The Transmogrification of Roscoe Wizzle

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Overview

"The wacky plot and quirky details . . . will appeal to young and reluctant readers who like their fiction light and offbeat."— SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL

Roscoe Wizzle used to be a normal ten-year-old kid. But that was before a sign reading COMING SOON! GUSSY'S! sprang up in a vacant lot. A sign showing Gussy Gorilla eating a Jungle Drum-just about the biggest hamburger in the world. Roscoe Wizzle, hamburger fan, was a normal kid all right . . . until he started turning into a bug!...

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The Transmogrification of Roscoe Wizzle

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Overview

"The wacky plot and quirky details . . . will appeal to young and reluctant readers who like their fiction light and offbeat."— SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL

Roscoe Wizzle used to be a normal ten-year-old kid. But that was before a sign reading COMING SOON! GUSSY'S! sprang up in a vacant lot. A sign showing Gussy Gorilla eating a Jungle Drum-just about the biggest hamburger in the world. Roscoe Wizzle, hamburger fan, was a normal kid all right . . . until he started turning into a bug! David Elliott’s debut novel takes a hilarious and surreal look at what can happen when you get too much of a good thing.

After eating constantly at the fast food restaurant known as Gussy's, ten-year-old Roscoe finds himself turning into a giant bug.

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Editorial Reviews

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The Barnes & Noble Review
From the very first page of this debut novel from David Elliot, readers are in for a quirky and mysterious ride. Ten-year-old Roscoe Wizzle lives in a pink house with his father, who works in a cymbal factory and whose his nerves are shot, and his mother, who has made a career out of being an orphan and who serves her family tuna casserole and mashed potatoes every single day. No wonder Roscoe is excited when a new burger joint called Gussy's opens up in town.

Soon Roscoe is eating at Gussy's every night while he and his best friend, Kinchy (who happens to be a genius), start to nose around a series of strange abductions in the area. But in the midst of their investigation they notice that something funny is happening to Roscoe: He's beginning to turn into a bug -- just like all the other abductees. Elliot uses a cast of eccentric, flawed, and oddball characters to tell an irresistibly appealing, and somewhat gross, story sure to appeal to preteens. (Amy Barkat)

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Elliott's (The Cool Crazy Crickets) entertaining and energetic middle-grade novel stars fourth-grader Roscoe Wizzle (whose greatest fear is that "a comet will strike the earth when I am in the bathtub"). He leads a fairly ordinary life, despite his quirky parents (Waldo, a cymbal tester, and Wilma, who grew up in an orphanage) and their practice of serving him alternating dinners of mashed potatoes and tuna surprise ("When I was an orphan, I never got any kind of surprise at all," Wilma tells him). But after a Gussy's Restaurant franchise is built atop an empty lot which is rumored to be oddly polluted, strange things start happening. First, Roseville's children begin disappearing. Then, after months of nightly meals at Gussy's (his relieved parents find it a good alternative to cooking), Roscoe finds himself undergoing a Kafka-esque metamorphosis. Could it be his steady diet of Jungle Drums ("just about the biggest hamburgers in the world")? With the help of his brainy best friend, the vegetarian and junior anthropologist Kinshasa Rosa Parks Boomer, Roscoe solves the mystery and helps rescue his kidnapped schoolmates. Colorful plot twists and character names from Roscoe's teacher, Bernard W. Pinchbeck, to Judy Pongarongatong combine with sassy first-person narration and snappy dialogue to skew the proceedings a few thoroughly enjoyable degrees off normal. Ages 7-10. (May) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Publishers Weekly
A fourth grader leads a fairly ordinary life until strange things start happening, and he finds himself undergoing a Kafka-esque metamorphosis. "Colorful plot twists combine with a sassy first-person narration and snappy dialogue to skew the proceedings a few thoroughly enjoyable degrees off normal," PW wrote. Ages 7-10. (May) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Ten-year-old Roscoe Wizzle isn't all that different from the rest of the students in Mr. Pinchbeck's third grade class at Roseville Elementary, except for one thing—he's turning into a bug. His transformation, unnoticed by his weird and self-absorbed parents (a la the Wormwoods in Roald Dahl's Matilda), is somehow linked to Gussy's, a mega-burger chain that opens in his neighborhood. Instead of fussing with their usual "one night mashed potatoes—one night tuna surprise" dinners, the Wizzles send Roscoe to Gussy's every night for supper. However, six months of Jungle Drum dinners take their toll. When strange things start happening to Roscoe's body, he turns to his best friend, Kinshasa Rosa Parks Boomer, a.k.a. Kinchy—a certified genius, for help. She discovers the cause of his transmogrification, which she defines as "a change... into something funny or comical." Roscoe may not find his change funny, but Elliott's young readers will. 2001, Candlewick Press, $12.99. Ages 8 to 12. Reviewer: Ellen R. Braaf
School Library Journal
Gr 3-5-When a well-known hamburger chain establishes a franchise in Roseville, 10-year-old Roscoe Wizzle is ecstatic, for his culinarily-impaired parents begin sending him to the fast-food restaurant every night for dinner. Eventually, though, his happiness is destroyed when he realizes he is beginning to resemble a bug. It turns out that mutant insects are getting into the meat-grinder at Gussy's, turning habitual eaters of the burgers into bugs, a fact that the nefarious owners try to hide by kidnapping the victims. Luckily, the villains' dastardly deeds, past and present, are revealed and punished, the children de-transmogrify, and Roscoe's parents learn to cook. The wacky plot and quirky details, reminiscent of Daniel Pinkwater's work, will appeal to young and reluctant readers who like their fiction light and offbeat. The pace is quick, the tone is humorous, and if most of the characters are painted with a very broad and shallow brush and the plot requires a strenuous suspension of disbelief, kids will be too busy relishing the adventure to care.-Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The moral of this surreal episode would run something like this: never patronize a fast-food restaurant built where giant mutant bugs can crawl into the meat grinder. Young Roscoe learns this disgusting lesson almost too late when, after six months of nightly Gussy's "Jungle Drum" burgers, he suddenly discovers that he's beginning to resemble a praying mantis. Luckily, and despite the best efforts of Gussy's CEO and cohorts to hush the whole thing up, Roscoe's genius best friend Kinshasa Rosa Parks Boomer winkles out the cause. Also luckily, once Roscoe modifies his diet, the changes reverse. Elliott (Cool Crazy Crickets) is far from the first to take on a "boy-into-bug" premise, and though he introduces a memorably quirky cast, he doesn't give it much to do besides solve the mystery of why this is happening to Roscoe and others. The high gross-out factor will draw some readers, but they'll only find characters in search of a story. (Fiction. 10-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763618803
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 4/12/2004
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 128
  • Age range: 7 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.28 (w) x 6.98 (h) x 0.36 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2008

    We were transmogrified by this book!

    My third grade teacher read this to our class. We loved this book because it was creepy in a good way! We want to read it again and would love a sequel! We even wrote stories about how WE transmogrified into weird things! Thank you so much for this book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2001

    Roscoe Wizzle Audiobook is Great!

    I listened to the audio cassettes of The Transmogrification of Roscoe Wizzle with my little cousin and they were a lot of fun. Actor David Krumholtz does a great job with his read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2001

    An Awesome Story!

    My mom read this book to my sister, my brother, and me, and we just loved it. We couldn't wait to see what was going to happen next.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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