), won a prestigious Australian literary prize, the Miles Franklin Award. The book is about an advertising executive who has a near-death experience and ends up living in a rural commune.

Carey's later novels ranged farther outside the bounds of his own experience, but he continued to develop his concern with Australian identity. 1988's Oscar and Lucinda, which tells the story of a colonial Australian heiress and her ill-fated love for an English clergyman, won the Booker Prize and helped establish Carey as one of the literary heavyweights of his generation. He won another Booker Prize for True History of the Kelly Gang (2000), the story of a notorious 19th-century outlaw whose legacy still shapes Australia's consciousness.

Though Carey now lives and teaches in New York City, his home country and its past still possess his imagination. ''History,'' he writes, ''is like a bloodstain that keeps on showing on the wall no matter how many new owners take possession, no matter how many times we paint over it.''

Good To Know

Peter Carey and J. M. Coetzee are the only two-time Booker Prize winners to date.

Carey caused a stir in the British press when he declined an invitation to meet Queen Elizabeth II. The royal invitation is extended to all winners of the Commonwealth Writers Prize, which Carey received in 1998 for Jack Maggs. He did meet the Queen after he won the award a second time, for True History of the Kelly Gang in 2001.

Fans of Carey's work know that in 1997, Oscar and Lucinda was made into a critically acclaimed movie starring Ralph Fiennes and Cate Blanchett. But they may not know that Carey wrote the screenplay for the critically panned Wim Wenders film Until the End of the World (1991) as well as the screenplay adaptation of his own novel, Bliss (1991).

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    1. Also Known As:
      Peter Philip Carey
    1. Date of Birth:
      May 7, 1943
    2. Place of Birth:
      Bacchus Marsh, Victoria, Australia
    1. Education:
      Monash University (no degree)
    2. Website:

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2001

    THIS BOOK IS A VERY GOOD BOOK FOR BEGINERS

    This book was realy good i wont tight everything but enough to give u and idea Sam went to a hotle and some people kiddnaped him and used him for a compition that they had at the hotel and sam was try to comunicate with his parents but he couldnt and then at the end sam finds this guy that his mom wants to sell a painting of that is the size of a match box and they finaly find him and his front door was somewhere in a metro station and they lived happy and stuff hey i know its not alot but hey u wanted to know a bit about the book BE HAPPY LOL

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